Its time for the playoffs to finally kick off, which also means: award szn! Here are my picks for each award and my 3 All-NBA Teams. This is how I would vote, not how I think its gonna end.
Most Valuable Player
1: Nikola Jokic, 2: Joel Embiid, 3: Giannis Antetokounmpo
My arguably proudest shared bet of all time, was my Jokic to win MVP last season. I'm actually embarrassed that I didn't trust him again this season, but i honestly thought voters fatigue would kick in. Nikola has carried his franchise for several years now, and they are embarrassing when he's not on the floor. There's a thousand insane stats that you could highlight, but this is the most basic and arguably most historic.
Highest single-season Box Plus/Minus in NBA history:
1. Jokic - 13.7 (2021-22), 2. LeBron - 13.2 (2008-09) 3. MJ - 12.9 (1987-88)
He also had the highest single-season PER of all time. Disgusting, filthy, dirty.. Whatever word you wanna use.
Defensive Player of the Year
1: Bam Adebayo, 2: Mikal Bridges, 3: Marcus Smart
I've been beating the Bam Adebayo-drums for years, and he's just so unfathomable good on the defensive side of the ball. His team ended 1st in the East, but they are getting no love (except Tyler Herro). Bam can defend 1 through 5 at an elite level, and that's just unheard of in the NBA. The reason I give him the award over those other guys, is the simple fact that he can protect the rim. Arguably one of the most important tasks on defense.
Most Improved Player
1: Ja Morant, 2: Jordan Poole, 3: Dejounte Murray
I'm not surprised by the rise to stardom for Ja Morant, but I did not expect him to go from 19.1 to 27.4 points per game. He also increased his rebounds per game by close to 20%. He went from a decent finisher to an elite scorer, 44,9% to 49,1% on FG %. Hes the best finisher at the rim in the entire league. Insane..
I said this in my prediction of Ja Morant during the pre-season:
''Ja Morant is going into his 3rd season, and I think he has a good chance of cementing himself into the top 5 PGs in the league. Last season he averaged 19ppg & 7.5apg - and for him to be considered for this award, I would expect he needs around 23ppg & 9apg (hopefully he can clear 25ppg, which would be a crazy jump, but not impossible).''
Rookie of the Year
1: Evan Mobley, 2: Cade Cunningham, 3: Scottie Barnes
If you were to ask me who's gonna be the best player in this rookie class, I would say Cade Cunningham, but he was just too poor at the start of the season. Evan Mobley has been incredible consistent on both ends of the floor, and is very well rounded. This rookie class is special. Honorable mention: Franz Wagner.
6th Man of the Year
1: Tyler Herro, 2: Tyler Herro, 3: Tyler Herro
Unreal how good he's been this year. Tyler has been Miami's most consistent and possibly most important player on offense this season. Like Morant its not a massive surprise, but his consistency has been the most impressive part for me.
Gonna praise myself again, lol. I said this in my pre-season predictions:
''Last season he was asked to facilitate, and even started a few games. This year his role is much clearer: get buckets. Miami probably needs to end as top 3 in the east for this bet to have a good chance''
Coach of the Year
1: Taylor Jenkins, 2: Erik Spoelstra, 3: Monty Williams
In my heart I want Monty to win, but they were in the finals last season, so we shouldn't really be too surprised by this.
Taylor Jenkins has absolutely transformed this electric and young Grizzlies-team, into one of the best teams in the whole league. Probably the 2nd best team through the season. Most people had them between 6th-10th in the regular season, so for them to be 2nd in the West is very impressive. And by quite a margin to the Warriors in 3rd place. Excited to see this squad in the Playoffs.
All-NBA: 1st, 2nd & 3rd
1: Ja Morant, Devin Booker, Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Nikola Jokic
2: Luka Doncic, Trae Young, Jayson Tatum, Lebron James, Joel Embiid
3: Chris Paul, Stephen Curry, Jimmy Butler, Pascal Siakam, Karl-Anthony Towns