By: Heath Montgomery
Tonight, the NBA will be announcing the end of season awards for the 2016-2017 season. With a season full of individual achievements there are several awards that will be very close, but I am here to tell you who WILL win tonight. So, let’s dive into the predictions:
Most Valuable Player:
Westbrook was only the second player in NBA history to average a triple-double throughout the whole season. YOU HAVE TO GIVE HIM THE MVP. Many people will bring up the point that James Harden had a fantastic season and led his team to more wins than Westbrook did, but in my opinion, Harden had a far better team and that showed during their playoff series. The teams were even until Westbrook would come out for a few minutes for rest, then the Thunder looked like a bottom 3 team. Westbrook brought a terrible team to the playoffs and averaged a triple-double while doing it; give him the trophy.
Rookie of the Year:
Dario Saric. Yeah, I said it. Dario has a heck of a year averaging 12.8 PPG, 6.3 RPG, and 2.2 APG. Those numbers aren’t as good as Embiid’s averages, but Saric played 81 games this season while Embiid played only 31. That was the deciding factor for me, Embiid had incredible numbers for his rookie season, but he didn’t even play half the season! Saric was very good all year long and will be great next season with the youthful and loaded team the 76ers will have.
P.S. Another reason I picked Saric is because I simulated on NBA 2k17 and he won so I’m trusting that
P.S.S. His facial hair needs to go
6th Man of the Year:
Andre Iguodala. This pick isn’t really based off statistics, because if it was then Iguodala would probably be last out of the three candidates. I’m basing this more off impact. A 6th man to me is a guy that comes off the bench with energy and is able to lead the other bench players, setting the tone for their impact. He won’t light up the stat sheet but he just comes off the bench and does all the little things, he makes the winnings plays. That is exactly what I want out of my 6th man.
Coach of the Year:
In all reality, this should probably go to Popovich each year since he is the best, but for this year I believe Mike D’Antoni deserves this award. D’Antoni brought a horrible Rockets team up through the rankings of the Western Conference and helped improve 14 wins from the previous season. He put a system in place for James Harden to thrive in, making him play to an even higher level this year. It’s great to see a good coach like D’Antoni start to thrive after some terrible stints in New York and Los Angeles.
(By the way, how is Brad Stevens not even up for this award?!?! Led a Boston team to a #1 seed over Cleveland! Come on!)
Most Improved Player:
The Greek Freak! I love this kid and I’m so excited to watch him play the next few seasons. His improvement from last year was phenomenal. Forget all of the statistics for a second and if you just watch how Giannis plays this year compared to last, it seems like a different player. He seems to play with more ferocity and aggressiveness. You could really see the start of the Greek Freak changing from a starter to a star.
Defensive Player of the Year:
One of my favorite plays from the season was when Kawhi blocked James Harden’s layup attempt to save the game for the Spurs towards the end of the season. It showed Kawhi’s versatility and athletic ability as he was able to make up ground after losing his man on D and swatting the layup against the backboard. It was amazing. Kawhi is the best defender is the game right now since he can guard every position (although he doesn’t guard Centers much, I’m sure he could hold his own).
Be sure to tune in to see if my predictions were right (they probably were) tonight at 9 PM ET on TNT.