It's become common practice for those of us in the amorphous blob referred to monolithically as the "sports media"—or, in the parlance of our times, the "sports blogosphere"—to cover and follow the NBA's litany of awards as if the players pursuing them are embroiled in a tunnel-visioned horse race.
From game to game, week to week and month to month, we track who's leading the MVP pack, who's hanging tough in the push for Defensive Player of the Year honors and which surprising rookies are gaining quickly among their incoming class.
As such, I've decided to take all this equestrian talk to heart and incorporate it into my regularly scheduled NBA awards odds. Also, I figured it'd be an appropriate tribute to Hollywood Park—the famous Inglewood racetrack located a mere stones throw from the Great Western Forum—which is due to shutter its gates for good this December.
For those of you unfamiliar with horse racing jargon, I'll list the odds-on favorites in each of six awards categories (Rookie of the Year, Most Improved Player, Sixth Man of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Coach of the Year and Most Valuable Player) next to "Win," those currently running second as "Place" and all others worth mentioning under "Show."
Now that we've got all the technical talk out of the way, let's see how the awards races are shaping up after a week of regular-season action.