More than half-way through the year the playoff picture is taking picture. A picture that is not much different than years past. LA, Cleveland, Boston, San Antonio, the usual suspects. The same goes for the mid-season awards, at least when comparing them to last years winners.
Coach of the Year: In my opinion this award should be given to a team that has shown the greatest improvement from years past, not to a coach that has had the best record on the year. Sorry Kiki, your out of the running, with a current record of 5-49 that just won’t get the job done. Maybe next year you’ll be able to get the award based on your improvement.
Mike Brown, Phil Jackson, Doc Rivers, and Jerry Sloan have all coached their teams to the top records in the league, but based on the talent they were given they should be where they’re at in the standings.
I like what Scott Brooks has done with that young group of players in Oklahoma. A team that has been terrible for some time now. The last time they were relevent was when they were in Seattle and had Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis.
6th Man: Jason Terry and Manu Ginoobli have both played well coming off the bench for their respective teams, but will offer this award to someone different.
Jamal Crawford of the Atlanta Hawks has played very well in this role for his new team. Crawford has averaged close to 18 points a game on a 46% clip.
Most Improved: Stephen Jackson, who was traded early on in the season from Golden State has benefited the most from that early deal. Cpt. Jack who averaged 16 ppg before the deal is now averaging almost 22 points per game. Jackson has been able to stay out of trouble in Charlotte. If he keeps that up they might allow him to stay.
Rookie: Tyreke Evans. He has averaged 20.3 ppg, 4.9 apg and 5.2 apg, has out-played every other rookie he has faced this year. I may be a homer, but I really don’t see any other player winning it. Stephen Curry and Brandon Jennings have both played well but only three other players have averaged 20/5/5 their rookie season. Those players were Lebron James, Oscar Robertson, and Michael Jordan.
Defensive Player of the Year: With 146 blocks(33 more than the next player) on the year Dwight Howard is my choice in top defensive player. Howard who won it last year, will most likely be getting the same award this year as well.
MVP: Kobe or LeBron? Both players with great/ equal importance to their teams should and will most likely win this award. If you look at numbers, LeBron is ahead in every important category, averaging 29.9/7.1/8.3. LeBron also has lead his team to the best record in the league. There is a lot of time for that to change, but if I had to put my vote in right now, LeBron James would receive it.