Within the larger confines of The Race To The MVP, a dash to the More Valuable Player Award broke out Thursday night at Chicago's United Center.
That's More Valuable, rather than Most, because in this case it was a comparative competition rather than a superlative. The Race is a generous form, with spots for 10 MVP candidates even though the NBA's official ballot allows for only five. But with Derrick Rose and LeBron James running 1-2 -- in that order -- atop The Race for weeks now, it seemed appropriate that the showdown of their teams, the Chicago Bulls vs. the Miami Heat, might narrow the MVP focus in laser-like fashion.
Members of the committee, all of whom were in the house, weren't the only ones who saw it that way.
"So would it be safe to say that the result of tonight's big matchup between Miami vs. Chicago (in Chicago) will determine who the #1 ranked guy on the Race is tomorrow?" e-mailer "Yoon Mi" wrote. "I can't wait cause it is going to be an awesome game and a possible playoff preview. "Personally I agree with ESPN's award watch that LeBron is the MVP right now but I agree with you on the other 2-10 rankings. Hopefully LBJ can prove me right tonight with a big road win and send Chicago to a second consecutive loss. Cheers!"