The NBA Season has come to a close and remember when the Awards are given out, the playoffs aren’t counted in the evaluation process for who wins. With so many deserving candidates in all categories, here is my selections for each of the Individual Awards across the NBA.
Most Valuable Player:
Giannis Antetokounmpo- Milwaukee
Honorable Mention: James Harden (Houston),Joel Embiid (Philadelphia) and Stephen Curry (Golden State)
The hardest award to choose because the Top 2 candidates are well deserving. Giannis not only has elevated his game, but he has led his team to the best record in the NBA this year. He’s going to finish the season in the top 10 in scoring, rebounding and blocks. He also leads the team in assists and is in the top 25 in steals in the league.
Defensive Player Of The Year
Rudy Gobert- Utah
Honorable Mention: Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee), Paul George (Oklahoma City) and Andre Drummond (Detroit)
The Utah big man controls a game like no other in the entire league. He averages 2.3 blocks per game, leads the NBA in defensive win shares and the Jazz are 28-7 when he blocks 3 or more shots in a game.
Coach Of The Year
Mike Budenholzer- Milwaukee
Honorable Mention: Kenny Atkinson (Brooklyn), Michael Malone (Denver) and Doc Rivers (L.A Clippers)
Coach Bud has changed the Bucks from a team with a lot of potential to do damage into a team that is the favored to make the NBA Finals. They have improved 16 games over last season’s 44-38 record. The Bucks finished the year in the top 10 in scoring, points allowed per game, offensive and defensive rating.
Rookie Of The Year
Luka Doncic- Dallas
Honorable Mention: Trae Young (Atlanta), Deandre Ayton (Phoenix) and Marvin Bagley III (Sacramento)
Even though Trae Young has been averaging close to a double-double a game since the All-Star break (24.2 points and 9.1 assists), Doncic’s overall consistency month over month gives him the nod. Luka will be the second player in the NBA’s history to average 21 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists a game as a rookie. The other player was Oscar Robertson.
Most Improved Player
Pascal Siakam- Toronto
Honorable Mention: D’Angelo Russell (Brooklyn), Jeremi Grant (Oklahoma City) and De’Aaron Fox (Sacramento)
Pascal has gone from a key reserve to a potential franchise building block in one season. He’s double his scoring per game, increased his shooting percentages (over 10% in free throws and three-point percentage) and is in the top 20 in Offensive Win-Shares in 2018-2019.
NBA Sixth Man Of The Year
Lou Williams- L.A Clippers
Honorable Mention: Montrezl Harrell (L.A Clippers), Terrence Ross (Orlando) and Domantas Sabonis (Indiana)
I have a hard time remembering a season where 2 guys on the same team could be considered the league’s best Sixth man at the same time. Even though Harrell does all of the little things the Clippers need, Willams leads the team in both scoring and assists.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=alOQbXDu9kA