Eurobasket 2011: Navarro steals Gasol’s MVP

Posted on September 19, 2011 by

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Spain won the 2011 Eurobasket today, and unlike the U19 FIBA World Championships, this time I was keeping up with the games. Consequently, I have the Estimated Wins Produced stats from all 90 games ready to go, only hours after the final whistle!

Who should have won the MVP?

"I'll let you have this one"

Following his 27 points in the final, Juan Carlos Navarro was named the MVP of the tournament. Did he deserve it? Here is the list of the top 15 players in the Eurobasket tournament, as ranked by Estimated Wins Produced:

Table 1: Eurobasket Players ranked by Estimated Wins

Player Country EWP40 EW
Pau Gasol Spain 0.519 3.4
Antonis Fotsis Greece 0.343 2.55
Bo McCalebb Macedonia 0.261 2.48
Andrei Kirilenko Russia 0.285 2.32
Nicolas Batum France 0.236 2.04
Simas Jasaitis Lithuania 0.264 1.98
Tony Parker France 0.216 1.89
Mirza Begic Slovenia 0.345 1.88
Juan Carlos Navarro Spain 0.239 1.78
Vitaliy Fridzon Russia 0.306 1.78
Viktor Sanikidze Georgia 0.261 1.68
Vojdan Stojanovski Macedonia 0.216 1.59
Dirk Nowitzki Germany 0.265 1.58
Chris Kaman Germany 0.27 1.51
Zoran Dragic Slovenia 0.222 1.48
  • Note: players in bold were named to the all-tournament team

Navarro’s teammate Pau Gasol was clearly the best player in the tournament. In addition to being tops in terms of total wins, Gasol was also the most efficient player (as measured by EWP/40) in the entire tournament. The fact that Gasol lost out to his teammate is a travesty. But overall, the all-tournament team did pretty well. Of the five selections, the only one I have an issue with is Navarro. Which isn’t too bad – it’s not like he won the MVP or anything.

What would cause someone to put Navarro on the all-tournament team? If we rank all players by total points scored, we may find out:

Table 2: Eurobasket Players ranked by total points.

Player Country EW Points
Bo McCalebb Macedonia 2.48 235
Tony Parker France 1.89 221
Juan Carlos Navarro Spain 1.78 206
Pau Gasol Spain 3.4 201
Andrei Kirilenko Russia 2.32 164
Dirk Nowitzki Germany 1.58 156
Nenad Krstic Serbia 0.43 155
Nicolas Batum France 2.04 152
Dusko Savanovic Serbia 0.66 147
Marc Gasol Spain 1.3 146
Antonis Fotsis Greece 2.55 130
Goran Dragic Slovenia 1.01 129
Pero Antic Macedonia 1.1 128
Ioannis Bourousis Greece 1.06 128
Chris Kaman Germany 1.51 124
  • Note: players in bold were named to the all-tournament team

Wow, that code was pretty easy to crack. In order to be named to the all-tournament team, all you had to do was score the most total points. The MVP was going to come from someone who played on the winning team – which was Spain – so McCalebb and Parker were out of the running (had France won the final, you’d better believe that Parker would’ve won the MVP). The reason that Navarro got the nod over Gasol seems to be that Navarro scored a gargantuan five more points! Rather incredible, isn’t it?

WoW All-tournament team

Given that I disagree with Navarro’s MVP and all-tournament team selection, a new all-tournament team is in order. In order to determine the WoW all-tournament team, all I did was choose the top players (in terms of Estimated Wins) at each position. That gives us the following list:

Table 3: Devin’s All-Tournament Team

Player Country Position EWP40 Estimated Wins
Pau Gasol Spain F/C 0.519 3.4
Antonis Fotsis Greece F 0.343 2.55
Andrei Kirilenko Russia F/C 0.285 2.32
Bo McCalebb Macedonia G 0.264 2.48
Nicolas Batum France G/F 0.236 2.04
Mirza Begic Slovenia C 0.345 1.88
Simas Jasaitis Lithuania F 0.264 1.98
Tony Parker France G 0.216 1.89
  • Note: players in bold were named to the all-tournament team

As usual, I’ve cheated and added three backups. But even with the three backups, Navarro still doesn’t make the team, let alone win the MVP.

– Devin

Devin Dignam (of NBeh? “fame”) is the Toronto Raptors writer for the Wages of Wins Network. His background with the Raptors gives him unique insight into many areas including the draft, overpaid players and overrated players.