Yes, it's "early" for an MVP race. But it's also very late already for a lot of playoff teams.
Each round of the playoffs is a "season" unto itself, with every team in a do-or-die series. Already we've seen virtual must-win games for the 56-win Memphis Grizzlies and Milwaukee Bucks, and we'll get two more Friday night on ESPN, with the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers trying to stay in their series with the Knicks and Spurs. In that context, every game is amplified tenfold, and every play has the potential to swing the season. Valuable, indeed.