NBA Midseason Awards

01/08/2019

At the beginning of the season, we gave you our predictions for each individual award and the NBA Champions. With each team about halfway through the schedule, Victor and Ryan are back with their award predictions. As with the past, Ryan's predictions are in red while Victor's predictions are in blue.


Most Valuable Player - Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks

My pre-season pick for MVP has not proven me wrong up to this point, with Antetokounmpo averaging ridiculous numbers: 26.3 PPG, 12.6 RPG, 6.1 APG, 1.6 BPG, and 58.6 FG%. Those are numbers you'll see in an NBA 2K game. Having led the Bucks to the best record in the NBA, it only makes sense that the Greak Freak would be leading the MVP race.                           Players to win MVP while not leading scorer on team: Steve Nash (2X)

Runner-up: Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets

Most Valuable Player - Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks

As much as it hurts me to say, it seems Ryan was right on his preseason pick of Antetokounmpo for MVP. The Greek freak has been nothing short of unstoppable this season and his averages of 26-13-6 have the Bucks with the best record in all of the NBA. Second place for me his LeBron James, outside of the Bucks the Lakers are having the biggest turnaround from last season to this season and LeBron is responsible for that. Kawhi is worth a mention but his averages are basically what Demar Derozan gave the Raptors when he was there and James Harden is having a great 10 game stretch but the season is 82 games not 10.

Runner up: LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers


Rookie of the Year - Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks

Lukamania has run wild over the NBA in 2018, to the point that he's currently fourth in All-Star voting in the Western Conference so far. While his shooting numbers aren't impressive (43.6 FG%), his raw numbers (19.5 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 5.0 APG) are similar to LeBron James's rookie year. The hype train is in full effect, and if Doncic can keep hitting his step-back 3's and taking over 4th quarters, there's no telling how far the train may go.

Runner-up: DeAndre Ayton, Phoenix Suns

Rookie of the Year - Deandre Ayton, Phoenix Suns

Do not let the highlights fool you, Deandre Ayton is the most impressive rookie this season not Luka Doncic. Let ESPN tell it, Luka Doncic is the greatest rookie of all time and no one else deserves a mention. However, further analysis will show you that as impressive as Doncic as been, Ayton leads all rookies in win shares, double-doubles, and PER. PER is the key statistic, it measures how much a player contributes to his team's success when he is on the court. Although the Mavericks are performing better than the Suns, both teams are out of the playoffs so it does not really matter. Ayton's impressive averages of 17 points and 11 rebounds on 61% shooting give him the edge over Doncic.

Runner up: Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks


Sixth Man of the Year - Derrick Rose, Minnesota Timberwolves

In one of the better surprises of the season, former MVP Derrick Rose has returned to form, only now he has a smooth jump shot to go with his crafty athleticism. His Per-36 numbers this year are comparable to his MVP season, and he's shooting a much better percentage from the field. Injuries have kept him out of action a few games this season, but his 50-point performance against the Utah Jazz ranks as one of the top moments so far this season.

Runner-up: Julius Randle, New Orleans Pelicans

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

I hate to do this because I like everybody else in my generation grew up a huge Derrick Rose fan and to see him do what he's done this season has been nothing short of wonderful. However, Lou Williams is having the same season as Derrick Rose with both averaging around 18, 3 and 5, the difference is the Clippers are in the playoffs and the Timberwolves are not. I'm hoping the Timberwolves sneak into the playoffs by the end of the season so the award can go to Derrick Rose.

Runner up: Derrick Rose, Minnesota Timberwolves 


Defensive Player of the Year - Paul George, Oklahoma City Thunder

In a year where recent DPOY winners have gone through struggles, whether it be individual or team-based, it seems like a good time for a new DPOY to be crowned. George is currently guiding the Thunder' to a top five defense in the league. That's especially impressive considering the absence of defensive stud Andre Roberson for the entire season up to this point, and having to make up for Russell Westbrook and Dennis Schroeder's deficiencies on that end of the court.

Runner up: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks

Defensive Player of the Year - Paul George, Oklahoma City Thunder

I had Anthony Davis to start the season but with the Pelicans out of the playoffs, he can't really win the award. Overall, defending has been extremely poor in the NBA this year and it's really anyone's guess as to who deserves the award. Paul George is having a career year offensively but where he has been most impressive is the defensive side of the ball. Paul George is currently the highest rated defender in the NBA and his contribution on the perimeter cannot be overlooked. Antetokounmpo is also having a stellar defensive season and deserves a nod in the race.

Runner up: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks


Most Improved Player - De'Aaron Fox, Sacramento Kings

Fox's rookie campaign was less than inspiring, to say the least. He's come on in a big way so far this season though, averaging 17.9 PPG and 7.4 APG thanks to a much-improved jump shot. His vast improvement is the key reason why the Sacramento Kings are among the league's most surprising teams up to this point.

Runner-up: Domantas Sabonis, Indiana Pacers

Most Improved Player - De'Aaron Fox, Sacramento Kings

There are many worthy candidates for the award but the most deserving is De'Aaron Fox who has the Kings within seven wins of last year's win total with 45 games still to be played. Ironically, second place is also a Sacramento Kings guard in Buddy Hield. Zach LaVine and John Collins are also worth mentioning but with the Hawks and the Bulls at the bottom of the Eastern conference, De'Aaron Fox of the Kings gets the nod.

Runner up: Buddy Hield, Sacramento Kings


Coach of the Year - Mike Budenholzer, Milwaukee Bucks

All the credit can't go to Antetokounmpo; new Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer has taken over the team, with the entire team seemingly playing up to their potential. Even the fiercest of Bucks fans wouldn't have predicted them to have the best record in the league.

Runner-up: Mike Malone, Denver Nuggets

Coach of the Year - Nate McMillan, Indiana Pacers

What the Pacers are doing can no longer go unappreciated. The Pacers are 26 and 13 and recently went 7 and 4 without their superstar, Victor Oladipo. Nate McMillan is at the helm and his coaching style has seen his players maximize their potential. Mike Budenhozer deserves a mention and is currently on pace to lead the Bucks to 59 wins and their best record since 1985 but we've seen him do this before in a 60-win season with the Hawks that ended in them getting swept in the playoffs. McMillan is doing more with less and as of today deserves the award.

Runner up: Mike Budenhozer, Milwaukee Bucks


NBA Champion: Golden State Warriors

The Warriors are starting to show some cracks, mainly with the rift between Kevin Durant and Draymond Green. That being said, they still possess by far the most talented starting lineup in the league, and that's WITHOUT DeMarcus Cousins, who should be returning to the court soon. Expect the Warriors to take home the championship again this year, although their playoff should be more challenging than last year's romp.

Runner-up: Boston Celtics

NBA Champions: Golden State Warriors

It feels like the entirety of the NBA is starting to doubt the Golden State Warriors, almost as if they forgot about the existence of Demarcus Cousins. What Cousins does is bring new life to a team that looks on the edge of falling apart not to mention adding a new offensive edge the Warriors have never had. The Warriors will win another championship and this time they'll defeat the Toronto Raptors. The Raptors are currently the second best team in the East but come playoff time, the addition of Kawhi Leonard will prove to be the difference.

Runner-up: Toronto Raptors


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