NBA Awards Show
MVP: LeBron James - As much as I want to give it to Tony, LeBron's per game numbers of 27 points, 8 boards, 6 dimes, 2 thefts, and 1 block are just too amazing to overlook.
Runner-up: Tony Parker - best player on the best team. He stepped up and carried this team the entire year, taking the Spurs past the Thunder and Lakers to the top of the Western Conference.
Defensive MVP: Dwight Howard - As much as I'd like to give it to someone else, D12 showed once again that he IS the defensive power in the league, as the only player with over 10 defensive boards and 2 blocks per game.
Runner-up: Tyson Chandler - I love what Tyson Chandler did for the Knicks, but I give as much credit to Iman Shumpert on the perimeter for the defensive upgrade by the Knicks. That credit to Iman is enough to keep Chandler behind Dwight Howard for me.
6th Man: James Harden - Can anyone legitimately choose somebody other than the Beard? He's far and away the best player to come off the bench this year, playing that role that Manu and Jason Terry have done so well in recent years.
Runner-up: Goran Dragic - This was a much tougher decision. I love what Lou Williams brings to the table as a scorer and how Taj Gibson can effect the game in his reserve role, but in the end, Goran was the second best reserve this season for his ability to keep the Rockets in the playoff hunt down the stretch. When needed, he stepped up his game and really made the Rockets a contender for longer than they should have been.
Coach of the Year: Gregg Popovich - He was able to create a 12 man rotation that works (which in the NBA, is more astounding than he's being given credit for). He was able to get much needed rest for Timmy, Manu, and Tony. He was able to get Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard to take big steps forward developmentally. Finally, he was able to lead the Spurs to the best record in the tougher conference.
Runner-up: Tom Thibodeau - Honestly I was very close to going with Mike Woodson for turning the Knicks around and getting them back into the playoffs, but couldn't bring myself to vote for someone who only coached 24 games (even if they were 18-6 in those games). So instead, I was choosing between Doc Rivers (meh), Tyrone Corbin (good but not yet), Scotty Brooks (meh), and Thibodeau. While I like what Tom was able to without DRose, I think giving him credit for dealing with the Rose loss so well needs to come with the caveat that the Bulls have loads of talent behind DRose that they are able to handle that loss that much easier. I'd be more impressed if he did it with a team like the Suns, where Nash is THE reason that team wins.
Biggest Preseason Prediction Screw-up: Choosing the Blazers to win the West. While I still believe that team was talented enough to be a contender, that prediction was killed the moment Portland's front office decided to blow it all up and give up on this season. That decision made my prediction truly look like the worst out of all which we made as a group.
MVP: LeBron James. If you watched basketball this season, you don't need an explanation.
Runner-up: Chris Paul. He turned an inexperienced Clippers team into a semi-legitimate contender (we could drop the qualifier if they had a real coach). The Clippers! Think about that. After running the offense and keeping everyone involved for the first three quarters, Paul turned into an absolute killer in 4th quarters all season. Making everyone around you better and winning games on your own when necessary? Sounds like an MVP to me! If only it weren't for that James fella.
Defensive MVP: LeBron James - He guards every position, and shuts down whoever he's sticking. No one else in the League can come close to making that claim. He finished the season 2nd in defensive win shares and 7th in defensive rating. And did I mention that he guards every position?
Runner-up: Tyson Chandler - The Knicks were the 5th best team in the NBA. The same Knicks that employ turnstile defenders Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire. Enough said.
6th Man: James Harden - Sure, he played as many minutes as most starters in the league, but he provided the change of pace expected of a 6th man every time he came onto the floor. In fact, OKC's offense often looked downright stagnant without Harden on the floor. Just to throw in some stats for you, he finished 4th in win shares per 48, trailing only LeBron, CP3 and teammate Kevin Durant; he was the third-most efficient offensive player in the league; and he managed to be in the top 10 for both free throws made and attempted.
Runner-up: There isn't anyone close enough to consider this a race...but I guess I'll go with Lou Williams.
COY: Tom Thibodeau. The Bulls had the best record in the East despite playing without Derrick Rose for 1/3 of the regular season. If he can keep it going without him in the Playoffs, just make him a senator or congressman, whatever they do in Chicago.
Runner-up: Doc Rivers. Boston looked like they might barely sneak into the Playoffs as late as February. He kept the team together through injuries and trade rumors and had them playing like one of the best teams in the league coming into the NBA's second season.
Biggest Preseason Prediction Screw-Up: Not being part of TS/DB yet.
MVP: LeBron James. What Brett said. You can argue the relative contributions of Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, or Carmelo Anthony, but you would be wasting your breath. Simply saying "27/6/8 FUCK OFF" is enough to refute anybody else's claim to the MVP.
