Are MVP chants for Deron Williams realistic? premature?

Jared Wickerham

With the Nets on a nice run, winning tough games against tough teams, you've begun to hear chants of "MVP" when Deron Williams steps to the line late in games. Are they realistic? premature? Is D-Will a legitimate candidate for Most Valuable Player?

Sekou Smith, who does NBA.com's MVP rankings, thinks so. He puts Williams at the No. 7 spot this week, not so much based on his numbers, but on his leadership of a team that's still coming together. Smith writes...

In the absence of some glowing individual statistical tear, Williams is sustaining himself and the Nets with the one stat that never goes out of style ... wins. The Nets have won eight of their last 10 and four straight, including victories over the Knicks, Clippers and Celtics. They're second in the East (right behind Miami) with Williams playing ringleader of the league's most significantly improved team. He finally joins the MVP party after being left out of this conversation for far too long.

There was some MVP talks surrounding Williams early in the season he was traded to the Nets. The Jazz took out early, but then injuries and problems with Jerry Sloan intervened.

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