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updated: 2/21/2011 10:24 AM

Rose obviously the NBA's midseason MVP

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  • San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker, bottom, gets Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose off his feet during the first half of Thursday's game.

      San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker, bottom, gets Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose off his feet during the first half of Thursday's game.
    Associated Press

  • Bulls star Derrick Rose has driven his way to become the NBA's most valuable player at midseason, according to Mike McGraw.

      Bulls star Derrick Rose has driven his way to become the NBA's most valuable player at midseason, according to Mike McGraw.
    Associated Press

 
 

Every team has already played more than 50 games, but the all-star break is the unofficial midway point of the NBA season. So while Derrick Rose joins the starting stars lineup for the first time, let's take a look at the midseason award winners:

{Most Valuable Player: Derrick Rose, Bulls}

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Are we missing anything here? Because Rose seems to be the obvious choice right now.

Not sure how many national analysts beyond Charles Barkley are on board with Rose as MVP. But the logic is simple: No player has done more for his team.

Boston has four all-stars and Miami has three, while Rose has the Bulls right behind those teams in the Eastern Conference standings despite losing Joakim Noah (30 games) and Carlos Boozer for huge chunks of the season.

Rose is not at the very top of the scoring or assists lists. But by averaging 24.9 points and 8.2 assists, he's responsible for roughly 42 points per game. He's been good in the clutch and a great representative for the Bulls.

If the vote is for the best player, LeBron James might win for the next decade. But he's the guy who switched teams last summer and aligned himself with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh so he wouldn't have to carry as much of a load. By definition alone, doesn't that make James a less valuable player?

Cleveland's 26-game losing streak might say a lot about James, but it should be irrelevant to this award.

Orlando center Dwight Howard is another good one-man show. But the standings tell the story. The Bulls are tied with Dallas for the fourth-fewest losses in the NBA. Orlando has the league's eighth-best record.

If the Bulls can keep pushing Miami and Boston for first place in the East, Rose is the clear winner.

Runners-up: James; Howard; Dirk Nowitzki, Mavs; Manu Ginobili, Spurs.

{Coach of the year: Gregg Popovich, Spurs}

This one's a two-man race between Popovich and Bulls first-year coach Tom Thibodeau. Both have been impressive.

Last year, the Spurs were the No. 7 seed in the West and with Tim Duncan getting older, it looked as though their championship window had closed.

But the Spurs managed to kick it to a higher level without major changes. Duncan's role diminished and the Spurs became a higher-scoring team with Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker at the controls.

Sure, Popovich is working with a three-man nucleus that has won three NBA titles, but it's not easy to shift styles so quickly.

Thibodeau hadn't been a head coach since his single season at Salem (Mass.) State 25 years ago. He's been brilliant this season, turning the Bulls into one of the league's best defensive teams while also running a more efficient offense.

Runners-up: Thibodeau; Monty Williams, Hornets.

{Rookie of the year: Blake Griffin, Clippers}

This vote should be unanimous. All that talk last summer about John Wall being faster than Rose was absurd.

Runners-up: DeMarcus Cousins, Kings; Landry Fields, Knicks.

{Most improved player: Kevin Love, Timberwolves}

This award appears to be another no-brainer. Love went from averaging 14 points and 11 rebounds last year to 21.1 and 15.5. Rebounding was starting to become a lost art until Love stepped up.

Runners-up: Dorell Wright, Warriors; Eric Gordon, Clippers.

{Sixth man of the year: Jason Terry, Mavs}

Terry and last year's winner, Atlanta's Jamal Crawford, have nearly identical stat lines. Dallas has the better team, which serves as the tiebreaker.

Runners-up: Crawford; Lou Williams, Sixers.

{Defensive player of the year: Andrew Bogut, Bucks}

Thibodeau's Bulls have shown the power of team defense. They've been one of the league's top defensive squads without a real standout defensive player.

It's tough to come up with a true lockdown defender in today's NBA. So the easy way out is to look at statistical leaders. Bogut tops the league in blocked shots and Milwaukee is No. 3 in points allowed, behind the Celtics and Bulls. So there's your winner.

Runners-up: Dwight Howard, Magic; Kevin Garnett, Celtics.

{All-NBA team}

This is going to be interesting at the end of the season. It's easy to put LeBron James and Kevin Durant at forward, with Dwight Howard at center.

That leaves room for two guards -- and who gets left out between Derrick Rose, Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade? It can't be Rose, he's the MVP. Wade's numbers are slightly better, but Miami already has a first-teamer, if that matters. This is a tough call, no doubt:

First team: Rose, Wade, James, Durant, Howard.

Second team: Bryant, Rajon Rondo, Celtics; Carmelo Anthony, Nuggets; Dirk Nowitzki, Mavs; Amare Stoudemire, Knicks.

Third team: Chris Paul, Hornets; Deron Williams, Jazz; Blake Griffin, Clippers; LaMarcus Aldrigde, Blazers; Kevin Love, Timberwolves.

How do the Spurs have no players on the three all-NBA teams? Well, the league is loaded with great guards right now and San Antonio's best players are guards. We need an honorary fourth-team with Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook, Golden State's Monta Ellis and New York's Raymond Felton.


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