Dallas Mavericks v San Antonio Spurs, Game 3

Antonio McDyess plans to play one more season

Leave a comment

Put the gold watch back in the box, cancel the retirement party.

Antonio McDyess said just two months ago this was it. Same thing he said before the season. One more run at age 36 and then he was hanging up his Nikes. Except, this year’s been kind of fun and the Spurs are doing a good job of keeping the minutes under control. So, all those things about stepping down… never mind. He told the News Express Spurs blog he changed his mind.

“My mind is pretty much made up,” McDyess said. “I feel like I’ll be able to lace ‘em up and go again.”

The way coach Gregg Popovich has used McDyess this season — sparingly and situationally — has convinced McDyess that he could survive another season. McDyess is playing a career-low 18:06 per game this season, and has missed five games for rest purposes. He is averaging career lows in scoring (5.1 points) and rebounding (5.2 per game), but his shooting percentage (50.2) is up nearly three points from last season.

And even at 36 he’s quick enough to get around a Lamar Odom “box out” and put in a game-winning tip at the buzzer.

The Spurs could buy McDyess out at the end of this season, but may not want to. They’d prefer Tiago Splitter to start taking McDyess’ minutes, but a veteran that is good in the locker room works pretty well for the Spurs.

James Harden: “I am the best player in the league. I believe that.”

James Harden, Stephen Curry
1 Comment

James Harden was the MVP last season — if you ask his fellow NBA players.

The traditional award (based on a media vote) went to Stephen Curry (in the closest vote in four years), and that was the right call (in my mind). But from the time it happened Harden did not buy it. And he still doesn’t buy it. In the least — and he’s using that as fuel for this season. That’s what he told Fran Blinebury over at NBA.com.

“I am the best player in the league. I believe that,” he said. “I thought I was last year, too.”

Well, it’s a more realistic claim than Paul George’s.

“But that award means most valuable to your team. We finished second in the West, which nobody thought we were going to do at the beginning of the year even when everybody was healthy. We were near the top in having the most injuries. We won our division in a division where every single team made the playoffs.

“There’s so many factors. I led the league in total points scored, minutes played. Like I said, I’m not taking anything away from Steph, but I felt I deserved the Most Valuable Player. That stays with me.”

That’s very Kobe Bryant of you to turn that into fuel. Defining the MVP Award is an annual discussion that nobody agrees on.

I could get into how Harden was the old-school, traditional stats MVP, how that ignores how Steve Kerr used Curry, and how that opened up the Warriors’ offense to championship levels. Curry put up numbers, but he was also the distraction, the bright star that Kerr used to open up looks for Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and others. Curry’s strength was not just what he did with the ball in his hands, but his gravity to draw defenders even when he didn’t. Did the Warriors stay healthier than the Rockets? No doubt. Should Curry be penalized for that?

It’s simple for Harden — if he can put up those numbers again, if he can be the fulcrum of a top offense, he will be in the discussion for MVP again. And, if he can lead the Rockets beyond the conference finals, nobody will talk about that MVP snub anyway.