Hart Trophy and NBA MVP Chases Revised

The great game standard.

James Leroy Wilson


Welcome to the MVP Chase, where I look for, or chase, the best objective criteria in determining greatness without personal bias.

Today’s Topics: Hart Trophy and NBA MVP Chases

Photo: public domain


My last Hart Trophy update didn’t sit well with me or others. I still insist that MVP awards should reward contributions to victories, one game at a time, and not cumulative season or per-game statistics. Nevertheless, it wasn’t right that Connor McDavid wasn’t even in the top five in the Hart Trophy Chase standings. Although not elite, McDavid’s Oilers have a winning record and his league-leading scoring prowess is surely a big reason for that.

I now come at it with another approach: consider the number of victories in which the player had a great game in a win and overtime loss (because the team earns a point in the standings with an OT loss), but also the number of victories and OT losses in which he wasn’t great. If the team is regularly successful without him being great, is he really that valuable?

By a “great game,” the standard I’m using is points plus +/- equaling two or more in a win or OT loss.

With that change in approach, here is a revised Hart Trophy Chase. There are eight contenders for the five spots on the Hart Trophy ballot.

  1. Connor McDavid, Oilers (27–18–4)
  2. Jack Hughes, Devils (32–13–4)
  3. Nikita Kucherov, Lightning (31–15–1)
  4. Jason Robertson, Stars (28–13–10)
  5. Rasmus Dahlin, Sabres (26–19–3)


The new standard for the NBA MVP is similar to the Hart Trophy chase: count up the number of great games the player had in wins, but also the number of wins in which he didn’t need to be great.

The “Great Game” standard for the NBA that I’m using is points plus assists plus rebounds equaling 40 or more.

  1. Luka Doncic, Mavericks (26–24)
  2. Jayson Tatum, Celtics (35–15)
  3. Nikola Jokic, Nuggets (34–15)
  4. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks (32–17)
  5. LeBron James, Lakers (23–26)

James Leroy Wilson writes JL Cells, The MVP Chase, Daily Miracles, and The Daily Bible Chapter, Thanks for your subscriptions and support! You may contact James for your writing, editing, and research needs: jamesleroywilson-at-gmail.com.



James Leroy Wilson

Former activist. Writer with a range of interests from spirituality to sports.