NBA Award Season

Most Valuable Player

James Harden

Harden Surprise
No Kardashian curse for me!

Best player on the best team.  Yes, he had a great supporting cast and Chris Paul would easily win Best Actor in a supporting role.  But Harden is the perfect weapon at this point.  With a team full of spacing shooters, he has become the best isolation scorer in the NBA.  His defense, will never be great, but that’s fine.

LeBron James

LeBron Shock
But I said I’d vote for me…I thought that meant you were gonna vote for me too

Best player on the Earth, still.  He’s wildly valuable, but because there were plenty of games that CLE should have won and didn’t, he has to take a hit for that.  So, he finishes second in our MVP voting, which I’m sure he’ll lose a ton of sleep over.  Sheesh.

 

Defensive Player Of the Year

Rudy Gobert

Gobert Dribble
Defense is easier when you have 3 arms

UTA finished as the second best team defense, behind BOS, this season according to Ben Falk.  Gobert is the reason they finished second…for a couple of reasons.  His block% and defensive win share are really high.  One of the best in the league.  But he only played in 56 games.  If he played in 75 games, they’d have finished as the top defense (we didn’t check the math, but it seems accurate).  Either way, he brings the most impact to the defensive side.

Paul George

Paul George, Giannis Antetokounmpo
Only way I can get a shot is to steal it and never pass it

His first season getting to 200 stocks, 161 steals + 39 blocks.  OKC as a team finished at the top in TO% on defense and was top-10 in points/poss.  George draws the tough assignment all night, every night.  He needs to get some credit for that.

Rookie Of the Year

Ben Simmons

Ben Simmons Dribble
Donovan is the same age as me

An absolute freak of nature.  The 76ers are a legitimate force, with Embiid being healthy for most of the year and Simmons stepping into super-stardom.  16/8/8 is impressive across the board.  And he spent a lot of time defending point guards as well, which threw a huge wrench in offensive schemes.  It will be a fun few years in Philly with Simmons leading the way.

Donovan Mitchell

Sydney Kings v Utah Jazz
I might have gotten paid last year too, but you got paid at LSU

Somewhat of a surprise to the common person.  Mitchell was the beneficiary of filling the minutes that were opened up by Gordon Hayward’s departure.  He crushed it.  The fact that there is even a discussion that Ben Simmons isn’t the clear-cut choice shows how impressive Mitchell has been this year.  20+ points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 1.5 steals…those numbers aren’t far off from Victor Oladipo this year!

6th Man Of the Year

Eric Gordon

Lou Williams

This award may eventually get re-named for one of these guys, or Jamal Crawford.

Most Improved Player

Victor Oladipo

USP NBA: NEW YORK KNICKS AT INDIANA PACERS S BKN IND NYK USA IN
I don’t miss either of my previous teams

On his 3rd team and 5th coach in the NBA, it’s awesome to see the former #2 pick start to come around.  There has been a lot of hard work and he’s taken advantage of his newfound opportunity.  He’s also finally at the age where NBA players have figured out who they are and start to really play to their strengths.

Coach Of the Year

Brad Stevens (narrow victory over Brett Brown)

Stevens Kyrie Horf
Guys, it’s fine.  You’re playing for a real coach now.  

He’s the best coach in the game right now.  D’Antoni is the offensive guru, Thibodeaux has the reputation on the defensive side.  Stevens is the guy who does it on both ends.  It doesn’t matter who is in the lineup, he finds ways to get his players in position to win games.  And that is what coaching is all about.

D’Antoni has 2 Team USA guys, 1 of them being the MVP this year.  He’s impressive, but not the best coach.  Dwane Casey is in a similar boat. 2 Team USA guys and DeRozan is entering his prime, so his coaching vote gets diluted.

Stevens had Kyrie and Horford, but they lost Gordon Hayward on opening night!  Read that again.  Name another coach who has lost his best players for as many games as Stevens has this year…Frank Vogel, think about that.  Semi Ojeleye, Jaylen Brown, Daniel Thies, Shane Larkin, Aron Baynes, Terry Rozier, Marcus Morris, and Marcus Smart all looked better this year because of the coach.  Not the other way around.

Brett Brown Fist
Didn’t sleep on all those couches over the years just to get tossed right before the entire roster finally got healthy

Brett Brown is fantastic, as well.  He survived some of the worst NBA seasons and kept his players engaged.  Even when they were losing, they played extremely hard.  And they played the right way.  Anyone who has watched a game during his tenure can attest to that.  It’s refreshing to see an ownership group do what’s best for the players and not make a rash decision regarding their bottom line.  Brett Brown/Sam Hinkie are the prime example of perseverance.  They stuck to their plan, created a winning culture, and were given enough of a leash (well, one of them) to let the team develop organically.  Kudos to the 76ers owners (except that you got rid of the guy who designed the entire plan) for sticking through it.

Media Rookie Of the Year

Ben Falk

Ben Falk
I have also scrubbed the internet so this is the only image you’ll find on google’s 1st page

His site is awesome.  They keep adding new content and contributors and if he doesn’t want to get hired by a team, he’ll have a huge following by the time next season rolls around.  Great work.

Media Most Valuable Player

Zach Lowe

Z Lowe Beer
1 thing we like about this beer, perfect amount of hops and barley.  Which is an underrated duo.  You should see their on/off splits.  No taste without them.  No color.  The rest of the ingredients result in hot dog water with them not involved.

ZLowe works the phones more than people know.  He’s constantly reaching out to sources to get the correct information, not just throwing stuff at the wall.  Fabulous writing style and well timed subject matter.  Zach, you’re great.  We meant that.

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