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NBA Award Race: Derrick Rose and the Top Candidates for Each Award

Christopher KeshishianCorrespondent IMarch 17, 2011

NBA Award Race: Derrick Rose and the Top Candidates for Each Award

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    This year, the individual awards have actually been quite easy to predict.

    My predictions are based on production and impact on team.

    Many of these predictions may not be much of a surprise, but we all know it's in the back of everyone's head as to who will win each individual award.

    Without further ado, here are my picks for MVP, Sixth Man of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and Most Improved Player of the Year.

Rookie of the Year- Blake Griffin

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    Elsa/Getty Images

    Blake Griffin is maybe the greatest rookie to play the game since Shaq back in 1992.

    He has torn apart every defense he has played, and is out hustling everyone he faces.

    He's already gone off for 40 points... twice!

    Only things standing in Griffin's way of being the best Power Forward in the league is his jump shot (nothing some offseason work can't help) and his defense. To say something of someone who isn't even a sophomore yet just speaks for itself.

    The Clippers are now THE team to watch in LA.

     

    Runner-up:

    John Wall

Most Improved Player of the Year: Kevin Love

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    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    There was no way I could put anyone but Kevin Love as my pick for Most Improved Player of the Year.

    The man is just flat-out amazing.

    Since last year, he has bumped up his scoring average by more than six points and has raised his rebounding average by almost five per game.

    He's leading the league in rebounding, averaging a staggering 15 per game!

    That's right, 15 rebounds per game. That goes along with his 20 points per game average and his legendary 53-game double-double streak to earn him the Most Improved Player award.

     

    Runner-up:

    LaMarcus Aldridge

Defensive Player of the Year: Dwight Howard

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    He still can't hit a free-throw, but boy can Dwight Howard play defense.

    It amazes me how Dwight contests every shot and is somehow still able to gobble up all those rebounds. Take note Joel Anthony.

    Dwight has also stepped up his overall team defense now and shuffles his feet less than he did before.

    One of the most impressive things about Dwight is that he blocks shots in a way where his team ends up with the ball, allowing for easy fast-break buckets.

     

    Runner-up:

    Andrew Bogut

Sixth Man of the Year: Jason Terry

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Jason Terry just scores—and scores—and scores.

    He also gets some assists off the bench, too.

    A former Sixth Man of the Year, he is repeating what made that season so successful.

    His performance has also helped Dallas to the third overall seed in the Western Conference, only half-a-game behind the second-place Los Angeles Lakers.

    What's most impressive about Terry is that he still contributes at a high pace, even at the age of 34.

    His stroke hasn't left him yet and it doesn't look like it will any time soon.

     

    Runner-up:

    Jamal Crawford

Most Valuable Player: Derrick Rose

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    What has Derrick Rose not done this season?

    He has added major range to his shot, he's scoring in bunches, he's creating highlights ever single time he steps on the floor, he's getting his teammates involved and he's even playing some defense this year.

    Rose has shown his killer instinct this year and because of it, The Chicago Bulls are now sitting atop the Eastern Conference, sharing first place with the Boston Celtics.

    If you swapped out Rose for any other player in the league, The Bulls would not be where they are right nowand that is what makes him this year's NBA's Most Valuable Player.

     

    Runner-up:

    Dwight Howard

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