The NBA regular season is over, so this means that the best time of the NBA season is here: the playoffs. What else comes with the playoffs? The awards. We’ll find out on June 25th who the winners are, but here are my predictions:
Most Valuable Player: James Harden
There are no words that can adequately describe the performance by James Harden this season. His strength and quickness on the drive are unmatched by any guard in the league and he has the best step back in the NBA. He was the best player on the best team in the NBA and he averaged over 30 points a game while ranking fourth in assists. James Harden should be the unanimous choice for MVP this year, and it should not even be up for a debate.
Rookie of the Year: Ben Simmons
Donovan Mitchell and Ben Simmons are the top contenders for rookie of the year, but in the end, Simmons should be the lock The Australian freak of nature, often compared to Magic Johnson since he is 6’10 and runs the point, averaged 15.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 8.2 assists. He carried his 76ers to the 3 seed in the playoffs, since the number one draft pick this season, Markelle Fultz, only played 14 games and Joel Embiid only played 63 games, both due to injury.
Defensive Player of the Year: Rudy Gobert
Without question, the defensive best player of the season is Rudy Gobert. He was snubbed last season, losing the hard-earned honor to Draymond Green – but this year, there’s no denying the impact that the “Stifle Tower” has had on defense. The Jazz has the second best paint defense, allowing only 41.8 points in the paint per game, and the second-best defensive rating in the NBA (101.6). Rudy averages 2.6 blocks a game, and as a result, teams change their game plan when they have to face Gobert.
Most Improved Player: Victor Oladipo
Coming into this season, Victor Oladipo had a reputation as someone who didn’t live up to his hype. People said he was a solid player, but not worth the second pick in the draft. Oladipo upped his points per game by 8 points this season, going from 15.9 to 23.1, while also doubling his steals per game to 2.4 a night. That on its own should be enough to give him the award. He was even traded by the Thunder for Paul George in a trade that seemed as if the Thunder got away with robbery. However, Oladipo took on the role as the main player on the Indiana Pacers and ran with it.
Sixth Man of the Year: Lou Williams
Lou Williams was dominant on the offensive end of the floor. He averaged 22.6 points a game while shooting 43.5% from the field. He was the only main offensive weapon on the Clippers for the majority of the season. He could do it all, from creating his own shot off of the dribble shooting off the catch, and it seemed as if no one could stop him.
Coach of the Year: Brad Stevens
The best coach this season has to be Brad Stevens of the Boston Celtics. Yes, Dwayne Casey is a contender since he implemented the new freelance type of offense at the Raptors, but what Brad Stevens has done is simply remarkable and should earn him the top spot of Coach of the Year Award. Brad has led the Celtics to 55 wins even after losing his second best player in the first five minutes of the season. The amazing development of Jayson Tatum, Terry Rozier, and Jaylen Brown is all due to the brilliance of Brad Stevens.