NBA Regular Season Award Predictions
The NBA regular season is coming to a close in a few weeks and the Award races across the league are very tight. The majority of the debate for NBA fans has been based around the Most Valuable Player award for this year. Although this is the closest race, there are a number of other award races that can go a number of different ways.
Below, I've put together a list of predictions for this year's regular season awards.
MVP: Russell Westbrook (Thunder 42-31)
The MVP race this year is extremely close. James Harden and Russell Westbrook both are deserving of this award, but what Russell Westbrook has been able to do this season is beyond special. Westbrook is averaging a thirty point triple double while putting the Oklahoma City Thunder on his back and making them a tough match-up for pretty much anybody. You’re never out of a game with this guy, and this was exemplified earlier this week against the Dallas Mavericks.
Coach of The Year: Mike D’Antoni
Houston Rockets: 51-23, 3rd Seed In West
Mike D’Antoni has done an spectacular job this season with the Houston Rockets. James Harden is the perfect player for the offensive system that he runs and it has been working for them all season. D’Antoni has made the Rockets the clear 3rd seed in the Western Conference and their offensive fire power puts them up there with the best teams in the league. They shoot a ton of threes, and more times than not make them at a pretty consistent rate. Harden is having a career year and the Rockets are looking like a threat not only for this season, but for years to come.
Most Improved Player: Giannis Antetokounmpo
The Greek Freak this year has leveled up as an overall player. Over the past couple seasons we have seen his talent and what he has the potential to be, and this season he's made some great progress towards his superstar potential. Giannis is a match-up nightmare, and once he is able to become a more consistent jump shooter there is nothing defenders will be able to do with him.
Sixth Man of The Year: Lou Williams
Lou is a born scorer. On the Lakers he was putting up 18 points a game, leading the team in scoring off the bench. When the trade went down for him to join the Rockets he did not slow down at all. Even playing along with fellow Sixth Man of The Year candidate Eric Gordon, he is still dropping 15 points a game with the Rockets. Anywhere he goes he is going to give you buckets and if that was ever in question, this season has made it clear.
Rookie of The Year: Joel Embiid
This one is tricky. Due the limited action that Embiid has seen throughout this season, it would be understandable if he was not awarded the honor of Rookie of The Year. Despite this, he was dominant in pretty much every game that he played in, putting up 20 points and 8 rebounds a game while only averaging 25 minutes a night. If we’re basing this strictly off of play, Embiid is the clear choice. If there has to be someone else selected because of Embiid’s lack of play, it would likely go to Dario Saric, who is also on the Sixers and having an admirable year as a rookie.
Defensive Player of The Year: Draymond Green
For me, this is a three man race between Draymond Green, Rudy Gobert and Kawhi Leonard. Each player has a strong case for DPOY, but I’m going to have to go with Draymond. His versatility on the defensive end is unheard of, as he is able to switch and effectively defend pretty much all positions. Green leads the league in steals and despite being small for the power forward position has become a pretty good rim protector. This is one of the closer award races this season.
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