Front-Runners for Each NBA Regular Season Award
Surely, a lot of things will change between now and the end of the NBA regular season, but some front-runners have already established themselves for each award that will be given out. Some new faces will finally see the spotlight, while some faces that we know all too well will remain illuminated.
Here are the leading candidates for the NBA's regular season awards.
Scoring Title: LeBron James, MIA SF
In a close match up among LeBron, Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant, I believe that LeBron James will take the scoring title. Kobe Bryant is currently averaging more PPG than him, but he's also been on a hot streak that could soon cool down. Durant, on the other hand, is taking less shots than he did in the last two seasons, when he won the scoring title.
Rookie of the Year: Ricky Rubio, MIN PG
It's going to come down to Ricky Rubio and Kyrie Irving—most people can agree on that.
I give Rubio the edge because what he has been bringing to the table for the Timberwolves is more important than what Kyrie is giving to the Cavaliers. Sure, he's a good scorer and the fans are excited about him, but Rubio is more of a franchise player. With passing skills that are truly once in a generation, he has been refueling his team. Rubio has been taking bigger steps at a quicker pace than Irving has.
Sixth Man of the Year: James Harden, OKG SG
The Sixth Man of the Year award is Harden's to lose and it's as simple as that. If he doesn't get injured or miraculously digress, he should win the award.
Defensive Player of the Year: Dwight Howard, ORL C
Blocks PG: 2.2
It's looking more and more like Dwight is on his way to yet another Defensive Player of the Year award. With prolific rebounding and blocking numbers, he presents a nightmare matchup, no matter whom the Orlando Magic are up against. It would be hard for anyone to surpass Dwight's achievements already, but if he gets that trade he's been looking for, who knows what could happen?
Coach of the Year: Scott Brooks, OKC
Again, this is Brooks' award to lose. The soaring Thunder sit atop the Western Conference, and with Russel Westbrook's game finally falling into a place, it's a good time to be on the Thunder.
Most Improved Player: Kyle Lowry, HOU PG
"Incredible" doesn't do justice to the way Houston Rockets PG Kyle Lowry has been playing. With the rare combination of rebounds and assists, the vast statistical improvements between last season and this, and the success of his team, who else could win this award?