A Look Ahead: 2011 NBA Awards
Now through the midpoint of the 2010-2011 NBA season, its time to look ahead and make my predictions on who will take home the most prestigious awards in the NBA.
NBA Most Valuable Player
NBA Most Improved Player
NBA Defensive Player of the Year
NBA Rookie of the Year
NBA Sixth Man of the Year
NBA Coach of the Year
The MVP Goes To ...
Yes, LeBron might have taken his talents to South Beach, but, Mr. Stoudemire's talents might very well win him the NBA Most Valuable Player award.
Yes, the good ol' Knickerbockers are back. Amare Stoudemire has Knicks' fans excited for the first time since the legendary Patrick Ewing. Amare brings that energy and intensity to the New York Knicks that desperately need some sort of spark after failing to win a playoff game since 2001.
Amare has improved his mid-range jump shot and is always able to get that first step on his defender and flush it home with a rim rattling jam. Amare has set career highs in, points per game (26.1), assists per game (2.7), and blocks per game (2.3).
Not only can Amare simply take over on any given night, but, he also makes the players around him much better, such as, Raymond Felton a contender for Most Improved Player.
A very close second: Derrick Rose
The Most Improved Player Goes To ...
Although there may not be a lot of things going on in Minnesota sports wise, Kevin Love is one thing that Timberwolves fans should be excited about.
Time to be honest now, in the beginning of the season, if anyone would have told me that Kevin Love would be leading the league in rebounding and in double-doubles, I would have strongly suggested for you to check yourself in a mental hospital.
Averaging a double-double last season, i do agree that Kevin Love was no doubt a good player, however, Love made the transition from being a good player to a great player which is very impressive.
Love is setting career highs in, points per game (21.1), rebounds per game (15.8), minutes per game (36.7), three-point percentage (43.5), and field goal percentage (45.9). While the Timberwolves may not be getting any better, Love will be a great player in the league for a while to come.
A Close Second: Eric Gordon
The Rookie Of The Year Goes To ...
This is the easy part, Blake Griffin will win the Rookie of the Year Award, what else is new?
This guy is just a freak of nature. Arguably the most athletic and entertaining player in the league Blake Griffin is a monster.
Griffin is no doubt the player that the Clippers will build their franchise around. The Clippers already have a few talented pieces to the puzzle their just not their yet. He still has some work to do on his mid-range jump shot and he will only continue to get better. Averaging a staggering 21.8 points per game and 12.7 rebounds per game, along with three ESPN top plays he is hands down the rookie of the year.
A Far Second: John Wall
The Sixth Man Of The Year Goes To ...
Jamal Crawford has a very good chance of defending his Sixth Man of the Year and repeating again in 2011.
Crawford gives the Hawks that spark of the bench and is key if the Hawks' want to make a splash in the playoffs.
Especially with the injury to Joe Johnson, Crawford is becoming a bigger part of the offense each and every game. He has been key in the surging Hawks' five game winning streak all of which he scored 20+ points.
A Close Second: Jason Terry
The Defensive Player Of The Year Goes To ...
The Mavericks have been something else this year and Tyson Chandler is the reason why.
Not only can the Mavericks light it up on the offensive side of the court, but, they've been among the best in the league on defense allowing only 94.2 points per game.
Chandler is strong and lengthy and has great ability to block shots. I guess that old Wilt Chamberlin quote is might be true "Offense wins games, defense wins championship"
A Very Close Second: Andrew Bogut
A Very Close Third: Dwight Howard
The Coach Of The Year Goes To ...
from an 9-8 record to the hottest team in the NBA, Erik Spoelstra deserves to be the Coach of the Year.
Spoelstra was put in a really tough situation in the beginning of the 2010-2011 season. As a coach for the Heatles, when things go wrong your going to get the heat. You know the saying " if you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen," in this case it's "if you can't stand the heat get out of Miami." One thing about Spoelstra is that he can sure handle the heat.
Spoelstra was thrown under the bus collectively, by the players and the fans. You heard the talented Mr. James criticize Spoelstra for playing him to much and the Heat calling a players only meeting. All signs were pointing that Spoelstra was going to get the boot, however, in the short amount of time that he had he turned the Heat into an immediate title contending team.
That is just how it works, your team hits a bump in the road and the Head Coach is always the first name to come out of every ones mouths, but, when you turn everything around you barely get any credit for it.
A Close Second: Gregg Popovich