A Substitute for War

Basketball philosophy

Post-February NBA Awards Watch

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My top picks for the various NBA Awards after two months of play.  Expect to see this updated each month with my picks for ROY, DPOY, MIP, 6MOY, COY, and All-NBA teams.

MVP:  See Monday’s post.  This gets updated weekly.

Rookie of the Year

1. Blake Griffin

2. John Wall

3. Landry Fields

Wall moves up to the 2nd spot. I’ve mentioned before that ranking rookies is harding than most people think. Fields is clearly the rookie who has contributed the 2nd most value this season, but that’s because he found a good niche. I’ll give him the ROY nod over guys like Cousins whose (bad) teams still choose to play him less than the Knicks play Fields, but very clearly the Wizards are fully behind Wall, and Wall is doing star-like things most of us wouldn’t assert that Fields could do. He’s now played enough of the season, only Griffin is clearly ahead of him.

Defensive Player of the Year 

1. Dwight Howard

2. Kevin Garnett

3. Andrew Bogut

No change here, but it’s close. I could see giving the nod to any 3 of these guys.

Most Improved Player

1. Derrick Rose

2. Russell Westbrook

3. Kevin Love

Also no change here. How amazing is it that Eric Gordon has had the year he has and still isn’t in my top 3 MIP candidates from his draft class? Awesome draft that one.

And yes, to make explicit: Rose ain’t winning this award. Probably won’t come close because players get ignored if they improve too much, I just refuse to think that way. Whose perspective is right, mine or the norm? The norm picked Aaron Brooks for MIP last year. On a scale of 0 to 10, where 10 is how much Kevin Durant improved last year, where would you put Brooks? Like, 3 maybe? What’s the point of even having an award if you’re scrounging for a winner like that when so much more deserving is rejected on a technicality not in the rules?

6th Man of the Year

1. Jason Terry

2. George Hill

3. Glen Davis

I had Hill at #1 last month, but really, of all the eligible 6th men, no team depends on theirs like the Mavericks to Terry. Davis jumps into my top 3 as I reflect on him. I still question how well he’d fit with other teams, but he’s definitely a guy the Celtics rely on in crunch time.

And as stated last month, Lamar Odom looms on the horizon. It appears a certainty now he’ll qualify for the eligibility of the award, and he will be a very strong candidate.

Coach of the Year

1. Gregg Popovich

2. Tom Thibodeau

3. George Karl

My top 2 remain locked in. Honestly, two of the strongest candidates in recent memory. Putting Karl in at the 3rd spot right now. He’s on my mind quite a bit as we watch the Nuggets sans Melo.

All-NBA 1st Team

Guard:  Derrick Rose

Guard:  Dwyane Wade

Forward:  Dirk Nowitzki

Forward:  LeBron James

Center:  Dwight Howard

All-NBA 2nd Team

Guard:  Manu Ginobili

Guard:  Chris Paul

Forward:  Kevin Durant

Forward:  Paul Pierce

Center:  Al Horford

All-NBA 3rd Team

Guard:  Steve Nash

Guard:  Kobe Bryant

Forward:  Pau Gasol

Forward:  Kevin Garnett

Center:  Nene

A fewthoughts here:

-Paul falls to the 2nd team, and he’s barely clinging to that. At this point I could see him missing the 3rd team by season’s end.

-Nash joins the 3rd team with a bullet.

-After a strong month, Gasol re-enters the All-NBA 15 over Stoudemire.

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