Awards season is still a ways away, but that doesn't mean that it's too early to identify a few of the surprise dark horses for this year's set of NBA awards.
At this point in the season, we have a pretty firm grasp on who the favorites are for each award. LeBron James for MVP, Damian Lillard for Rookie of the Year—we've heard the names quite a few times by now.
What's much more interesting are the names that we haven't heard quite so much. These are the guys who aren't being talked about much now but who very well could end up taking home the hardware after a late-season push.
Let's break it all down.
All stats accurate as of Jan. 2, 2013.