NBA Pre-Postseason Awards
Most Valuable Player
AK: No questions its Steph Curry. The man is the best player on the best team and has elevated his game on both sides of the floor this season. He is averaging just under 24 points and just south of 8 assists per game, which isnt a surprise. Its the 2-plus steals a game that show how he has grown up on the defensive side of the ball. What used to be a liability in his game is just another way he helps his team win. Oh yeah, he is also shooting roughly 49% from the field, 44% from 3-pt range, and 91% from the foul line. There really should not be a question of who the real MVP is this year. His team won the best conference by 11 games. Take a bow Steph Curry, take a bow.
SM: I was going to make state my case for James Harden, but my heart wouldn’t be in it. So, I will go with what he said.
Least Valuable Player
AK: There are a lot of ways to go with this prestigious award. I mean we could just pick the worst player in the league, or the most underachieving player of the year. I am going to go the route of big-name player who under-achieved. I’m going to throw out any major injuries that caused significant time to be lost on this, so Derrick Rose, its your lucky day. I am giving my LVP trophy to Deron Williams of the Nets. He only averaged 13 ppg and 6.5 assists on a Nets team that was 6 games below .500. and snuck into the 8th spot in the playoffs. This is a guy who is making almost twenty million dollars this season. He is the Jay Cutler of the NBA. Williams averaged more turnovers than three pointers made, and didn’t shoot over 40% from the floor. He is a prime LVP candidate.
SM: I am going with the other disappointing Net. Joe Johnson is the second highest paid player. Only to be out done by Kobe Bryant. Joe averaged 14.4 points this year and had a PER of 14. For a guy making 23+ mill a year, that is not good enough!
He’s Getting A Raise
AK: Well we can’t go with any of the seven players from the University of Kentucky that are about to take a pay cut and enter the NBA draft, so I will go a completely different route and say that Hassan Whiteside is getting a raise. He was a key piece with a Miami squad that played more players who moonlighted in the D-league than possibly any team in NBA history. Whiteside was, at times, a dominant force in the paint on both defense and offense. He will be getting a hefty raise from some team before next season.
SM: Anthony Davis. I know he already was viewed as an up and coming superstar, but this year he showed that he could take over for Lebron as the face of the NBA in the near future. His contract and brand are going to soar.
He’s Getting Fired
AK: Scott brooks. He has already been questioned all over the media as to whether or not he has the ability to coach in crunchtime. His play-calling has been shoddy at best, especially in end of game situations, but that gets covered up when you have Kevin Durant on the team. That was not the case this year and the Thunder missed the playoffs. Yes I understand injuries were a big deal. I think this is just the way out for the Thunder front office and I expect a new coach in OKC next year.
SM: Tom Thibodeau. He is the Jim Harbaugh of the NBA. Asks too much from guys and has worn out his welcome with the front office of the Bulls. He will find a home elsewhere and have success, but is not a long term solution.
AK: Kawhi Leonard. Leads the league in steals, can guard any position 1-4 and if we want to go back a bit further, ate Lebrons lunch in the finals last year. Watching him battle Chris Paul, the few possessions he was on him, last night was phenomenal. The guy is everywhere and he has length and quickness on his side. When he is tuned in defensively, you don’t want your teams best player having Kawhi across from him, it won’t be a good night for him.
SM: Hassan Whiteside. He is the new Dwight Howard when it comes to rim protection. Guys have to think about taking it to the basket on him. And the dude came out of NOWHERE.
Best Dude Off the Bench
AK: I just think Jamal Crawford should win this award every year until he retires and then they should name it the Jamal Crawford 6th man of the year award. The guy can single-handedly change a game like very few bench players can. He might be the only guy who comes in with four other starters and is the go-to-guy continually down the stretch. Not to mention his crossover is straight out of the And1 mixtape tour. I know his numbers may not be where they have been and he had some injuries this season but either way, he is my pick this year and the year after and every year until he retires.
SM: Gotta go with Isaiah Thomas. He played third fiddle to Dragic and Bledsoe down in Phoenix. With his new role in Boston, he has shown that he is a problem. He is a game manager and extremely exciting. Plus, his numbers (16 ppg, 42% shooting) are better than any other candidate.
The Jawdropper Moment of the Year
AK: Lots of plays could take this award. The play I am choosing is because it’s equal parts unreal and plain dumb. Sometimes thats what it takes to win this. You have to be willing to do something that you shouldn’t have. There is no reason Steph Curry takes this shot. Just ask his coach, who you can see thinks it is stupid, until it goes in. Then its a phenomenal play. To dribble around four guys, step-back, and hit a three is just another reason why he is the MVP.
SM: Trevor Booker inbound tip, over the head, with the shot clock running out. Awareness is the word that comes to mind, mixed with a little luck. Here it is.
Bonehead of the Year
AK: I have seen this happen twice in my life. Once right here. The other in a 4th grade girls basketball game. I really have no words.
Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Alex Kjellsen and Sean Melmer