This has been a great NBA season but on Saturday the real season begins. Before the playoffs start, media members nationally will cast their ballots for all the NBA awards. If I had a ballot, this is what it would look like.
Most Valuable Player: Stephen Curry – Curry’s been the best player all season. He’s improved his scoring averaging by 6.1 points a game and could be the first player ever to make 400 threes in a season.
Coach of the Year: Gregg Popovich – In any other season 65 wins would win the western conference. The Spurs were the 2nd best team in the NBA this season. The award would go to Kerr if he didn’t miss nearly the first half of the season.
Rookie of the Year: Karl-Anthony Towns – Town was the best rookie wire to wire. He led all rookies in scoring at 18.2 points per game and 10.7 rebounds per game.
Most Improved Player: CJ McCollum –McCollum’s role increased and he responded by improving his scoring average by 14 points per game helping to lead the Blazers to a surprising run to the playoffs.
Sixth Man of the Year: Evan Turner –Turner does so much for the Celtics off the bench that doesn’t so up in the box score. Click here to see the post that makes the case for Evan Turner
Defensive Player of the Year: Draymond Green – It was a tough call between DeAndre Jordan and Green. The deciding factor was the on/off numbers. Green’s defensive on/off the court difference over 100 possessions difference is 12.1 to Jordan’s 0.9. Tough to argue with that stat.
All – NBA 1st Team
G: Stephen Curry – the MVP easily gets this spot.
G: Chris Paul – With Griffin missing 46 games, Paul carried the Clippers to another 50-win season.
F: Kawhi Leonard –Leonard does it all on both ends of the floor for the Spurs and does it well. The Spurs are the second best team in the NBA and he’s my MVP runner-up.
F: LeBron James – Despite the up and down season the Cavs have the best record in the East, could never have done it without James.
C: Draymond Green – Curry is the MVP but Green is the heart of Warriors, his playmaking ability makes their small lineup the most dangerous in the NBA.
All – NBA 2nd Team
G: Russell Westbrook – 18 Triple-Doubles, nothing more needs to be said.
G: Damien Lillard – after the Blazers lost 4 starters, Lillard has led them to a surprising run to the playoffs and is officially the face of the franchise.
F: Kevin Durant – after missing most of last season with injuries, Durant has come back in full swing averaging 28.1 points per game.
F: Paul Millsap – One half of Atlanta’s dynamic duo, Millsap is averaging career highs in assists and rebounds. He’s a plus 4.2 in defensive plus/minus points over a 100 possessions.
C: DeAndre Jordan – 2nd in the league in blocks and rebounds, my runner up Defensive Player of the year. He also is shooting 70.2% from the field while keeping the Clippers afloat in Griffin’s absence.
All – NBA 3rd Team
G: Klay Thompson – Thompson often has to defend the opponents best perimeter players and still manages to have the energy to shoot 42.5% from three also had four 40 point games.
G: Kyle Lowry – Lowry is the leader of the 2nd best team in the East who had a franchise record 55 wins with one game to go.
F: Paul George – If there were a comeback of the year award, it would be George’s hands down. He came back from the most bone chilling injury since Shaun Livingston’s to average a career high 23.9 points a game while also averaging 4.2 assists for the Pacers.
F: Jae Crowder – Crowder has been the most consistent Celtic all year, he is shooting a career high from three and improved his scoring average seven points to 14.2.
C: Andre Drummond –Drummond has been phenomenal this season averaging 16 points and 14.8 rebounds per game. He also leads the league in double-doubles (66) and helped the Pistons end their playoff drought.
As always there will be a few players that will be snubbed when it comes the All-NBA team. In these rankings Anthony Davis, James Harden, and DeMarcus Cousins despite having the numbers to be named on an All-NBA team have all been snubbed by me.
- Davis was the hardest to leave off but looking at his numbers and seeing his numbers dip from blocks per game to field goal percentage. Not to mention that he only played in 61 games.
- Cousins has been suspended this season by the team as well as the league. He has all the tools necessary to be a top five player in the league but has not been able to keep his temper and emotions in check.
- Harden is an offensive beast but it is his apathy towards the defensive end that makes it hard to place him on an All-NBA team. The play below is becoming too common of an occurrence.
Karl Anthony Towns – The clear rookie of the year with a very high ceiling for the Wolves. A type of player Minnesota fans can get excited about for years to come.
Kristaps Prozingis – The Knicks finally have found a young piece to build around, despite hitting a rookie wall during the season, Porzingis is proving that he can be a future star.
D’Angelo Russell – A rocky end for Russell doesn’t diminish what he can do for the Lakers, early on he was able to make plays for his teammates. Check out this post about him.
Emmanuel Mudiay – One of the many youngsters the Nuggets can get excited about, led all rookies in assists and has plenty of room to grow.
Nikola Jokic – 4th in rebounding among rookies at 6.9, is part of the promising rookie class the Nuggets have had this season. Click here to see the post about the Nuggets future.
It has been an amazing season, the Warriors on the verge of a record breaking 73 wins, the Spurs tied the 86′ Celtics’ home 40-1 record, and Kobe’s farewell tour are just a few of the things that has made this season an amazing one from start to finish. Hopefully the playoffs will give us even more excitement.