Friday, 9 February 2007

NBA Midseason Awards

Since we're about halfway through the NBA season, I thought it would only be appropriate to do some NBA Midseason Awards. So yeah.

Rookie of the Year: Brandon Roy (POR)
Roy has been the best of a really bad class of rookies so far. Roy hasn't been great, but he's been solid as a starting guard for the Blazers. He's averaging 15 PPG, 4 RPB, and 3.6 APG, showing off the overall skillset that made him such a nice prospect. He's shooting about 43.6%, which could stand to improve, but he also gets to the line with some consistency, and shoots 86% there, so that helps offset the shooting percentage.

Coach of the Year: Jerry Sloan (UTA)
There's a few other solid candidates, such as Eddie Jordan, Avery Johnson, and Phil Jackson, but I give my vote to Jerry Sloan. The Jazz are very improved this year and playing good ball, currently sitting at 32-17. This is certainly their best year in the post-Malone and Stockton era, and with their balance, they have a chance to make some noise later in the year.

Most Improved Player: Monta Ellis (GS)
Ellis was my choice even before he hit the eventual game-winner against Chicago Friday night, as he has been very good in just his 2nd year out of high school. He's averaging about 17 pts/3 rebs/4 asts a night, which is very solid production. He doesn't have a very good long-range shot at this point, but he gets into the lane very well and also shoots about 5 FTs per game. Really a good-looking young player.

Defensive Player of the Year: Marcus Camby (DEN)
Camby's always been a very good player with one caveat... he can never stay healthy. Well, so far, he's managed to stay reasonably healthy (knock on wood) and his production is very solid. Right now he leads the NBA with over 3 BPG and is an imposing presence at the rim. He also grabs 12 rebounds a night, gets about a steal a game, and is a consistently great defensive player down low. When he's healthy.

6th Man of the Year: Leandro Barbosa (PHO)
I am just a huge fan of Barbosa and what he brings to the table. He's instant offense off the bench, a good all-around player, and just brings yet another gear to an already fast Phoenix Suns team. He's so versatile offensively. He shoots the 3-ball at about a 40% clip, which is real solid. But he also has a very good first step, and is great in transition. He's so fast that he can get ahead of the defense, and he's a great finisher at the hoop. Add it all up, and Barbosa is my 6th Man of the Mid-year and one of my favorite players to watch.

MVP: Dwyane Wade (MIA)
A lot of people seem to like Steve Nash or Gilbert Arenas for this award, but I'm not sure either guy would be in my top 5. Wade (obviously) would be there, and Dirk is my #2 (no matter what this Myspace says or what Mark Cuban says), but after that things are tight. I'd put Nash and Arenas in with Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, and maybe LeBron. They're all too close right now.

But my MVP would be Dwyane Wade. I'm not sure people realize how bad this Heat team is without Shaq, which they were for most of the first half. I mean, the Heat had Gary Payton (who doesn't really do anything anymore) and Jason Kapono (who's a good shooter, and well, that's it) in the starting lineup. Antoine Walker plays 24 minutes per game, and his time has more than passed. Chris Quinn started a game for the Heat this year. Without Wade, they'd be competing with Boston and Memphis right now. But Wade has been awesome. 28 PPG, 8 APG, 5 RPG, 2 SPG, and maximum effort every single game (which we can't say about LeBron). Wade is single-handedly carrying the Heat, and he's been unbelievable in doing it. I don't see how you can deny him the MVP right now. He's been that good.

What would your awards look like?