At the end of every season, the NBA hands out their end of the year awards which include: most valuable player, rookie of the year, coach of the year, most improved, sixth man of the year, and defensive player of the year. A few writers at the society are here to give their thoughts on who should win each award. The writers are:
Alex Fischbein – @ThatKidFisch
Alfonso De Falco – @FonzyDeFalco
Kyle Allan – @Kallan441
Ryan Kirk – @rlk716
DJ Allen – @djallen23
1.) There’s no question that Steph Curry will probably be the unanimous decision for League MVP, so if you had to pick, who’s your top choice for runner-up?
Fischbein: Top runner-up would have to be LeBron James. He’s always been an integral part of his team, and if you took him off of this Cleveland team, then they’d probably be fighting to even make the playoffs.
De Falco: My runner-up is Russell Westbrook. This guys is a triple-double machine (18 this year) and in any other season he would of been a clear lock in for the MVP award.
Allan: I would say Chris Paul. He is one of the only guards who has shown (at some points) that he can stick with the best in the league, Steph Curry. Also, Paul held this team together in a time where they were thought to drop off the face of the earth when they lost Blake Griffin for over a month of time.
Kirk: Russell Westbrook aka Mr Triple Double, I think he’s been the best player In the league since all star break. The guy is a stat stuffer.
Allen: The top runner-up has to be Russell Westbrook. The season that this guy has had is simply amazing. 18 triple-doubles. An average of 23.5 points per game, 10.4 assists per game and 7.8 rebounds per game; this guy is just doing it all for his team and that’s mainly what this award is about.
2.) Is there anyone other rookie in the league that has a chance of beating Karl-Anthony Towns for rookie of the year?
Fischbein: The only other rookie that has a chance of winning is Kristaps Porzingis. Devin Booker exploded on the scene a little too late, Jahlil Okafor would have been closer if his defense was up to par and he didn’t miss so many games, and the rest of the rookies have been up and down all season. Porzingis was the most consistent and played a starting role on a team that some veteran talent.
De Falco: In the beginning of the season it was a three way race between Karl-Anthony Towns, Kristaps Porzingis and Jahlil Okafor. Now as the season winds down I think Towns is the clear choice for ROY. He is currently averaging 18.1 points, 10.4 rebounds (leads all rookies) and 1.4 blocks per game (2nd among rookies). Overall, I think he is the clear favorite for Rookie of the Year. The future is bright in Minnesota.
Allan: Kristaps Porzingis. Porzingis has shown that he is the player the Knicks will build around for the future. They can build an offense around his game, and with more young players tied with veterans on that team, it’s a matter of time before they become playoff worthy.
Kirk: I thought Jahlil Okafor had a shot before he got hurt, but rookie of the year Is a long shot. KAT is a runaway train as far as Rookie Of The Year.
Allen: No I don’t think anyone has a chance to top Karl-Anthony Towns in this category. Early on my vote was for Kristaps Porzingis as he was having a phenomenal year but as his play began to taper off, it took him out of the running for rookie of the year.
3.) Who’s your coach of the year and why?
Fischbein: I have to go with Terry Stotts. Pretty much every single person was expecting the Blazers to be in the lottery after this season, and with a team that had no All-Stars(Even though Lillard should have been one) he was able to coach this team to a (potential) five-seed in a tough Western Conference.
De Falco: I have to go with Steve Kerr here. The Warriors are having a historic season and it is thanks to Steve Kerr leading the way.
Allan: Steve Kerr. If there is a guy out there who knows how to win basketball games, it’s Steve Kerr. With a 72 win season in the 1996 season with the Chicago Bulls, Kerr was able to break that record with his Golden State Warriors this year. He is a lock for COY in my opinion.
Kirk: Terry Stotts Is Coach of the year In my eyes, for a team to lose 4 starters from last year’s team and still be able to make the playoffs this year in the west Is remarkable.
Allen: As much as I want to say Steve Kerr and back the record breaking season that they had, what Terry Stotts and the Portland Trail Blazers did this year can not be overlooked. No one saw them making the playoffs, better yet the 5th seed in the Western Conference. They have completely over-achieved this season in my eyes and I think Stotts deserves the credit for that.
4.) Who’s your most improved player of the year and why?
Fischbein: It’s hard to go with anyone but CJ McCollum for most improved. He received about double the amount of playing time than last season, but more than tripled his per game scoring average. For his third season in the league, he’s shown some great improvement and he’s proved to be quite the backcourt mate for Damian Lillard.
De Falco: I have had the same pick since back in January and I am sticking with him now. C.J. McCollum last season averaged only 6.8 points per game and now that players left Portland, an opportunity came about for McCollum and averaged 20.9 points this season. He has also taken a Portland Trail Blazers team that was predicted to go no where to a playoff team.
Allan: C.J. McCollum. McCollum has done wonders for the city of Portland. When the Blazers lost Aldridge to the Spurs, people were wondering if Lillard was able to hold his own in the Western Conference. The Trail Blazers blew past everyone’s expectations by locking up the 5th seed in the West. McCollum stepped up to become the second best player and the x-factor of this Portland team.
Kirk: CJ McCollum has to win this award,guy stepped In Wesley Matthews spot and has been a scoring machine. I think he’s part of the 2nd best backcourt In the league behind the splash brothers.
Allen: My pick is the unconventional pick in Stephen Curry. He had a great season last year but he took it up an even higher notch this year, leading his team to the best regular season in NBA history. He entered the 50-40-90 club, increased his points per game by about 7 points and became the first player to hit over 400 threes in a season. What else do you want the guy to do?
5.) Who’s your 6th man of the year and why?
Fischbein: Andre Iguodala is my pick for 6th man. Sure he might not have the highest scoring output of all the 6th man candidates, but when it comes to defense and impact, he’s at the top of the list. The death lineup isn’t possible without him, and he’s played a huge part in this historic season for the Warriors.
De Falco: Will Barton. Barton has been a nice bright for this young Denver team. He is averaging 14.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists (all career highs) while playing in all 82 games, only starting one.
Allan: Jeremy Lin. I say this because he was able to become the x-factor of a 15 win improved basketball team. He only averaged 12 points a game but has been one of the more consistent bench players in the East.
Kirk: Andre Iguodala is the 6th man of the year because he does a lot of things and his part of the greatest team ever record wise.
Allen: Andre Iguodala is the 6th man of the year. He leads that second unit for Golden State and so much of their success comes from his value on this team. You may not see it all over the stat sheet but he does a lot for this basketball team.
6.) Who’s your defensive player of the year and why?
Fischbein: Draymond Green should definitely get this award, hands down. No disrespect to Kawhi Leonard, but Green is a key component to the Warriors most effective defensive lineup and at 6’7″ this man can guard Centers at a respectable level. He is relentless, brings a fiery attitude, and will not stop fighting until he gets the stop.
De Falco: I think it is time for DeAndre Jordan to win this this year. Jordan has led the league in rebounding for the two seasons and is always in the top five in blocks per game. This year he averaged 13.8 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game is a defensive nightmare in the paint.
Allan: Draymond Green. I think with Green’s incredible versatility, he can edge out the easier pick in Kawhi Leonard. He is very effective in defending the post and can defend the outside and wing. This guy has my vote.
Kirk: Draymond Green can guard every position, especially when they put him at center and they can switch everything on defense. It’s great to watch.
Allen: My pick for DPOY is the same guy who I believe got snubbed last year and that’s Draymond Green. He is the heart and soul of their defense. He communicates, he hustles, and he guards all five positions. Green takes pride in the defensive performance that his team produces every night and his defensive capabilities is a huge reason why they’re the number one team in the NBA.