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Using math to predict the MVP

In an effort to scientifically predict the winner of the NBA's Most Valuable Player award, Michael Wilczynski, a guest writer for, examined 20 years of historical data to see what past winners had in common.

It's an interesting task, because he's not just trying to deduce which players objectively turned in the best statistical seasons; rather, he's trying to get inside of the heads of the voters to find out what aspects about a player's individual and team performance convinces them that a player is MVP worthy.

After examining the data, he calcuated a very complex formula which takes into consideration a player's overall statistical performance, his improvement from the previous season and his team's improvement from the previous season, as well as some "bonus" categories such as whether he leads the league in a key offensive category (scoring, rebounding or assists) and where his team finishes in the conference.

Am I losing you? Well, hold tight, because this is where it gets interesting: With his formula in hand, he applied it to the past couple of decades and correctly identified the past 20 winners of the MVP award.

So the big question becomes, using this year's numbers, who's leading the race? I don't want to spoil the surprise -- *cough*Big Shot*cough* -- so head over to 82games -- *ahem*Smooth*cough* -- and see for yourself.

Predicting the NBA's Most Valuable Player []