The season is winding down, and with almost 80% of the basketball regular season out of the way I feel like the season awards are set in stone. Other than MIP( most improved player), I feel like there is a clear winner in each category.Other than the Lakers, I feel like this season has gone mostly as expected: Lebron and the Heat dominate, Charlotte, Orlando and Phoenix are laughers, and Amare hurts his knee.
So yeah, here are my award winners:
MVP: Lebron James( Miami Heat). No explanation needed. He somehow gets better every year, and is off the charts in terms of efficiency . Nothing this guy can’t do. Maybe his best season yet.
ROY: Damian Lillard( Portland Trailblazers) . This feels like a no brainer pick to me as well. I really do think that Anthony Davis will turn out to be the franchise cornerstone/superstar that he was slated to be, but it will take him some time. Lillard on the other hand came right into the league and didn’t skip a beat. He’s averaging an impressive 19 points a game on 43% from the field and 35.5% from the arc , while dishing out 6.5 assists a game to boot. From what I’ve read/heard he plays very little defense, but that’s OK because the Blazers don’t either . At his size, its hard to ever really contribute that much on defense and as long as he continues to fill it up and dish em’ out, he will be a very good NBA player. defense is about effort anyway and as the Balzers add depth and talent around Lillard, Aldridge, and Batum they will all care about getting stops…until then, fire away.
COY: Greg Popovich( San Antonio Spurs). What is there to say? The Spurs are going to be either the one or two seed when this season is all said and done. While Tony Parker may deserve more credit for that than anyone, its hard to deny that Pop is still the best coach in the league. While it is true that any good coach can’t win much without talented players, what Pop has done in SA is really amazing. He has had his big three of Duncan, Parker , and Ginobli for a decade, but the way he has been able to seamlessly fit talent around them with many people nobody has ever heard of is unheard of. Guys like Matt Bonner, Danny Green, and Dejuan Blair all owe him half of their next contract in my opinion. Guys like Stephen Jackson have had their careers rejuvenated because of him. Tim Duncan isn’t effected by father time because of him. I don’t think the Spurs are good enough to beat Miami, but no reason to think that they can’t make the NBA finals and win close to 60 games…again.
MIP: JJ Hickson( Portland Trailblazers). Part of me wanted to give this to Grievous Vasquez, but I just think what Hickson has done is more impressive. Although Hickson put up good numbers last season, he only played in 19 games so we can’t really say that he played enough last year to cal it a ” season “. The season before that in Sacramento , he only played in 35 games and it was atrocious, probably through no fault of his own. Before that he only played in 50 something games and put up modest numbers. This season he has played in 61 games while putting up 13.5 points and 10.5 rebounds a game. Maybe it would be better to call him the comeback player of the year, but there aren’t any awards for that . Cleveland will probably live to regret letting this guy get away.
LVP: The Least Valuable Player award goes to the player who plays significant minutes to a team, but in reality contributes very little or actually hurts the overall performance of his team by being out there. This years award goes to “useless” Kendrick Perkins. He does practically nothing, and gets paid more than everyone in Cameroon combined. I’d rather have Kwame Brown.
DPOTY: Joakim Noah( Chicago Bulls) The Defensive Player of the year award isn’t quite as clear cut as the MVP, LVP, or ROY because so much on the defensive end goes unnoticed. Rotating, altering a shot, or contesting a jumper doesn’t show up on a stat sheet. The reason that I would pick Joakim over someone like Tyson Chandler are because Chicago is one of the leagues best defenses consistently under Thibs, and Noah is without a doubt their anchor. He is their energy guy, and always gives 110%. Also, just like the MVP goes to the most important player on one of the best teams, so should the DPOTY. The Bulls are on pace to be on of the top seeds in the East, and this is without Derrick Rose, their best player and a former MVP. The reason they are having this success is because of their defense. They are one of the worst offenses in the league, so their success hinges on being one of top 5 defenses in the NBA…They are, and Noah is the driving force behind it.