Over the last few days, yours truly has been struggling to figure out which player to select Most Valuable Player between Alize Johnson and Paul Reed. For Johnson, he was a tremendous all-around cog for a Raptors team that finished the regular season with a 12-3 record and the best offense in G League history when it comes to points per 100 possessions. While that success was due to the combined effort of everyone on the team, Johnson was definitely the top threat for the baby dinos through putting up eye-popping numbers that combined volume and efficiency.
In 15 games, he averaged 16.6 points, 13.3 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and 1.3 steals on 57% from the field and 33% from beyond the arc on 1.6 attempts per game. Those great averages combined with him maintaining a career-high 65% True Shooting Percentage and 59% effective Field Goal Percentage were the ingredients for Johnson to have a career-year for an amazing team and be an incredibly strong contender for MVP.
If you’ve been following along with our awards process with nominees and winners, you’ve probably been able to memorize the strong case that Reed has had. If you want a reminder about a player that was a finalist for MVP and Defensive Player of the Year while also winning Rookie of the Year, here’s a list of where he finished in various per-game leaderboards among prospects that played at least 5 games in the G League bubble :
- 3rd in points per game
- 3rd in rebounds per game
- Tied with Ahmad Caver for 4th in steals per game
- 11th in blocks per game
- 9th in 3-point percentage
- 11th in Effective Field Goal percentage
- 6th in Offensive Rebound Percentage
That status as a downright phenomenal player on the stat sheets combined with him being a dominant player when he was on the court for the Blue Coats. On the offensive end, you could depend on him to push the ball in transition and dish it off to teammates, be a great roll man, snag 4.6 offensive rebounds per game, take it to the rim on his own, and be a downright lethal threat in catch-and-shoots.
His great work was also seen on the defensive end of the floor as his versatility allowed him to stand alongside veteran forward Sir’Dominic Pointer as the only players in the G League to average more than 1.5 blocks and 1.5 steals per game. Along with those numbers, his skill on this end is seen in the video below as he used his quick feet to stick with David Stockton and Cassius Winston from perimeter to paint while using his strong 220 pound frame to prevent Tyler Cook and Moses Brown from getting easy shots around the rim.
Although this decision was a challenge due to the tremendous impact that Alize Johnson had on the best regular season team in the G League, the rookie’s mix of volume with incredible efficiency was too phenomenal to overlook. Those reasons are why Ridiculous Upside is proud to announce that Philadelphia 76ers prospect Paul Reed is our pick for Most Valuable Player of the Year for the 2021 G League season.