NBA Awards Predictions 2018/19

10/19/2018

NBA Award Predictions 

This NBA season promises to be an intriguing one. As far as team awards go, it seems everyone is in agreement that the Golden State Warriors will most likely repeat as NBA champs but the individual awards provoke little agreement. Here at the zone we could not come to an agreement on the individual awards so we decided to make co-predictions. Ryan's predictions are in red while Victor's predictions are in blue. 



Most Valuable Player - Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks

When it comes to this award, the narrative of the player is just as important as their on-court contributions. The majority of MVP candidates for this year have already won the award in the past, such as Kevin Durant, James Harden, Stephen Curry, and LeBron James. Those players are great, but the recent MVP awards have gone to first-time winners. Antetokounmpo has progressed every year he's been in the league, and I believe he'll make the jump to MVP winner, with averages around 30 PPG, 9 RPG, and 6 APG.

Runner-up: Kawhi Leonard, Toronto Raptors

Most Valuable Player - LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers

The MVP is by far the hardest of these awards to predict. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Anthony Davis, LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, James Harden, Steph Curry, Kevin Durant all could make a claim for the award. But the NBA owes LeBron James a few MVPs and this season's MVP will go to him. The Lakers will be far from the best team but if he can get the team into the playoffs then the award will be his. Anthony Davis was my original favorite but he can't seem to stay healthy and Giannis Antetokounmpo is immense but the Bucks are too bad of a team to make waves in the East. Anthony Davis finishes second to the King.

Runner-up: Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans


Rookie of the Year - Deandre Ayton, Phoenix Suns

It may seem like a cop-out to pick the Number One overall pick from this year's draft, but his preseason performance suggests he's ready to do big things THIS year (18.2 PPG, 10.0 RPG.) For the ROY award, raw stats seem to be the most important factor for voters, and Ayton will get plenty of opportunity to post big numbers, especially with Suns teammate Devon Booker having injury concerns. Don't be surprised to see the rookie big man average a double-double in his first season.

Runner-up: Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks

Rookie of the Year - Deandre Ayton, Phoenix Suns

My rookie of the year pick is Deandre Ayton, he is in the best situation of any rookie. Devin Booker is the best player on the team which means Ayton will get easier shots than most of the other lottery picks. I have Luca Doncic as the runner up in the rookie of the year race, he will get the touches and the stats needed but ultimately the Suns will have a better record than the Mavericks.

Runner-up: Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks


Sixth Man of the Year - Dennis Schroder, Oklahoma City Thunder

While logic would dictate last year's winner Lou Williams would be the favorite to take home this award, it's worth noting that only Detlef Schrempf and Kevin McHale have been Sixth Man of the Year in consecutive seasons. Schroder is a starting-caliber point guard that will act as Russell Westbrook's backup and occasional running mate. He will get plenty of opportunities to shoot, with Westbrook and Paul George being the only other reliable offensive players on the team.

Runner-up: Lou Williams, Los Angeles Clippers

Sixth Man of the Year - Lou Williams, Los Angeles Clippers

The sixth man of the year tends to be a forgotten award that usually comes down to the bench player averaging the most points per game. Lou Williams will be starring in a role he excelled in for the Clippers last season and there is no reason he won't repeat. I have Carmelo Anthony at runner up because why not, he's received a lot of unwarranted hate in recent years so I'll show him a little love. 

Runner-up: Carmelo Anthony, Houston Rockets


Defensive Player of the Year - Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans

Looking at the most recent DPOY winners, Davis's name is glaringly absent from the list. A Seven-Footer with elite rim-protecting ability, help defense, and perimeter quickness, there are few, if any, players that can match his defensive versatility. With other top defensive players of this generation already having won DPOY, the Unibrow will finally receive an individual award.

Runner-up: Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz

Defensive Player of the Year - Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans

My Defensive player of the year pick is Anthony Davis, he was close last year but should secure the award this year. Kawhi Leonard will take on a different role in Toronto, Draymond Green isn't asked to do as much defensively in Golden State and Joel Embiid will fall just behind Anthony Davis. Last year's DPOY Rudy Gobert is also worth mentioning but I have Joel Embiid coming in second.

Runner-up: Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers


Most Improved Player - Taurean Prince, Atlanta Hawks

Prince is by no means a household name. However, thanks in part to the Hawks trading away their top scorer from last year, Dennis Schroder, he will have the green-light to shoot. Don't be surprised if approaches a stat-line of 20 PPG, 5 RPG, and 4 APG on a Hawks team that will almost definitely find itself on the bottom of the NBA's totem pole.

Runner-up: Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics

Most Improved Player - Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics

Jayson Tatum will be the most improved player by the time the season is concluded. Was great in the playoffs but when you consider that he only averaged 14 points and 5 rebounds a game during the regular season you see why he is primed to win the award. Only challenge is that the Celtics are so loaded Tatum might not put up the numbers he could elsewhere. My runner up is Dennis Smith Jr., if you saw our NBA fantasy basketball sleeper picks then you understand why the addition of Luca Doncic means DSJ is about to have an incredible season.

Runner-up: Dennis Smith Jr., Dallas Mavericks


Coach of the Year - Brad Stevens, Boston Celtics

Stevens has found himself to be the Leonardo DiCaprio of the NBA when award season arrives. Despite excellent coaching performances in recent years, including a runner-up finish in last year's voting, Stevens has not yet been able to capture the COTY award. The 2018-2019 season will be the equivalence of DiCaprio's 'The Revenant', and the sixth-year coach will finally receive his long-awaited award, cementing himself as the best coach in the NBA (Sorry, Popovich.)

Runner-up: Luke Walton, Los Angeles Lakers

Coach of the Year - Brad Stevens, Boston Celtics

The NBA Coach of The Year award is one of the most ridiculous awards there is. Gregg Popovich, arguably the greatest coach of all time somehow only has 3 awards to his name in his 20 years of coaching while Brad Stevens somehow has zero to his name. That ends this season with Brad Stevens winning his first Coach of The Year trophy. The Orlando Magic are going to be a much-improved team which will see coach Steve Clifford finish second to Brad Stevens.

Runner-up: Steve Clifford, Orlando Magic


NBA Champions - Golden State Warriors

We're in the midst of a dynasty and, for at least this season, the Warriors reign will continue. While there are other contenders, such as the Houston Rockets and the Boston Celtics, no team can match their level of overwhelming star power. The Celtics are a team to watch out for this season, but I believe the Warriors will still beat them in seven games in the NBA Finals.

Runner-up: Boston Celtics

NBA Champions - Golden State Warriors

The Golden State Warriors will win the championship once again. The real question is who finishes as runner-up by coming out of the Eastern Conference. The Celtics are the best team in the East but will fall short to the Warriors in the finals.

Runner-up: Boston Celtics

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