Individual awards in sports are discussed so much that we forget that they mean nothing more than a title and an incentive in the athletes contract…
Who am I kidding, individual awards are everything, especially in the NBA a sport in which on any given night one guy can put the team on his back and lead them to glory. The kind of machismo moments only a sport like basketball can provide – rim rattling dunks, buzzer beaters, never ceasing trash-talk and lots of stare downs. In my opinion these guys will be the best of the best.
Defensive Player of the Year
Dwight Howard C Magic (For Now.) Even if he’s not trying, Dwight will probably block more than 2 shots a game and rebound in the double digits as well. He’s won the last 3, so he might as well be the favorite again.
Tyson Chandler C NYK. Remember when KG came to the Celtics and everyone preached about him changing the “defensive culture” of the Celtics and he won DPOTY off of that logic like it was some kind of bizarre campaign slogan? Tyson Chandler has the same opportunity with the Knicks.
LeBron James F Heat. He’s the best defender in the league, plain and simple. Could easily win the award if he wants to. Last year he had the lowest opponent FG pct of any player.
Tony Allen G Grizzlies. Had a coming out party in the Playoffs last year by his ability to play guys of virtually any size. Best exemplified by the Oklahoma City series where he would put the clamps down on the 6 foot 3 inch Russell Westbrook and then switch out on the 6 foot 10 inch Kevin Durant and fluster him as well. Made the all NBA defensive team last year and finished 5th in defensive player of the year voting. I recommend you follow his twitter, @aa000G9, I don’t know what it means and I’m willing to bet he doesn’t either. Read his tweets, you’ll catch my drift.
Others: DeAndre Jordan,
This could be total homerism, but I’m going with Rajon Rondo. The Celtics are going to have to play in the low 90′s if they want to win games. Rajon is going to be pressing all game long to try and create instant offense for a team desperate to try and score points. We saw it versus the Knicks where he got 5 steals off of pure aggressiveness and anticipation. I think Rajon can potentially steal 3 balls a game this season and we all know how good of a rebounder he is for his size. He’s the heart and soul of that defense now, not Garnett
Most Improved Player
DeAndre Jordan C Clippers. Guy was just given a 4 year 40 plus million dollar contract after averaging just 7 points and 5 rebounds last year. The high flyer has a high ceiling one that should be reached with those 5 point guards they now have. Jordan averaged 1.8 blocks per game in just about 25 minutes of action per game last season and will be a legit contender for DPOTY. Watch this video it’s pretty cool, pay attention to how Jordan and Caron Butler realize they can’t be pumped because they have to care about Eric Gordon’s feelings. Then notice how Blake Griffin only cares about winning.
Evan Turner (SG Sixers) and John Wall (PG Wizards). After pretty disappointing rookie years, the #2 and #1 pick in the 2010 draft need to take the next step. Will be tough for Turner as he is stuck behind Jodie Meeks, but if he plays like Evan Turner can, he instantly becomes the best player on a potential playoff team. Wall is the franchise and should he make the Wizards relevant will be a definite front runner.
To find a dark horse Most Improved Player, one must scavenger the depth charts of nearly every team in the league because honestly an award like this is 100 % based upon being given an opportunity and seizing it.
Beasley likes to smoke the Pot. Via Basketball Jones
Lately the award has been more about taking your game to the next level and winning than going from a 4 PPG to a 15 PPG on a bad team. I wanted to pick Greg Oden, but alas he had a setback. ( I know shocking right?) Guys like DeMar Derozen, Jerryd Bayless, Eric Gordon and Marcus Thornton aren’t going to win it on a losing team. A Denver Nuggets player could be a potential winner; either Aaron Afflalo, Ty Lawson or Danillo Gallinari will play at an all-star level. I like Lawson the most of the three but I feel like he may have already arrived and may not get consideration. I like Michael Beasley to follow Kevin love’s example under the well respected Rick Adelman. Another dark horse is the Magic’s Ryan Anderson.
I like every guy I mentioned, I’m even tempted to go with Rondo again but its got to be DeAndre Jordan. He’s the Clippers only big and I’d nominate myself if I was playing with he-who-must-not-be-named. (Not Voldemort.)
Rookie of the Year
Kyrie Irving PG Cavaliers. He is the Cleveland Cavaliers, he will have all the opportunity in the world to fail/succeed. I’m skeptical, I’m not sure how much a 19 year old kid who missed most of his college career will fare as the savior
I have a facebook friend in common with Kyrie, so I can poke him. You jelly? Via the AP
with out a training camp. Also back-up Ramon Sessions will steal a lot of minutes if Byron Scott is trying to win games, which after all is what coaches try to do.
Kemba Walker PG Bobcats. Which is why I like this guy, DJ Augustin is still the starter, but Kemba is older and I like his ability to transition with out training camp better than Kyrie.