Runner-up: Kevin Love. While we're inventing awards to hand out (AIN'T NO SECOND PLACE IN THE PROS, HOMIE!), let's invent Kevin Love not getting concussed. Dude was averaging a 31/15 in March. 31/15, I say! And even when they lost Rubio, Love was at least the Wolf Pups hope that they could make the playoffs.
Defensive MVP: Tyson Chandler. We all saw how vital he was to last year's Mavs team during the Finals, and especially now with how awful the defending champs look. He's doing the same thing in New York, but it's been hidden behind the glare of Linsanity, Carmelo's drama swinging between "ball-hogging" and "Give him the ball, he's unstoppable," and Amar'e hating fire safety.
Runner-up Defensive MVP: LeBron James - What Brett Said. Again. Of course, James will get the last laugh by beating Chandler in Round 1.
6th Man: The Beard. He comes on court, takes the ball away from Westbrook, and opens up the floor. For anyone to do those things in Oklahoma City is a small miracle, and Harden does it with energy and finesse. Also, HOLY MOLY THAT BEARD!
Runner-up 6th Man: Mo Williams. I feel like this is the spot to put "Bench player you've seen more than 5 times and at least semi-like". For me, that's Mr. Williams. While it may seem like his job is basically to keep the Clippers from tanking while Chris Paul gets his 8 minutes of rest each game - and he does it famously! - he is actually a part of the Clippers' top 20 5-man units, ranked by minutes. Chris Paul can't say the same thing.
Coach of the Year: Pop. After the Spurs started 12-9, they lost 7 games hence. And at least 3 of those were thrown away to he could let the Big Three rest. And the Spurs didn't even start to look their best until three weeks before the playoffs started, also known as The Best Time To Get Hot.
Runner-up Coach of the Year: Mike Woodson. For those who retort that he only coached half the season and is about to get swept out of round one of the playoffs -- Would YOU want to coach the Knicks this year? He turned a total fuckhouse (I don't know what that means) of a team that would win in spurts, then lose in bigger spurts, into a consistent team that managed to grab the 7th seed. If it weren't for D'Antoni's presence at the beginning of the season, I think they could have grabbed enough wins to be 4 or 5. Watch out for New York next year.
Biggest Preseason Prediction Screwup: Saying that Norris Cole would be the rookie of the year. Let's not talk about that.
PS: Let me add a second-Runner Up for COY: Stan Van Gundy. This is more or less a sympathy vote, because this guy has had arguably the shittiest situation of any head coach this year. His star not only quit on him, he did so publicly. And when Dwight had the chance to leave, he strung the organization along until the very last minute when he decided to stay, only to later say that he wanted Van Gundy fired. Somehow, SVG has managed to keep the Magic from totally falling apart, something that not a lot of people could have done. We'll see if they can win the series against Indiana (without Dwight), but regardless of that outcome, I think that SVG should at least get a bear hug for the thankless work he's done this season.
MVP: LeBron. Overcame critics and put up those amazing stats with another superstar on the court.
Runner Up: Tony Parker. For a team with most players close to needing a walker, TP is having his best season and turning this from Timmy’s team to his.
Defensive MVP: Tyson Chandler. During a year of Linsanity and punched fire extinguishers, Chandler has been the most consistent source for the Knickerbockers.
Runner Up: Dwight Howard. Hate him or really hate him, it’s hard to ignore his impact with the Pacers dominating Orlando right now.
6th Man: James Harden. Even in his first games back after “feeling the Peace,” he was a bearded weapon to compliment Durantula and Westbrook.
Runner Up: Lou Williams. Possibly the best player on the 6ers.
COY: Pop. He’s turned the Manu injury, new role players, aging stars and the Tony-Matt Bonner situation into one of the best seasons in SAS history and has helped Parker turn this into his team.
Runner Up: Frank Vogel. After taking over midway through last season, he’s turned this Pacers team into one that can put up a different kind of fight.
MVP: Lebron James gets the nod. To bad it not that easy to win a Championship.
Runner Up: Tony Parker is close behind and did more for his team in the shortened season.
D-MVP: Dwight Howard gets it because this award is about D on the court not his off court immaturities.
Runner Up: Tyson Chandlers defense was missed by Dallas this year at they were swept with no post defense.
6th Man: James Harden has become a force to be reckoned with!
Runner Up: San Antonio Spurs bench should get this award as anyone of them was ready to step in and fill the gap.
COY: Coach Pop hands down. Model on consistency.
Biggest Preseason Prediction F Up: Giving the Heat the benefit of the doubt thinking they would massacre the regular season.