With the NBA Playoffs tipping off our eyes don’t only go to who will be holding up the Larry O’Brien trophy, but who will be named MVP? Will it be the electric James Harden? Or will LeBron James claim his fifth? Will Ben Simmons be named “rookie” of the year? Or will Donovan “Spida” Mitchell claim the award. Jake and Adam tell you who they think should claim the awards!
Most Valuable Player:
Jake: LeBron James: Many believe that James Harden is the undisputed MVP of the league. I disagree, when you look at the averages Harden certainly has a case. When you look deeper, however; LeBron has scored more points, recorded more assists, rebounds, blocks, and shot a higher percent from both three-point range, and the field in general. Let’s also not ignore that he is 33 years old. LeBron James should 100% be named NBA MVP.
Adam: LeBron James: I will admit, as a Knick fan, I hate how good LeBron James is. Every since he went to the Heat in the summer of 2010, he has been one of the most disliked players in the state. But you have to respect him. One of the greatest players to ever touch the court seems like he is just getting better at age 33. THIRTY-THREE years old, and he dropped 27.5 points, 8.6 boards, and 9.1 assists per game this season. James Harden is a deserving candidate, and it seems like he gets robbed every year, but this year is finally the year LeBron gets his fifth MVP.
Rookie of the Year:
Jake: Donovan Mitchell: This is another highly contested race, between Ben Simmons and Donovan Mitchell. Mitchell has not only put up incredible numbers (20.5 points per game, 3.7 assists, and 3.7 rebounds per game). He has willed his team to the five seed in the brutal western conference. Which is an incredible feat. “The Spida” has proven that he is going to be a perennial all-star for years to come.
Adam: Ben Simmons: It’s a two man race for the Rookie of the Year award. In one corner, Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz has become the steal of the 2017 Draft. He has sported 20.5 points per game, while leading a lottery-projected Jazz team to the fifth-seed in the West. That’s hard to beat, but in the other end, an NBA superstar has emerged. Ben Simmons out in Philly. Simmons didn’t do much, just drop 15.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 8.2 assists per game in his rookie season. He has brought himself into the conversation for the best under-25 player in basketball, while leading the Sixers to the three-seed in the East. Simmons may not be a first-year player, but he is the most-deserving player eligible for the award. That’s all that matters.
Defensive Player of the Year:
Jake: Rudy Gobert: Rudy Gobert has consistently been a monster down-low throughout his career. He was good as ever this year, averaging over two blocks per game. When it comes to flat out rim-protecting, Gobert is the best in the business. He would have won the award last season, if it had not been for Draymond Green’s historic season. This year, Gobert will get his deserved credit.
Adam: Rudy Gobert: Easiest pick around, Kawhi Leonard is the Defensive Player of the Year…oh, I can’t pick him? Draymond Green? Not him either? Damn, force of habit. So who’s left? How about 7-1 frenchman Rudy Gobert. Not too shabby I’d say. Gobert has been a monster down low from the day he entered the league. Gobert averaged over 2 blocks a game for the fourth straight year, and will finally get the credit he deserves.
Most Improved Player:
Jake: Spencer Dinwiddie: Yes, Victor Oladipo was an all-star this season, and one of the league’s best players. This award is based off who improved the most, Dinwiddie went from a G-League player, who bounced from roster to roster, to a key-contributor to his team. Oladipo has always been a good player, he jumped to all-star this year. Dinwiddie showed strictly the most improvement this season.
Adam: Victor Oladipo: When the Pacers traded Paul George to the Thunder for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis, Indiana fans were calling for GM Chad Buchanan’s head. How could he trade their superstar for scrubs? What’s wrong with him? Those fans have turned silent. Oladipo jumped from 15.9 points per game, to 23.1 points per game. As well as playing lockdown defense and being a playmaker. Oladipo has almost single-handedly led a Pacers team projected to be in the bottom five of the league to a first round matchup against LeBron James.
Sixth Man of the Year:
Jake: Lou Williams: Williams was the spark the kept the Clippers in playoff contention for a majority of the season. He averaged 22.6 points per game, OFF THE BENCH. That should not go unnoticed, he also threw in 5.3 assists per game. Those are starter caliber numbers, not just starter but all-star caliber. William’s is the no-brainer.
Adam: Lou Williams: Drake called it. Lou Will. The best sixth-man in the league and it’s really not close. He somehow had 22.6 points a game while coming off of the bench. 13th highest scorer in the league while starting only 19 games. Williams will get his second Sixth-Man nod after putting together one of the best bench seasons in the history of the game.
Coach of the Year
Jake: Brad Stevens: Brad Stevens made due without his second best player (Gordon Hayward) for all of the season, and his best player (Kyrie Irving) for a big chunk of the season. Where did his team finish? Second seed in the East. Now entering the playoffs without his two best players, Stevens still has a great chance to to coach his team to a finals run, given his balanced roster and excellent system.
Adam: Brett Brown: What Brett Brown has been able to do with this 76ers team is amazing. He has put the finishing touches on the “Process” which led to amazing seasons from Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, J.J. Redick, and Robert Covington. Brown has the chance to lead a team that had the 3rd-worst record in basketball last season, to the NBA Finals.