And the Award Goes To: Here Are Your NBA Award Winners and Losers
The 2010-2011 regular season has ended, and it is time for the money season to begin. However, before we dive into playoff predictions and matchup analysts, let us first give love and respect to the players and coaches who had an exceptional regular season.
While most people will agree on who the league MVP is, it is the other awards that leave room for debate. So let us all brace ourselves for the “comments” that will ensue.
Comeback Player of the Year, Blake Griffin
He exceeded everyone’s expectations and recovered nicely from season-ending surgery the year before.
Most Improved Player – Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls
Rose worked meticulously on his game this summer. He improved in every facet of the game, and it not only showed in his stats but also in wins.
2) Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
Westbrook’s game took a significant leap this year and look for him to be in the MVP race next year.
3) Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves
Love’s double-double streak was amazing. What was equally amazing is the fact the Wolves still continued to lose.
Coach of the Year – Rick Adelman, Houston Rockets
Adelman took a team full of reserves and role players and almost got them in the playoffs. He dealt with the Yao Ming fiasco and the revolving door of players in Houston. A revolving door that included 20 different players during the season.
The Rockets were third in points per game and were first in assists per game despite not having an All-Star player or even an All-Star caliber player. The Rockets won more games than the Sixers, Pacers, and Knicks, yet because they play in the Western Conference missed the playoffs.
This is a testament to Coach Adelman who kept the Rockets competitive while playing in the tougher conference.
2) George Karl, Denver Nuggets – Karl lost his star player after months of trade speculation and then was given almost a whole new team. Karl also is the sentimental choice after coming back from cancer.
3) Tom Thibodeau, Chicago Bulls – Thibodeau is the favorite and will probably win.
Sixth Man of the Year – Thaddeus Young, Philadelphia 76ers
The Sixers are a lottery team without Young’s defense and scoring. He was assigned the opponent’s best player regardless of their position and more then held his own. Young is one of the few players in the league that can defend multiple positions effectively and is just as versatile on the offensive end of the floor.
He is in the Philly mold of more grit then glamour, and despite not being the popular choice, that does not make him the wrong choice.
2) Lamar Odom, Los Angeles Lakers - Oh they are going to hate me in LA for this one. Odom started 35 games this year and played well. In addition, Odom will be needed if the Lakers are going to three-peat as champions.
With that said the Lakers are still a playoff team without Odom, but the Sixers are working out Kemba Walker without Young.
3) James Harden, Oklahoma City Thunder - Harden continues to provide OKC with scoring and solid defense off the bench.
Defensive Player of the Year – Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic
A force from end to end, Howard controls the paint. His defensive rebounding and shot blocking were the only consistent in a year of inconsistencies for the Orlando Magic. An early season trade completely overhauled the roster and left Howard to rescue beat defenders in a single bound.
The Magic are fifth in the league in opponent field goal percentage and fifth in points allowed, and it certainly is not because of Hedo Turkgolu.
2) Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat - From the guard position Wade averaged over a block a game, from the guard position. His on the ball defense was the catalyst for a Miami squad that was ranked sixth in points allowed and third in opponent field goal percentage.
Rookie of the Year – Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers
Griffin was one of the best players in the NBA and just happened to be a rookie. There should be no doubt or debate on this one.
MVP – Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls
He simply got better as the year went on. There were many statistical reasons that made Rose the best choice, but the one that stood out the most was his team’s divisional record. 15-1 against his division.
That is unbelievable, granted no other team in that division was over .500, but the Pacific Division also only had one team over .500. That team is the Lakers and were 11-4 in their division, so you can not overlook what Rose helped the Bulls do.
He has not missed a game and is the undisputed leader of the Bulls. Combine this with his late-game heroics and you have you answer to why he is MVP.
2) LeBron James, Miami Heat – James has played well this year and should garner some votes. However, Rose led the Bulls to the best record in the Eastern Conference and a 3-0 record against the Heat. Individually LeBron’s best performances came against non-playoff teams, while Rose played his best when needed the most.
3) Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers – Bryant’s Lakers finished second in the Western Conference, but he was 1-3 against the Bulls and Heat.
All NBA: First Team and Second Team
Center – Dwight Howard
Power Forward – Blake Griffin
Small Forward – LeBron James
Shooting Guard – Kobe Bryant
Point Guard – Derrick Rose
Center – Al Horford
Power Forward – Pau Gasol
Small Forward – Kevin Durant
Shooting Guard – Dwyane Wade
Point Guard – Russell Westbrook