NBA Daily: The End of 2017 NBA Awards
The End of 2017 Awards
Given that the brand new calendar yr is upon us, its solely appears becoming to do one thing campy and finish of the yr themed, so lets spend a couple of minutes and hand out some finish of 2017 awards.
Keep in thoughts, we’ve already seen the 2016-17 award winners, so these are executed, however who’re some of the notables to this point into the 2017-18 season as we finish 2017?
Executive of The Year
There are a number of names to say on this dialogue, some that pulled off unbelievable roster strikes, some that stole worth within the draft and a few which have merely put collectively dominating rosters.
You could make a case principally yearly for Bob Myers of the Golden State Warriors. This summer time he satisfied principally your entire staff to come back again and preserve the championship practice rolling, and whenever you take a look at the Warriors league-leading 29-Eight file, it arduous to argue in opposition to the outcomes.
Rockets GM Daryl Morey deserves a nod right here, regardless of their latest struggles, the Rockets have been spectacular all yr. When you think about Morey turned roster components into Chris Paul and the Rockets are nonetheless one of the elite groups within the NBA; Morey deserves quite a bit of credit score.
New Cavalier GM Koby Altman deserves a nod as properly. The Cavaliers have assembled arguably essentially the most complimentary roster to encompass and amplify LeBron James as any they’ve had in fashionable historical past. Not solely are the Cavs and James surging, however their second unit has discovered some protection that was sorely missing for the previous couple of seasons.
While there are a number of deserving candidates, it’s arduous to argue that Celtics president Danny Ainge doesn’t deserve the award this far. Not solely did he flip roster components into guard Kyrie Irving in commerce, however he additionally lured in free agent Gordon Hayward, drafted rookie of the yr candidate Jason Tatum, and has seen latest draft wildcards blossom into bona fide NBA stars like Jaylen Brown and reserve level guard Terry Rozier.
The Celtics stand at 29-10 on the season and are nearly as good as anybody in basketball on each ends of the ground.
Most Improved Player
This award is all the time powerful, as a result of of how subjective the character of measuring Most Improved.
There are a number of gamers to say on this dialogue.
Boston’s Jaylen Brown is a deserving candidate. If you take a look at his development as a participant and his position on the staff with Gordon Hayward going out to damage, he has seen his numbers soar up however extra importantly his effectivity as a participant on each ends of the ground has improved dramatically.
Brooklyn’s Spencer Dinwiddie deserves a nod as properly. Dinwiddie was a castoff only a season in the past and with the damage to Jeremy Lin he has discovered himself not solely beginning video games for the Nets however actually main the staff as a flooring normal. Dinwiddie’s manufacturing is up everywhere in the board, and his effectivity is spectacular as properly.
There are a quantity of certified candidate for the award everywhere in the NBA from Chicago’s Kris Dunn to Charlotte’s Jeremy Lamb to Houston’s Clint Capella, however its arduous to argue the most important leap to this point must be Indiana’s Victor Oladipo.
Not solely has Oladipo emerged as Indiana’s go-to man, he posting profession bests from the sector and the three-point line whereas averaging virtually 25 factors a recreation. Oladipo is making a strong case for All-Star consideration, and that’s an enormous soar for after-thought participant in Oklahoma City a season in the past.
Sixth Man of the Year
Again, there are some notable names to place into this crowded and all the time contentious dialogue.
There are the mainstays of this dialog like Minnesota’s Jamal Crawford, and Clippers reserve turned starter Lou Williams. Both are having strong seasons. However there are a number of new names within the area that appears to be getting higher because the season strikes on.
Memphis’ Tyreke Evans has seen a resurgence in his profession in Memphis. Evans is posting his second-best scoring season as a professional for the Grizzlies whereas posting profession highs from each the sector and the three-point line. The downside for Evans is he has performed so properly he’s been within the beginning line-up and should begin his approach out of qualifying.
Denver’s Will Barton has been on this dialogue for the previous two seasons, however this may be his most convincing season. He is averaging a profession excessive in factors and area purpose proportion and his second greatest from the three-point line. Barton has change into a power for the Nuggets and has began simply eight video games on the season.
Brooklyn’s Caris LaVert can also be posting a reasonably spectacular case for the sixth man, though his numbers aren’t practically as spectacular as some others within the dialogue.
The identify that continues to be attention-grabbing on this dialogue is Cleveland’s Dwyane Wade, primarily as a result of the Cavs have been a dumpster fireplace earlier than Wade moved to the reserve position and anchored the second unit. Wade has began simply three video games for the Cavs and is posting 11.2 factors per recreation on 44.5 p.c area purpose capturing and 36.5 p.c three-point capturing. His uncooked numbers aren’t practically as spectacular as say Evans and even Barton, however its arduous to argue with the leads to Cleveland. That mixed with the truth that Wade has the clout as a future Hall of Famer to power his approach into the beginning lineup if he actually wished to, makes him the award winner at this level within the season.
