Just like last year, C Breezy and Wild Bill are here to make their 2017-18 NBA Award Predictions. Let's get right to it!
Wild Bill (WB): Kevin Durant
Last year I took Harden over Westbrook so maybe I am not the best person to pick. I know the usual suspects of Curry and Lebron are still very much in the conversation but I go with Durant here.
While Lebron is the best player in the NBA he’s playing for the postseason (or some would say not playing until the postseason). Durant is going into year two with a team he’s comfortable with that just came off a title. I think with that he takes the next step and becomes a more dominant player. I also don't expect him to miss 20 games this year.
Runner Up: Lebron James
Maybe Lebron shoulders more work with IT being out but I just feel like Lebron’s always in the conversation and it hurts him more than it helps him.
C Breezy (CB): Giannis Antetokounmpo
We can sit here and argue what MVP truly means till were blue in the face, but I personally think it means, who is most valuable to their specific team. There are no playoff requirements that you should have to meet in order to win MVP. Hell, I think Peyton Manning should of won it in 2011 when he missed the entire season due to a neck injury and the Colts went 2-14. The Greek Freak led the Bucks in points, assists, rebounds, blocks and steals per game. Not sure what else needs to be said to show how important he is to Milwaukee. I expect the 22 year old to take another big step forward in his progression while leading the Bucks to the post season.
Runner Up: Kevin Durant
DPOY (Defensive Player of The Year)
WB: Kawhi Leonard
Last year I chose Kawhi and this year I say “Kawhi not” choose him again?
Kawhi became a defensive force in the NBA Finals four years ago. He has continued to make a name for himself as one of the best defensive players in the NBA. He’s still an anchor on the team and I see him getting it this year. Plus a poll from NBA players crowned Kawhi as the best defender in the league.
I like his odds even more because since Draymond won it last year I don’t see him repeating.
Runner Up: Rudy Gobert
CB: Draymond Green
As much as it pains for me to write this, I think Draymond wins back to back DPOY. In a sport where the audience gets bored of pure dominance from these athletes, the awards generally follow the same trend. A superstar emerges and dominates, then we get used to him being that great and quickly look to someone else. I think this happens mainly in the MVP race but also in other awards. Personally, I think Kwahi Leonard should win this award every year but I fear that now this award has come and gone for Kwahi because everyone is bored of him winning it. I think the voters stay trendy for one more year and go with Draymond smh. I can't believe we can reward a notorious flopper with a prestigious award like DPOY...
Runner Up: Kwahi Leonard
6th Man of the Year
WB: Will Barton
My gut says go with Eric Gordon because he’s in the exact same situation as last year except Patrick Beverley is gone so he’s going to be the 1st guy off the bench.
But what fun is it to play it safe?
I chose Barton because of his efficiency. In a backcourt that was crowded, he somehow managed 17 points per 36 minutes last year. With the emergence of Jokic and the addition of Millsap I could see a lot of help being sent down low so this tall swingman can do some damage.
Also it doesn’t hurt that he’s in a contract year, so you can expect him to try and step it up.
Runner Up: Enes Kanter
CB: Dario Saric (76ers)
After an impressive rookie year where he finished 2nd in ROY voting, Saric looks poised to follow it up with a strong sophomore year. However, this year he will have to do most of his work while coming off the bench because Ben Simmons is now healthy. Dario is expected to still see a ton of minutes and with a healthy roster he should improve on his numbers last year 12 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists. Even though he is not a household name, his unselfish play should continue to catch viewer’s eyes as the 76ers increase in popularity.
Runner Up: Jamal Crawford (Timberwolves)
Most Improved Player
WB: De’Angelo Russell
I think the fact alone that DR will be playing with a huge chip on his shoulder is going to push him to make all of his doubters into believers. Playing more shooting guard will help as well. The only worry I have is the Nets might not be good enough and not win enough games to put Russell’s campaign in the spotlight
Runner Up: Nikola Jokic
CB: D’Angelo Russell (Nets)
Ever since arriving in Brooklyn, Dloading has taken the city by storm and he seems to be playing with some swag. Now in an offense that preaches pace and points, D’angelo has full control. Surrounded by underrated shooters, Russell will have plenty of room to operate in the pick n roll. This will help him not only create his own shot, but also help him kick to open shooters for easy assists. I fully expect him to improve on his career averages of 14 points, 3 rebounds, and 4 assists this season in Brooklyn.
Runner Up: Myles Turner (Pacers)
ROY (Rookie of The Year)
WB: Lonzo Ball
I was torn here between Lonzo and Dennis Smith Jr. (why couldn’t he be a Knick!?)
I believe the Lakers gave him the keys to the kingdom and he will be the ROY plain and simple. His skill set is unmatched for a rookie, he’s going to constantly hover around a triple-double territory in every game. Plus we saw what he could do during the preseason so he’s my pick.
Runner Up: Dennis Smith Jr.
CB: Dennis Smith Jr. (Mavericks)
A lot of the rookie talk has and will be about Lonzo Ball (and probably LaVar). However, Dennis Smith Jr. has started to turn some heads from his summer league and preseason play. There’s no question that this 6-2 PG from NC State has talent. He is locked in for big minutes this season on the lowly Dallas Mavericks and will have a huge opportunity to showcase his game. Check out some of his highlights
Runner Up: Lonzo Ball (Lakers)
Coach of the Year
WB: Tom Thibodeau
Off the bat Tom’s team was good with Wiggins and KAT, now reunite him with Jimmy Butler who loved playing for Thibs when he was in Chicago. Butler doesn’t have to be the focus on offense and can be an ancillary piece to KAT and Wiggins. Not to mention you added Jeff Teague, Taj Gibson and Jamal Crawford. I could see the T-Wolves winning 50 games and getting the 4 seed in the west. It’s going to be a fun year for the Timberwolves
Runner Up: Greg Popovich
CB: Kenny Atkinson (Nets)
After coming off another disappointing season in Brooklyn, Kenny Atkinson finds himself with a roster that is very different from the previous year. Now with the additions of D’Angelo Russell, DeMarre Carroll, and Allen Crabbe, Atkinson has some firepower to work with. The Nets will push the ball and bomb away from 3. With a roster filled with a underrated shooters and grinders, this team will play with attitude every night and don’t be surprised if they secure a backend playoff spot in the east.
Runner Up: Billy Donovan (OKC)