Grant Freking is a Lantern (OSU Newspaper) sports writer. Ology magazine managing editor. OSU football featured columnist for Bleacher Report. High school football reporter for Newark Advocate. You can follow him on Twitter @GrantFreking.
MVP: Derrick Rose
A case, and a strong one at that, can be made for Dwight Howard. My main problem with that is I don’t believe Howard gives it everything he has on every night. How can the leader of a team, let alone the MVP of the NBA, not be stuck in overdrive every night? Rose’s effort and commitment will never be questioned.
Coach of the Year: Tom Thibodeau
He got a quiet point guard, a big-contract power forward, a mercurial center and a bench full of both young pups and old dogs to play as a unit and more importantly, morph into the league’s best defensive team. And they won the East. A golf clap for Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau is in order.
Defensive POY: Dwight Howard
One of the league’s preeminent jokesters is also its most dominating defensive force. Although it still bothers me that Howard still aims for the popcorn vendors in row five instead of directing his blocked shots to his teammates, the numbers don’t lie. Make it three in a row for the Magic’s Man in the Middle.
Rookie of the Year: Blake Griffin
Poster Boy. Earthquake. Demolition Man. Secretary of Energy. You can pick your nickname, but there’s no doubt Griffin is the league’s top rookie.
Most Improved: Kevin Love
I really wanted to go with LaMarcus Aldridge here because he has taken a quantum leap this season and kept the Blazers afloat while Brandon Roy and Greg Oden were injured and before reinforcements arrived. But, it’s got to be Love. The double-double record plus his increase in points (14 to 20), rebounds (11 to 15), three-point percentage (33 to 42) as well as other statistics give Love the nod.
Sixth Man: Lamar Odom
Easy choice here. He actually started fewer games this year (34) than last year (38) but averaged more points and shot seven percentage points better while playing virtually the same amount of minutes. Who else should win the award? Jason Terry? Child please.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.