Coach of The Year
This one can also be powerful as a result of there are three or 4 teaching jobs this season value speaking about on this context.
Indiana’s Nate McMillian is doing an incredible job this season and it arduous to argue with the outcomes contemplating most anticipated this to be a rebuilding season.
Chicago’s Fred Hoiberg has discovered a groove in Chicago regardless of Bulls followers wishing for losses. Hoiberg’s system has allowed Kris Dunn to flourish, together with rookie Lauri Markkanen.
Neither are actually the teaching award-winning type of storyline however completely value acknowledging.
You can toss Warriors coach Steve Kerr into this dialogue nearly yearly, however this yr extra so as a result of of the accidents and sluggish begin. What the Warriors have executed to this point is spectacular however simple to dismiss as a result of of the standard of the roster. But it’s not simple to maintain that many star gamers blissful and centered, and Kerr doesn’t get practically sufficient credit score for a way seamless he makes it look.
Houston’s Mike D’Antoni received this award final yr and is posting an equally spectacular marketing campaign to be a “back to back” winner. The Rockets, regardless of their latest struggles, have been lights out offensively and have steadily improved defensively (which nobody provides him credit score for).
Toronto’s Dwane Casey is justified on this dialogue as properly. The Raptors have gone 13-1 at house which is tops within the NBA. They are third within the NBA in level differential. Fourth within the NBA in factors per recreation they usually have a 24-10 file. He could not win the award, however he must be talked about within the dialogue.
While there are a number of worthy and justified candidates is there actually anybody who’s executed a greater teaching job than Boston’s Brad Stevens? He was a legit candidate for the award final yr, and given all that performed out in Boston, the job he has executed is outstanding.
Not solely are the Celtics 29-10 on the season, however they’re additionally permitting the second-fewest factors within the NBA whereas leaning on a roster loaded with gamers on rookie scale contracts. When you think about dropping Gordon Hayward 5 minutes into the season and the way in which the staff has rallied, it may be one of the perfect teaching jobs of the last decade, and as such will get the award at this level within the season.
Defensive Player of The Year
Normally there isn’t quite a bit of star energy on the defensive aspect of the ball, or not less than they don’t get quite a bit of credit score for it. Normally any defensive participant listing is crammed with specialists or facilities that block quite a bit of photographs or carry the title “rim protector.” This season may be the primary time shortly that a number of of the NBA’s brightest stars might be in severe consideration for Defensive Player honors.
Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid is making a reasonably good case to be on this dialogue in a severe approach. The huge problem for Embiid is the minute restrictions and the video games the staff appears to be forcing him to overlook. His defensive manufacturing is unbelievable when he’s in video games, nevertheless, if others play extra, it’s going to be arduous to justify giving him the award, however he’s completely within the dialogue.
Lost within the struggles to search out their approach offensively is the gorgeous spectacular season Oklahoma City Thunder swingman Paul George is posting defensively. George has been a monster within the deflections per recreation class main the NBA with four.9 per recreation. He additionally among the many league leaders in unfastened balls recovered at 1.9 per recreation. The Thunder have one of the perfect defenses in basketball and George is an enormous motive why.
The Warriors might have two gamers within the operating for Defensive Player this yr with final yr’s winner Draymond Green once more making a case for DYOP honors, however the winner at this level within the season must be Kevin Durant. Not solely has Durant held issues down within the Bay Area whereas Steph Curry recovered from an ankle damage, however he’s additionally posting some of his greatest stats defensively.
Durant on the season has change into one the more practical isolation defenders, in addition to placing up some spectacular defensive area purpose percentages. There is a robust case for a quantity of gamers on this class, however what Durant has executed this far earns the nod.
Rookie Of The Year
This award is 76ers guard Ben Simmons to lose, so there might not be a lot to debate on this one.
That stated there are a pair of different rookies posting loopy seasons value mentioning, despite the fact that Simmons appears to be the far and away winner.
Utah’s Donavan Mitchell continues to carry it at an unbelievable clip, main all rookies in factors per recreation. Mitchell has rapidly change into the Jazz’s go-to man on quite a bit of fronts, and he delivers night time after night time. Not solely is Mitchell breathtaking to observe on the basket, however he’s additionally turning into an attention-grabbing defender as properly. We’re not placing him within the DYOP dialogue, however for a participant drafted 13th total, he’s been extraordinarily spectacular.
Lakers swingman Kyle Kuzma has additionally been explosively spectacular in his 33 video games as a Laker. He is the second main scorer within the rookie class and has been posting fairly insane numbers for a participant drafted 27th total. Kuzma on the season has posted 17.7 factors per recreation on 47.9 p.c area purpose capturing and a formidable 38.four p.c three-point common on higher than 5 threes a recreation.
Chicago’s Lauri Markkanen can also be making a compelling case for the Rookie of The Year race. He is the fourth main scorer within the rookie class at 14.7 per recreation. Among the rookie class leaders, Markkanen is posting the bottom area purpose percentages and three-point percentages, however he’s nonetheless a reputation to say when speaking ROY.
