Eastern Conference Standings
New Jersey Nets
New York Knicks
Western Conference Standings
Oklahoma City Thunder
Los Angeles Clippers
Golden State Warriors
New Orleans Hornets*
San Antonio Spurs*
Eastern: Celtics defeat Cavaliers, 4-1
Western: Hornets defeat Lakers, 4-3
2009 NBA Finals
Celtics defeat Hornets, 4-2
2009 Season Awards
MVP: Chris Paul, PG Hornets
This guy is the entire package. With his abilities to score, pass, and run a game with the best of them, this rising star came close to the MVP award this spring, and he will take the hardware home next season. I predict him to average about 22 points, 12 assists, and three steals per game.
Runner Up: Kevin Garnett, PF Celtics
Rookie of the Year: Greg Oden, C Blazers
This big man sat out last season with an injury, so this is actually his rookie season. Oden, along with Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge, will lead his Portland team to a playoff run. The Blazers played great last season without Oden—just imagine what they could do with him.
Runner Up: Michael Beasley, PF Heat
Defensive Player: Tayshaun Prince, SF Pistons
The long arm of the law will prevail again in Detroit. Tayshaun Prince is undoubtedly one of the stiffest defenders in the game today. With speed to defend a guard, strength to take on a big man, and arm length and timing to block any shot on the court, Prince is a freak of nature.
Remember that block on Reggie Miller to save the playoffs for the Pistons in 2004? Expect more of that—much more.
Runner Up: Dwight Howard, C Magic
Most Improved: Kendrick Perkins, C Celtics
Perkins played very well last season, but went unnoticed with Garnett, Pierce and Allen getting all the hype. He averaged near seven points and six rebounds per game, but played great against good defensive teams like the Pistons. He could be a main piece on the way to another Celtic championship.
Runner Up: Jason Maxiell, PF Pistons
Sixth Man: Mickael Pietrus, SG Magic
Pietrus came over from Golden State in the offseason. He didn’t play a ton with the Warriors, but played well when he got a chance.
The Frenchman could be a nice compliment behind the free-shooting JJ Redick. I think the Magic will make it to the second round of the playoffs, and Pietrus could be a big reason why.
Runner Up: Paul Millsap, PF Jazz
Coach of the Year: Mike Woodson, Hawks
Woodson came over from the Pistons before the 2007-08, season and look what he did. Atlanta was arguably one of the better teams in the league, unlike the multiple years before he came in.
With upcoming stars like Josh Smith, Al Horford and Marvin Williams, his team is definitely one of the best, young teams in the entire NBA.
Runner Up: Nate McMillan, Blazers