(Sorry LeBron, won’t be adding to that collection this year…or anytime soon)
I got knocked out of my fantasy league this week, so I no longer need to root with a bias based on guys on my team. And the way the regular season has gone, it’s really almost as good as over. We could skip all the games from today till 82, and it probably won’t make much difference to the final outcome of the playoffs. Perfect time to hand out some early regular season awards (mostly foregone conclusions anyway), and maybe even gaze into my playoffs crystal ball.
Who it’ll go to: Steph Curry
If you haven’t accepted this, you probably haven’t gotten over getting dumped by your first crush either.
Who deserves it more: Kobe Bryant
Ok, so no one really deserves the award over Steph..But despite the 35% shooting, Kobe has been the most valuable player not just to the Lakers, but to every single team when he comes to town. I mean, people in every city are marking calendars for the date Kobe comes to town for the last time. That plus it’s a travesty that Kobe, the undisputed alpha dog of the NBA from 2005-2010, will retire with only 1 MVP trophy in his cabinet. They made him an All Star starter, why not just give him this as well, like a retirement gift.
Rookie of the year
Who it’ll go to: Karl Anthony Towns
The early season ‘race’ between KAT and Kristaps Porzingis was fun for a while. Until KAT went full on berserk mode on the league. Comparing rookie season performances, I’m projecting now that KAT will be a much scarier beat than Anthony Davis in two years.
Most Improved Player
Who it’ll go to: CJ McCollum
Who deserves it more: Kawhi Leonard
CJ has done well with extra minutes this season, but Kawhi is doing so much more with less or the same amount of minutes. The reigning Defensive Player Of The Year on the NBA has also taken over as the go to guy on offense for the Spurs. He’s just hovering around the 50/40/90 club en route to about 20ppg and a hugely improved three point shot while still wreaking havoc on defense, carrying his team to what in any other season would’ve been historical, but this year is only good for the second best record in the league. Popovich and Kawhi both probably wouldn’t have wanted it ahh other way.
Defensive Player Of The Year
Who it’ll go to: Hassan Whiteside
Critics pull out statistics and say the Heat are actually worse on D when Whiteside is on the floor. To this I say, stop looking at numbers on a screen and actually watch the game for once. Whiteside this year has emerged as a more athletic Mutombo. He’s been swatting everything around the basket and altering shots all over the place. He gets up so high with such good timing, I’ve seen him just grab shots out of the air with one hand at least a dozen times. It’s been a while, probably back to the days of Mutombo and Hakeem, since we’ve had someone their block parties like this.
G: Steph Curry
G: Russell Westbrook
F: Kevin Durant
F: Kawhi Leonard
C: Demarcus Cousins
G: Chris Paul
G: Damian Lillard
F: LeBron James
F: Draymond Green
C: Andre Drummond
G: Isaiah Thomas
G: Jimmy Butler
F: Paul Millsap
F: Paul George
C: Deandre Jordan