Predicting NBA Season awards
With the new season of the NBA almost upon us, it is time to predict some of the most important awards of the season. NBA since last year started a separate awards function for the regular season. The category includes Coach of the Year, Most Improved player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Sixth man of the Year, Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player.
These awards are part of the season, and some of the top players of the league set their eyes on these awards and set them as a goal for the season. Let’s try and predict some of them.
#1 Coach of the Year
Last season, ex Toronto Raptor’s coach, Dwane Casey won the award after leading the Toronto Raptors to the best record in Eastern Conference. Dwane Casey overhauled the Toronto Raptors’ Offence and implemented the share the ball mentality.
This season I am predicting it to be Brad Stevens of the Boston Celtics. He has been coaching the Boston Celtics for past few years and has managed to remain competitive while Danny Ainge rebuilds the roster.
Brad Stevenson is the best coach for out of the timeout drawn plays. It will be amazing to see what he can achieve with a healthy roster at his disposal.
#2 Most Improved Player of the Year
Award for most improved player of the year is given to a player who makes an exceptional jump to his game as compared to the previous season. Last year winner of this award was Indiana Pacers’ Victor Oladipo.
He led a rebuilding Indiana Pacers to playoffs where they fought in the first round with Lebron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers. Victor Oladipo made an amazing jump in numbers with his game and balled out throughout the season.
This season I am predicting it will be Dejounte Murray of the San Antonio Spurs. With the retirement of Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker moving to Charlotte Hornets. DeJounte Murray will have all the playing time to make a case for the Most Improved Player of the Year.
A case for Boston Celtics Jaylen Brown also can be made with him leading the Boston Celtics in his playoffs debut. Jaylen Brown will most certainly be part of the conversation for most improved player of the year.
However, my early vote goes to DeJounte Murray.
#3 Sixth man of the Year
Award for the Sixth man of the Year is given to the most productive sixth man of the team. A player who comes off the bench to help the team, he who leads in points scored and efficiency off the bench gets the award.
Last season it went to Los Angeles Clippers’ Lou Williams. He burst out midseason when clippers traded Blake Griffin to the Detroit Pistons.
My prediction for this year's sixth man awardee is Terry Rozier of the Boston Celtics. After Kyrie Irving underwent knee surgery last season, Terry Rozier started for the Boston Celtics and helped them to reach the conference finals.
Terry Rozier will come off the bench this season behind All-star Point guard Kyrie Irving and should well be in the conversation for the award of Sixth man of the Year.
#4 Rookie of the Year
Every rookie sets this as his goal at the start of the season. Very few players get to accomplish this. Last year this was a very controversial award. Ben Simmons won this year even after this being his second season.
He won the award because he had not played in his rookie season with an injury. Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers won the rookie of the year over Donovan Mitchell of Utah Jazz.
Watching this season’s rookie battles will be great. My vote goes to Phoenix Suns DeAndre Ayton, and he will be playing with veteran center Tyson Chandler.
Also, being number one pick in the draft, you are expected to win the rookie of the year. Kevin Knox of the New York Knicks will be another player who will be in the running for the rookie of the year award.
For now, my vote goes to Phoenix Suns’ DeAndre Ayton.
#5 Defensive Player of the Year
Best offense becomes better with better defense. Golden State Warriors are a prime example of this. They have a one-time Defensive Player of the Year player in Draymond Green. Last season the winner of this award was Utah Jazz’s Rudy Gobert. He had a monster season at the defensive side.
This season I am predicting it will be Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans. He had an exceptional season last year when he was finally healthy. Now with DeMarcus cousins gone, Anthony Davis will have to play even better on both ends of the floor.
I will not be surprised if he is in the conversation for Defensive Player of the Year and also the Most Valuable Player of the league. Anthony Davis is already being compared to Lebron James, and most of the General Managers of the league took his over LeBron James as Franchises starter player.
#6 Most Valuable Player of the Year
The most important individual award of the season. Every year the best players set this as their aim. Last year this award was won by James Harden (finally after losing two years in a row). Even with Chris Paul on his team, James Harden put up the numbers to make a case for MVP title.
Like every year LeBron James will be in this conversation. Now even so more as he tries to win his fifth MVP award. However, Lebron will be playing against tougher opponents on a regular basis.
Will this add to his advantage remains to be seen. As for my prediction, I believe this season will belong to Kevin Durant. He has been the best player in the league scoring wise. There are very few players who can defend him and his shot-making ability keeps on improving every year.