NBA Midseason Awards: The Obvious, The Overrated, and The Obscure
Halfway already? Hard to believe. We've seen drooling over the King, Larry Brown's return, and Oklahoma City being a factor. We've seen Shaq as a role player, Shaq as a problem resolver (see dunk contest), and Shaq as a home wrecker. Was that too soon?
Now Let us see where we stand halfway through the basketball year...
MVP: King James, hands down. He has averaged 29.6/7.2/7.8, while shooting 51 percent from the field. The Cavaliers have only him to thank for their first place standing in the Eastern Conference. Dunk contest or not, he still is the best player in the league.
Rookie of the Year: I see it no other way. Tyreke Evans. He is leading all rookies in points per game, 20.8, and all rookie guards in rebounds, 5.0. John Calipari's one-and-done point guards strike again.
Defensive Player of the Year: This award is hard to choose. It is based less on statistics (in some cases) and more on "what you see." But, I have to give it to Dwight Howard. 13.3 Rebounds per game (NBA lead), and 2.5 blocks per game (NBA lead), 'nuff said; hard to argue.
Coach of the Year: Scott Brooks, OKC Thunder. He is putting the team on the map and into the playoffs.
The "Shooter of the Year" Award
Gilbert Arenas is the NBA's Plaxico Burress: he had a gun. He took the activity of show-and-tell too far. The days of him spotting up at half-court and playing seven games vs. the Cavs in the playoffs are gone. He is going to jail.
Will he have to prove himself like Michael Vick? Who knows? But it kills me to see talent being diminished because they couldn't observe the law.
The "Yao Ming Galvanizing" Award
If you look in the crowd at Kings' games, Israeli flags are not so hard to find. Omri Casspi has brought a whole country into the game. As a Jew, I can say that seeing Casspi play, and having a representative in the association is truly inspiring. The kid is good; watch out for him.
The "Old Dogs, Old Tricks" Award
One NCAA and one NBA on his resume. Larry Brown is now in his third year removed from coaching the kingdom in the palace (Detroit Pistons), and has missed two straight postseasons. He and the Bobcats are fifth in the Eastern Conference right now, and it looks like they're in the playoffs to stay. Welcome back.
Just check out the video.
The "Second Round (Serbian) Sleeper" Award
Jonas Jerebko was the 39th pick in the draft. He is now averaging 8.4 ppg/ 5.4 rpg, while shooting 47 percent from the field. This Swedish native hopes to be the next big thing. But first, he just wants to taste the playoffs.
The "Better Luck Next Year" Award
I would give this award to the whole franchise, but I am not that truthful. The Clippers luck is so bad, that Charles Barkley could bet against them and win. Blake Griffin was their savior. The franchise does, however, get the "Better Luck Next Year Award." I would give them their own slide, but I am scared of my computer crashing.
The "Beast" Award
This award goes to the player that most defies the spirit of the rule, mandating that a player wait a year from graduationg high school, before going to the NBA. He is a beast. No other words.
He is leading the undefeated Wildcats, to what should be a number one overall spot in the polls, after a Texas loss. He looks to be the third one-and-done in the John Calipari system, after Derrick Rose, and the aforementioned Tyreke Evans. Averaging 17.1 ppg, 6.9 apg, 2.1 spg, and shooting 50 percent from the field. John Wall is a household name, and will be for years.