NBA End of The Season Awards

Steve O Speak

By Fanspeak Contributing Writer Geoff Nelowet

Rookie of the year: 1. Tyreke Evans 2. Steph Curry 3. Brandon Jennings

Tyreke Evans is the clear favorite for this award. Many are lobbying for Steph Curry, but people forget that the ROY is an award for one isolated season. Curry may end up being the better player, but Evans has been consistent, and let’s not forget that he’s had one of the best rookie seasons in NBA history. His 20 points, 5 assists and 5 boards puts him with the likes of Michael Jordan, LeBron James and Oscar Robertson as the people to accomplish that in their rookie seasons. Curry may have actually had a better second half of the season – and maybe one of the best second halves for a rookie ever – but, again, this award is for one entire season of play.

Coach of the year: 1. Scott Skiles 3. Alvin Gentry 2. Scott Brooks

Scott Skiles deserves this award because his team plays in Milwaukee. Small market teams face an uphill battle, and the Bucks have been a pleasant surprise this season. Nobody expected them to be any good at all this season – in fact, many had the Bucks pegged as one of the worst in the NBA. Here they are, the five seed in the playoffs.

I also think Alvin Gentry deserves some votes simply because he took nearly the same roster that Terry Porter had the year before, and he turned them into a much better team. The Suns of 08-09 had Shaq, which caused some serious chemistry problems, but I don’t think anyone expected the Suns to resurge like this.

Defensive player of the year: 1. Dwight Howard 2. Gerald Wallace 3. Josh Smith

Dwight Howard is second only to LeBron James as a player that instantly makes his team a playoff contender, and for Howard this is because of his defensive presence. Teams simply cannot score a lot of points on Howard and the Magic.

Sixth man of the year: 1. Jamal Crawford 2. Jason Terry 3. Manu Ginobili

This award really is not close. Jamal Crawford has been the clear favorite from the beginning, and I don’t see any other players receiving that many votes. Terry and Ginobili could easily be starting, and they are the second or third option on their teams. Crawford is more of a legitimate sixth man because he is behind Joe Johnson and a very solid Atlanta team that relies on a multitude of scoring options.

Most improved player: 1. Aaron Brooks 2. Andray Blatche 3. George Hill

I think Andray Blatche has shown the biggest turnaround of any player, but he really has not put in a full season of work, as he was behind Antawn Jamison for the majority of the time. Aaron Brooks, on the other hand, has blossomed into one of the better combo guards in the NBA. Brooks is averaging 19 points and 5 assists this season in only his second year in the pros. The Houston Rockets are getting excellent value out of the 26th pick in the 2007 draft.

Most valuable player: 1. LeBron James 2. Kevin Durant 3. Steve Nash

LeBron James will run away with the MVP award, and I don’t see how anyone else will win it in the near future. It seems like it’s his award to lose from here on out. No one in the NBA has anywhere near the effect he does on his team. You can put James on any team in the NBA and he will make them a contender. He’s the most impacting player since Jordan.

Durant will probably get a vote or two because he has had an amazing year, as he took down the scoring title. He simply does not carry his team the way LeBron does, though. He also has a deceptive amount of talent around him, as Russell Westbrook and Jeff Green are turning into very reliable players.

I think Steve Nash is fairly overlooked this season mainly because he is old news at this point. He led his team to 14 wins in their last 16 games, and they have had the second best overall record since the all-star break. Again, I think he is very overlooked, and let’s not forget that he led the league in assists per game at 11, which he typically does. Also, he does this in fewer minutes and he blows the league away at 16.1 assists per 48 minutes. No one is close to him in that statistic. I think it is fair to say that the Phoenix Suns would not be a very good team without him.

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