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Billups belongs in MVP debate

From my latest on HOOPSWORLD:

If you consider the point guard position spot to be the most important position in the game, than one candidate you have to consider for the award is Detroit's Chauncey Billups. His raw numbers aren't quite as gaudy as the likes of Paul or Steve Nash, but that's in part because the Pistons play at the slowest pace in the league.

Instead of racking up huge fantasy numbers, Billups settles for being extremely efficient – a formula that seems to be working considering he's guided the Detroit Pistons to the second-best record in the league. This year, despite seeing a slight dip in minutes his production has actually climbed; he's posted a career-high 23.80 PER, which ranks second to Paul (28.84) among all point guards this year.

Billups isn't a complete stranger to this debate: in 2004-05, he placed fifth in MVP voting, thanks in part to his team's league-best 64 regular-season wins, and last season he placed 11th. If those voters who recognized him in the past take the time to examine his numbers again this year, they'll see that he's actually enjoying the best season of his career.

Do I think Chauncey Billups deserves to win the MVP over LeBron, Kobe or Chris Paul? Not at all. But as I tried to argue in the article above, I do think he deserves to be right near the top of the "others receiving votes" tier.

(Incidentally, if I had a vote for the MVP award, my pick would be Chris Paul, hands down. What he's doing this year is simply incredible.)