NBA Predictions 2011-2012: NBA Award Winners...The Crystal Ball Edition
With both owners and players finally making good with their fans, NBA basketball is back. With that in mind, everyone's perception of what will happen during the season is in a flux of sorts.
NBA free agency will have a great impact on how teams, players and the media see and predict how players will do during the 2011-12 season.
Well lets take a look into the crystal ball for the upcoming season and see what the award winners will look like in the spring.
All Rookie Team
Kemba Walker PG
Kyrie Irving PG
Derrick WiIlliams SF/PF
Tristan Thompson PF
Kenneth Faried PF
Rookie of the Year:
Mr. Walker is an ultra quick scoring machine who will breathe new life into the Charlotte Bobcats.
The Bronx guard is a true warrior and plays the game like it should be played—with great passion and heart. With the looks of his new team, GM Michael Jordan might be wise to let Walker loose and allow him to use his explosive game this season.
Walker will get by opponents with ease and will get steals in bunches with his aggressive play. While many might argue Irving should be the pick here, the fact is that Walker will get more stats due to his style of play, and that should warrant some rookie hardware at the end of the 2012 season.
Sixth Man of the Year
Sixth Man Award: Carl Landry, F, Free Agent
Carl Landry will find a home soon after the lockout ends and they should be happy, as they are attaining one really tough hombre.
Landry has the ability to take his man on offense and score from both inside and outside the post with relative ease. He is an aggressive rebounder who works extremely hard on both ends of the court.
Landry should see 30-plus minutes for just about any team he chooses to sign with, and that should get him about 15 points and seven rebounds a game. The 6' 9", 248 pound combo forward plays above the rim, and in today's NBA, you need a couple of these type of players on your team.
Most Improved Player
The great Wall of Washington is being put together rather quickly, and with reinforcements coming way of the NBA draft and free agency, John Wall is ready to raise him game to next level.
Already one of the quickest guards in the league, Wall should be healthier—he suffered from knee tendinitis most of the year—and that could be a problem. His numbers should hover around or over 20 points and 10 assists.
A true terror in transition, Wall's biggest improvement should come on the defensive end, where his length and solid instincts should make him a better player on both ends of the floor. Wall will continue to attack the back with reckless abandon and should improve his ability to dish off penetration.
All Defensive Team and Defensive Player of the Year.
NBA All-Defensive Team:
Josh Smith, F, Atlanta Hawks
Rajon Rondo, G, Boston Celtics
Dwayne Wade, G, Miami Heat
Tyson Chandler, C, Free Agent
NBA Defensive Player of the Year:
Until another major force comes into the league and does what Howard has been doing lately, we can almost gift wrap this award.
Howard's defense is actually improving year by year, as is his overall presence in the paint . In the last three years he is averaging over 2.5 blocks and over 10 defensive rebounds a game, which shows he owns the boards on that end of the floor. He is an above average pick and roll defender whose strength and athleticism allow him to dominate opposing centers on both ends of the floor.
The others on this list play great defense, but lag way behind Howard in terms of overall presence.
Coach of the Year
Flip Saunders, Wizards
The Washington Wizards have reloaded the team and are going to make some serious noise this year.
Coach Flip Saunders has done a great job with very little at times over the 15 year seasons he has donned the sidelines. While Wizard fans will expect a lot this year from Saunders after three winning seasons in Detroit, they must know that the talent pool from both winning and losing teams were very different.
With the point guard and center positions in place, Saunders first line of business will be to address the team's defense and the 104.7 points allowed per game, which ranked them 24th in the league. T
he team's drafting of F Chris Singleton and SG Shelvin Mack should help this area. If he keeps the team focused and improves the offense passing as well, the Wizards should bump there win totals above 40 wins this year.
First, Second and Third Team All-NBA
1st Team All-NBA:
SG, Dwayne Wade, Miami Heat
SF, Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder
PF, Lebron James, Maimi Heat
C, Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic
2nd Team All-NBA:
PG, Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
PF, Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers
PF/C, LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland Trail Blazers
3rd Team All-NBA:
PG, John Wall, Washington Wizards
PF, Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks
PF, Amare Stoudamire, New York Knicks
C, Al Horford, Atlanta Hawks
Kobe Bryant – G – Los Angeles Lakers
Dwight Howard – C – Orlando Magic
Lebron James – F – Miami Heat
Carmelo Anthony – F – New York Knicks
Kevin Durant – F – Oklahoma City Thunder
All the candidates above truly do deserve merit but OKC forward Keven Durant is a man on a mission. The 23yrd old 6' 10" highly skilled scorer only needs to round his game out a bit to include better number in rebounds, block shots and assists. Durant is not only playing like a superstar in the making but acting the part as well with his leadership skills. His natural progression and his improvement in strength should bolster his numbers. I'm seeing something like 28pts, 8.5rebs, 3.5 assists and 1.5 blocks as the numbers that would get him the MVP votes to make him the 2011-2012 winner.