The 2009 NBA season has been a year of great promise and terrible injury. Many players like Brandon Roy and Kevin Durant are showing the NBA what they are all about, but then there is the Andrew Bynums and Greg Odens who can't seem to stay healthy long enough to make a deep impact.
The first award being handed out is to the athletic trainer of the year. Now in most seasons I would actually do some sort of extensive research on which teams have had the least amount of injury and which young players have built their bodies into the NBA caliber that is required.
Not this year though, this year I decided to actually look at the trainer, and only judge that. A man who at one point was looking like he celebrated fat Tuesday every week of the month but now can swim laps in his team polo. Here is what I mean...
...And the winner for most outstanding athletic trainer goes to...
Detroit Pistons head trainer Mike Abdenour.
The next award is more serious, it is currently being defended by San Antonio's stud guard Manu Ginobili. Manu has a definite case for the award this year, but injury troubles has left him with only memories of last year’s award.
This year however, Jason Terry of the Dallas Mavericks is averaging close to 20 points per game, and always sparks the team when entering from the pine. Another case could be made for Richard RIP Hamilton, but not enough time spent coming off the bench and the fact that he is really a starter and it was an experiment leaves him out of the running.
Nate Robinson has been coming off the bench this year for Chris Duhon and is averaging 17.6 per game, and recently has been tearing it up on the glass as well. The two finalists are Nate Robinson and Jason Terry.
...And the sixth man of the year award goes to...
Jason Terry of the Dallas Mavericks
The next award is a staple of hard work and development of the game. Hedu Turkoglu set the standard for this last year and took home the Most Improved Player Award.
This year it's a contest between three deserving players. The first player is a quality young talent for the Indiana Pacers, Danny Granger. He has improved his scoring six points per game this year and has elevated himself into a top player in the league.
The next player is young power house for the New York Knicks, David Lee. Lee has improved six points per game and three rebounds, a serious contender for this award.
Finally, Kevin Durant of the OKC Thunder has proven to the world that he is an all star player and will be for a long time to come. The trend continue with increasing six points per game, but Durant seems to have grown into himself, a much more confident player.
The award was judged by overall progress in the player’s game and development. It was a very tough decision, but the Most Improved Player of the 2009 season goes to...
David Lee of the New York Knick.
The next award is an Ari Wagner creation, I figured if there is a defensive player of the year award then I need to give out an offensive player of the year award. Since this is a new award, no one is currently holding the honor so this will be the first ever recipient of the Ari Wagner Offensive Player of the Year Award.
The three top candidates are Dwayne Wade, Chris Paul and LeBron James.
Wade has the current scoring title and seems to explode to the basket on ever play, making himself an offensive threat with his ability to drive shoot and kick the ball out to open teammates.
James is much like Wade in every way, averaging around the same amount of points and assist per game and both can hit from range and drive to the hoop.
Chris Paul gives his own points away to his teammates, and leads the league in assist per game. He too can dive and shoot, but is not as explosive of an inside scorer and the previous two candidates.
The winner of the First Ever Ari Wagner Offensive Player of the Year Award goes to...
Dwayne Wade of the Miami Heat.
Now to the other end of the ball, the D-(insert picket fence). Kevin Garnett currently reigns supreme and holds the 2008 title, but this year is a whole new ball game. Garnett has fallen out of the race, leaving only two players who really deserve the award.
Dwight Howard who collects ample defensive rebounds and is a beast in the lane, he currently leads the league in blocked shots by 43 blocks over second place Turiaf.
Chris CP3 Paul is a good on ball defender and a great off the ball defender, also able to pick up some rebounds for a guard be he is known as the master thief of the NBA. CP3 leads the league in steals by 17 over second place Jason Kidd who has played five more games than Paul.
The defensive player of the year award goes to...
Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic
The next award is given to the best rookie of the year; this award has been taken home by players who almost always turn into stars in the league. It creates confidence in the player’s game and lets the world know who they are, especially the average sports fan.
Brook Lopez and Derrick Rose have had exceptional rookie campaigns and are definitely quality runner-ups for this award. Earlier in the season they were both serious contenders, but then two stars stared to shine just a little brighter.
O.J. Mayo of the Memphis Grizz took it to the next level this year, he is putting up 19 points per game, three assist and is shooting just under 90 percent from the free-throw line. He has elevated his name and game and everyone has been watching.
OKC Thunder guard Russell Westbrook has burst on the scene lately, with 16 points per game and five assist and rebounds along with 1.5 steals, he is an all around baller.
The rookie of the year for 2009 goes to...
Russell Westbrook of the OKC Thunder.
The next award goes to the man behind the marker and white board, drawing up play after play and dealing with over paid player after player. Has to wear a suit and tie to every game while his soldiers wear shots and tank tops. The credit must be handed out where the credit is due, and this guy earns it 100 percent.
Rick Adelman of the Houston Rockets has overcome injury to star players, and key role players and still has his team in the thick of the Western Conference. He deals with Ron Artest and Tracy McGrady on a daily basis, and his 9'0'' former number on pick is just a big softy.
Without any completion Adelman wins 2009 Coach of the Year by a landslide.
Now for the major award of the year, the most valuable player in the NBA award. This award has had a bad decade, given out to Dirk one year when he flopped hard in the playoffs and twice to Steve Nash who might have deserved it once.
Closing this decade of MVPs out strong is a must, and we've got a good start with Kobe taking it home last year.
This year’s candidates are as follows:
Dwayne Wade of the Miami Heat, for most of the same reasons I mentioned for offensive player of the year. He leads the league in points per game and has a very respectable seven assist per game.
He elevates his team and his players to play hard every night and will get the best out of his team.
LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers has been scoring 28 points per game and dishing out seven assist and gathering seven rebounds, not to mention stalking his prey down the court just to smash their lay up into the backboard.
A lot of talk has been around Mo Williams and how key he is for the team, but really LeBron and his elevated play and dedication is what is really making the difference.
Kobe Bryant of the LA Lakers, Kobe has also been scoring 28 per game, and dishing five and rebounding at least 5 times a game. Although the thing about Kobe this year that is different from last year is the race. He had to race Chris Paul for MVP and for 1st in the West, but this year it's just Kobe being Kobe.
I know it is hard to fault him for that, and I’m not trying to, just that the drama is not there like it was last year, and the other two candidates have better numbers.
The MVP of the 2009 season is....
LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers.