Tag Archives: mvp

Kawhi and the MVP race

538 started a nice series on the case for each of the top 5 MVP candidates. But my favorite MVP article is Matt Bonner’s sandwich analogy for The Players Tribune:

You’re probably getting hungry as you’re reading this, and maybe you’re even thinking about making a sandwich of your own. And that’s smart. Your head’s in the right place. Those ingredients sound really good. The fixings are crucial — and you can’t have your best possible sandwich without them.

It’s not all jokes, though. Matt’s insight into the Spurs system, where you move the ball instead of hogging it, puts Kawhi’s 25.7-point average in perspective:

And since there’s so little ball domination in that system … it makes it pretty impossible for any one player to put up a huge scoring average. Even Tim Duncan — arguably the greatest power forward to ever play the game — never had a season in which he averaged 25.7. And that’s really all you need to know.

Last night, the Spurs lost in Portland by 1 point. It was a game that didn’t matter much, so the Spurs bench finished the game. Portland’s win was mostly a fluke — a Spurs turnover at the end, then a steal that was mishandled and fell to Blazers’ Noah Vonleh for the buzzer-beater layup. But here’s the important point: the Spurs probably wouldn’t have lost if Kawhi was in the game for the final minute.

That’s not to take anything away from the bench. Those guys are great. Living in Austin, we got to watch Kyle Anderson and Jonathan Simmons finish plenty of great games for the D-League. It’s just that San Antonio has played many close games this season, and this is what happens when Kawhi is in the game late.

I’ll be shocked if Russell Westbrook doesn’t win MVP this year. But any of the top 5 candidates deserve it, and Kawhi is focused on other things. Maybe it’s fitting that the award will end up going to a player like Westbrook and his fans who seem to care so much about whether he wins.

Jurewitz on features, pricing

Michael Jurewitz wrote a great post last week on minimum viable products:

“As you look at your products and how you make them remember these key points. You don’t need all the features under the sun. You don’t need technical excellence (assuming you also avoid technical debt). You need to solve a worthwhile problem in a delightful, thoughtful, and simple way.”

What he’s saying is it’s okay to be limited, but make that limited part totally polished. Cutting back features doesn’t mean you also cut back on quality. It reminds me of the quote from 37signals: “build half a product, not a half-ass product”.

This is good advice that I need to take to heart. I don’t have much problem shipping. But my apps often have some rough edges at 1.0.

Also don’t miss Jurewitz’s great 5-part series on App Store pricing. I’m linking to Michael Tsai’s summary here, since it provides nice quotes and links to each part in the series. I saw the talk that these blog posts were based on twice, at Çingleton and NSConference, and this has to be the best translation of a conference session into blog form I’ve ever seen. Not to be missed.