With one or two games remaining in the regular season, I figure I would post my picks for MVP's and other categories.
Rookie of the Year- Blake Griffin. This is a no-brainer and if Blake Griffin played last year, John Wall would have this award. Blake Griffin has solidified himself as an athletic freak and the most highlight reels since Dominique Wilkins.
Sixth Man of the Year- A relatively tough choice to make. Jason Terry probably will win this award and would be a deserving choice as Dallas has benefited from his late game scoring. But I will give this award to a man who has also helped his team as well and that is Lamar Odom. The stats and intangibles that Lamar brings to LA's favorite sports team cannot be overlooked though the one thing that may pass him up on this award is how many times he has started compared to other Sixth Man award candidates.
Defensive Player of the Year- You might want to start renaming this award "The Dwight Howard Trophy" as he looks poised to make a historical mark in winning his 3 straight DPOY award. Dwight Howard is a difference maker in terms of defense and would be a higher choice for MVP if Orlando had a better record.
Coach of the Year- I was thinking Greg Popovich would be my favorite to win this award (and he does deserve it) but I will put in Coach of the Year for George Karl. After trading 'Melo, the Nuggets have still kept winning at a consistent pace and through everything, George Karl has the Nuggets with yet another 50 win season.
Most Improved Player- Kevin Love. In only his 3rd season, K-Love went on to record 53 consecutive double-doubles, lead the league in rebounds at 15 a game (4 more rpg than last season) and increase his scoring by 6 ppg to a shade over 20. Is it because Love plays for the lowly T-Wolves that his stats are up? That is debateable but Kevin Love should not be denied because of where he plays when it comes to this award. His play and improvement from the FIBA tourney (like Russell Westbrook) have helped his NBA game.
Most Valuable Player- Derrick Rose is the favorite by many to win this award and he deserves it. LeBron does have the better stats but D-Rose has helped the Bulls be arguably the most consistent team all season. The Bulls never lost 3 in a row all season and unlike LeBron and the Heat, the Bulls have been consistent against teams with winning records.
Surprise Team- The Memphis Grizzlies. You can argue the cast for a few other teams including Philly, but Memphis finally has a winning season and has done rather well against the leagues best teams. The Grizz will either be in the 7th or 8th spot, but whoever they face in the first round, they could give the 1st or 2nd seed a tough task.
Most Disappointing Team- It would be easy to say the Cavs or T-Wolves but it was expected to see the Cavs be a lottery team after LeBron high-tailed it to be with with Bosh and Wade. My pick here is Milwaukee. After winning 46 games last season second in the Central last year, the Bucks have not made the playoffs in a conference that has Indiana (currently 37-44) in the final 8th spot. The Bucks have had some injuries to slow down was what supposed to be a promising year but Milwaukee still gets the nod slightly over the now imploded Utah Jazz.
At the start of the season there was such hope. Jennings would take the next step. Bogut would be back as good as ever. Salmons would stay at 09/10 levels. Gooden and Maggette would enhance the team.
Instead just about everyone on the roster had some sort of injury. Jenning still can't shoot 40%. Bogut never came good. Hopefully the surgery he just had will fix him right. Salmons took 70+ games to comegood. Gooden among the injured. Maggette in the Skiles doghouse.
Thread ahead: 2010-11 NBA PLAYOFFS: EASTERN CONFERENCE QUARTERFINALS - SCHEDULE AND PREDICTIONS Next thread: 2010-11 NBA PLAYOFFS: WESTERN CONFERENCE QUARTERFINALS - SCHEDULE AND PREDICTIONS Previous thread: UConn 53, Butler 41 (a.k.a. The Final Bore)
Was thinking the same thing about Valvano. By the way I still get a lil emotional watching that speech and seeing the replays of Jim on ESPy's. Kinda funny how I couldnt stand him as a kid (UNC fan here)