While the award has to go to Simmons, there’s a actual case for Celtics rookie Jayson Tatum too. Tatum has emerged not solely as being extremely productive; he’s doing it on a profitable staff. Its one factor to put up loopy stats on a staff going nowhere that’s constructing round you for the longer term, it’s one other factor to be posting 14.2 factors per recreation on a staff that’s main a convention.
Tatum can also be producing the best area purpose proportion and three-point p.c of any of the gamers on this dialogue whereas having performed essentially the most video games within the rookie class.
This race must be quite a bit nearer than it appears at this level within the season.
The Must Watch Player of 2017
There are a number of gamers which have change into must-watch on a nightly foundation. While this isn’t a standard postseason award it’s a designation value speaking about on this regard; there are quite a bit of NBA video games within the common season and to cease and watch all of them for anybody staff or participant takes one thing particular.
Its arduous to argue that Boston’s Kyrie Irving hasn’t lived as much as every part stated about him this summer time when information of him asking for a commerce out of Cleveland broke. He has been breathtaking with the ball, unbelievable offensively and for all of these individuals who stated he wasn’t a high quality defender he’s on the staff with the second-best protection in basketball.
Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid has change into one of “must watch” gamers too. Unfortunately, he misses quite a bit of video games, however when he does play he not solely posts unbelievable numbers, he has change into sensational at making every matchup a private rating to settle. His Twitter and Instagram handles have change into epic, and he backs it up on the courtroom.
The season LeBron James is having in Cleveland is unbelievable for a participant that simply turned 33. The notion that this may be his greatest season as knowledgeable isn’t too far off when you think about he’s posting 37.Eight factors per night time which is third greatest within the NBA and fourth most in his profession. James has change into the poster youngster for poise, energy, and management multi function participant and his sheer dominance this season is breathtaking.
But the winner for must-watch must be Golden State’s Steph Curry. Maybe its as a result of he missed so many video games, however watching a wholesome Curry drop 38 factors in a single recreation whereas making it appear so easy, it’s spectacular. The Curry present isn’t something new, however the way in which he can create offensively is uncanny. While you’ll be able to simply throw James Harden or Giannis Antetokounmpo on this listing for a similar causes, there might not be a greater present in basketball than Curry.
The Most Valuable Player
This award is all the time extremely contested, and in recent times the standard of play on the prime of the NBA has made selecting only one participant more and more tougher. This yr is not any exception.
It’s simple to speak concerning the front-runners. Houston’s James Harden was arguably the chief final season and once more has posted a season that’s so MVP worthy it’s arduous to not see him gaining quite a bit of votes when the top of the season award ballots is forged. The Rockets and Harden’s latest struggles could put one thing of a dent in his marketing campaign this season, however its arduous to think about that Harden isn’t going to search out his groove once more and stay in direction of the highest of the listing.
Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo is posting an unbelievable season for the Bucks too, and his 29.1 factors per recreation put him second within the NBA behind Harden’s 32.1. He can also be posting a scorching 54.7 p.c area purpose proportion and leads the NBA in minutes per recreation at 38.1. Antetokounmpo could get misplaced within the hype on this award when its all stated and executed, however he’s deserving of point out.
Golden State’s Kevin Durant also needs to be within the dialogue, not simply because of his 25.9 factors per recreation or his 39.5 p.c three-point common, however as a result of his staff is on the prime of the standings once more and he’s paved the way with Steph Curry being sidelined with out lacking a beat. Durant’s defensive prowess has put him within the dialogue as one of the sport’s greatest two-way gamers. Durant will without end be dinged within the MVP discuss as a result of of the power and depth of his staff, however the reality of the matter is he’s posting as MVP worthy a season as anybody.
As for the winner at this level within the season, can you actually argue that it’s not LeBron James? Maybe it’s the drama of him turning 33. Maybe it’s the romance some need to place on the scenario, however the numbers paint a really actual image. Among the highest ten scorers within the NBA, James ranks third in factors, second in area purpose proportion and second in minutes performed among the many prime scorers. His staff is 24-12 on the season.
You could not agree, however for my cash, James has been the MVP to this point, this season. We’ll see what the steadiness of the season brings, however that’s who will get the vote.
From all of us right here at Basketball Insiders we thanks for spending your time with us. We know there are dozens of locations to get NBA information and perception and the very fact you give us your time and a focus isn’t misplaced on us.
We hope that 2018 brings you and your loved ones prosperity and pleasure and we sit up for sharing the NBA season with you in 2018.
More Twitter: Make certain you’re following all of our guys on Twitter to make sure you are getting the very newest from our staff: @stevekylerNBA, @MikeAScotto, @LangGreene, @EricPincus, @joelbrigham, @TommyBeer, @MokeHamilton , @jblancartenba, @Ben_Dowsett, @SpinDavies, @BuddyGrizzard, @JamesB_NBA, @DennisChambers_, and @Ben__Nadeau .