NBA Award Predictions 2010-2011: Who Will Get the Hardware?
The 2010-2011 NBA season promises to be one of the most interesting in recent memory, with an exciting batch of newcomers and a major restructuring of the league, but which players will stand-out and who will disappoint?
In the 2009-2010 season Houston Rockets guard Aaron Brooks received the award for Most Improved.
Jamal Crawford, in close contention with Manu Ginobli and Lamar Odom, picked up the award for "6th Man".
Superman Dwight Howard received the Defensive Player of the Year Award, receiving a large majority of the vote.
Tyreke Evans, guard for the Sacramento Kings, received the Rookie of the Year award.
King Lebron James was awarded "Most Valuable Player", beating out Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, and Kevin Durant.
But in the 2010-2011 season, who will be taking home the hardware?
Rookie of the Year: John Wall
Al Bello/Getty Images
Rookie of the Year predictions are always tricky. There are always questions about whether a player can transition from college ball to the NBA, but this year there is little question as to who the stand-out will be.
John Wall, the 6-4 guard out of University of Kentucky is the most anticipated newcomer of the 2010-2011 season. As a freshman, Wall had an average of 16.6 points per game and 6.5 assists.
For being described as a "pure pointguard", Wall's outstanding athleticism makes it easy for him to both distribute and create his own shots. He is great court vision, and is devoted to working on both ends of the court.
The only roadblocks Wall may have to becoming the 2010-2011 ROY would be the performances of fellow rookies DeMarcus Cousins (drafted to the Sacramento Kings) and Evan Turner (drafted to the 76ers).
Defensive Player of the Year: Dwight Howard
Orlando Magic Center, Dwight Howard, was awarded the Defensive Player of the Year Award in both the 2008-2009 season and the 2009-2010 season, making him only the seventh player in NBA history to receive the award in consecutive seasons.
Last year the 6-11 center lead the league in both most rebounds per game (13.2), and most blocked shots per game (2.78).
Howard won the award with an outstanding 110 votes out of a possible 122, and the center shows no signs of slowing down. Howard will go into the 2010-2011 season as the most key defensive player in the league.
Sixth Man: Lamar Odom
Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images
The Lakers forward, Lamar Odom will win the NBA sixth man award for the 2010-2011 season. Last year, Odom lost out to Jamal Crawford, and was voted fourth overall, behind Manu Ginobli and Jason Terry.
However, as was evidenced in the 2009-2010 season, Odom is a crucial cog in the Laker system. The 31-year old provides even more depth to the Laker roster, coming off the bench to provide defensive toughness in the key.
Odom is by far the most crucial non-starter in the league, and he will serve an important for Los Angeles in their pursuit for another NBA championship.
Most Valuable Player: Kobe Bryant
Noel Vasquez/Getty Images
In the 2009-2010 season, Bryant was passed over for the Most Valuable Player award for Lebron James, despite a dominant performance in winning his fifth NBA championship with the Lakers.
But this year, with Lebron's move to the Miami Heat, where he will be playing alongside fellow standouts Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade, things will be different. No one can know whether the Miami trio will be a boon or a bust, but my guess is that the overload of talent will not prove as productive as the Lakers' lineup. Head Coach Phil Jackson has managed to assemble a rather unstoppable line-up, where the balance between players is near perfect. The Miami Heat, on the other hand, will have a lot of experimentation ahead of them.
For this reason, James may see his numbers fall throughout the 2010-2011 season, whereas Bryant can probably look forward to another most valuable player award.