Commentary

Debate: Early-season MVP candidates

Amare Stoudemire or Derrick Rose: Who's been the best in the league early on?

Updated: January 1, 2011, 12:37 PM ET
By Chris Broussard and Ric Bucher | ESPN The Magazine
Amare Stoudemire and Derrick RoseGary Dineen/Getty ImagesRose and Stoudemire have both been having fantastic seasons.

The only thing Ric Bucher and Chris Broussard like to do more than report on the NBA is argue about the NBA. So we decided to combine those two skills for Insider's weekly One-on-One series, in which they'll debate the hottest topics in The Association.

Question: Who is the early-season MVP?

BUCHER: There have been several teams with superstars to thank for their surprisingly good starts this season, making for a rather interesting MVP race after the first trimester. Deron Williams, Dirk Nowitzki, Amar'e Stoudemire, Manu Ginobili, Kevin Garnett and Dwight Howard all have had terrific starts for winning teams. I'm not sure how my top five would shake out, but I don't have any doubts about who is at the top of my ballot at this point: Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls.

BROUSSARD: I don't think there's a clear-cut MVP at this point of the season, but if I had to pick right now I'd go with Amar'e Stoudemire. A guy that probably no other team would have signed to the five-year, $100 million contract the New York Knicks gave him last summer has been nothing short of terrific, both on and off the court. He's playing the best ball of his career and leading a resurgence of one of the NBA's historic franchises.

Ric Bucher

NBA Reporter, ESPN The Magazine Senior Writer