This guys not really a dark horse anymore, Norris Cole arrived tonight vs. the Celtics. He has the confidence and swagger that only comes with staying 4 years in college. (He’s only 3 years younger than LeBron! )Winning matters a lot to these voters, it may be enough to swing the vote for Cole. (P.S. Really can’t wait for all the rappers to drop this guy’s name in their songs. (i.e. J. Cole for name reasons and every other rapper seems to be a Heat fan.)
I really want to go with a Timberwolf, but it appears Luke Ridnour and JJ Barea will take too many of Ricky Rubio’s minutes and the same goes for Derrick Williams who is playing behind Wesley Johnson, Michael Beasley and Kevin Love. (Anthony Randolph also still lingers.) I want to pick Norris Cole but all I see is a young Eddie House, I’m picking Kemba, but if Derrick Williams gets the minutes its his award to lose.
James Harden G/F OKC. The guy may not start but everyone knows he finishes. Picked 3rd in the draft a few years back, Harden is selfless and comes off the bench to be the guy. Every team wishes they had the luxury of a bench scorer like Harden. If
This would be the background of BeantownSwag had Danny pried Harden away in the Perkins deal like he originally wanted.
this was the Wire, (I love the Wire, go watch it) he’d be Royce… there is no way he should lose, but he just might if someone is willing to sell his soul to dethrone him. (Carcetti.)
Brandon Bass PF Celtics. Acquired from the Magic for Glen Davis and Von Wafer, he is deadly in the pick and pop with Rondo already and will only get better the more he plays with him. He is literally the Celtics bench offense, unless Keyon Dooling is left wide open.
The Mavericks. It must be so fun watching this team scrimmage. Arguably their bench is better than their starting lineup. For example, tonight Lamar Odom, Jason Terry and Vince Carter came off the bench while Delonte West, Shawn Marion and Jason Kidd started. If I had told you which three started would you have honestly known or would you have guessed haphazardly? Terry and Odom are always contenders for this award. (I understand they’re not playing well right now.)
Well there are a lot of rookies playing bench roles that I already mentioned, but again that problem called not-winning (Sheening) lingers ominously. Could this be Norris Cole’s opportunity to get some hardward? My dark horse is Psycho-T, Tyler Hansbrough, I think Indiana is going to be a very good team and he thrives off of being on a winning team.
I’m taking Harden. #FearTheBeard
Coach of the Year and Executive of the Year
Favorite/ Dark Horse
None this things a crap-shoot, Jerry Sloan never won one, Sam Mitchell has. If you exceed expectations you are a contender. The other way of course is winning your conference.
I’d pick Pacers coach Frank Vogel, but I think the Pacers will get an award and it will be given to Larry Bird for executive of the Year. (I don’t think Neil Olshey deserves it for the Clippers as that was more Stern’s doing than his.) I think Doc Rivers and Gregg Popovich will get a lot of credit for keeping their teams relevant, but I’m picking Nuggets coach George Karl who will continue to blend his young talent perfectly and will create a winner.
(You’ll notice the MVP format is a lot different than the other awards, I started these before the season started and got side tracked. I like the other format better. (Hence why I put it last, it looks and sounds like poop, but why revise.)
Most Valuable Player
Criteria: Not necessarily the best statistical player, but the guy that means the most to a winning team’s success.
- Lebron James
- Dwayne Wade
- Kevin Durant
- Derek Rose
- Chris Paul
- Rajon Rondo
- Kobe Bryant
- Carmelo Anthony
- Dirk Nowitzki
I think Harden and Westbrook take away some of Durant’s shots resulting in Melo winning the scoring title. Melo will pair that title with close to 10 boards a game. The Knicks inferiority to the Heat and Bulls as well as sharing the scoring load with Amare Stoudemire will eliminate him from winning however. Lebron and Wade share the same dynamic as last year which I feel will wrongly cost LeBron the MVP yet again. The Celtics finishing 4th will keep Rondo out of the MVP talk and Kobe’s there just as a tribute to his legacy. Chris Paul’s the real x-factor, but I think Rose will edge him and Durant whose team’s record will make him the challenger and will repeat as MVP of the NBA. (Everyone always forgets about Dirk . )
In sum, there will be a lot of deserving guys for MVP this year but this is how they will finish.
- Derek Rose
- Kevin Durant
- Carmelo Anthony
- Lebron James
- Chris Paul
Review of the Picks
MVP= Derek Rose
DPOTY= Rajon Rondo
COTY= George Karl
EOTY= Larry Bird
ROTY= Kemba Walker,
6th Man= James Harden
If you read my previous predictions, you’d know I picked a Heat-Thunder NBA Finals like nearly everyone else. I got the Heat.
Thanks for reading, would love to hear comments or if you shared the link!
P.S. I think Dwayne Wade is the best player in the NBA and I didn’t give him any love at all. Awards are odd.