New stats, new picks

Improved metrics reveal voting oddities in recent MVP awards

Updated: April 13, 2009, 10:48 AM ET
By Eric Neel |

When our man John Hollinger introduced his Value Added and Estimated Wins Added metrics recently, he not only provided a sharp look at the 2008-09 MVP race (LeBron James should win the award, Dwyane Wade is a closer second than you'd think, and both Chris Paul and Dwight Howard come in before Kobe Bryant), he also gave us a way to look back on recent MVP votes with a more discerning eye.

Steve Nash
Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty ImagesDid Steve Nash deserve his two MVP trophies? The numbers say no.

EWA is a measure of the number of victories a player contributes to a team's overall record, relative to the number of games that team would be expected to win if the player were replaced by a league-average performer. In other words, it tells us, in a nice round number, precisely how grateful Mike Brown and Dan Gilbert should be for the gift of LeBron (30.8 Estimated Wins Added). And it also provides a better understanding of just how good a job the voters did in selecting the past five MVPs.

2003-2004 MVP

(Players are listed in voting order, followed by their EWA.)
Kevin Garnett 28.90
Tim Duncan 20.79
Jermaine O'Neal 14.70
Peja Stojakovic 18.28
Kobe Bryant 16.03

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Eric Neel | email

Page 2 columnist
Eric Neel is a senior writer for and ESPN The Magazine.