NBA Mid-Season Awards

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Chris Paul (pictured above) has made "Lob City" possible and turned the Clippers into a contender. He is also Wesley Kaminsky's pick for the MVP thus far.

By Wesley Kaminsky

With half of the condensed season done, the NBA world has seen everything from the Clippers becoming relevant to the legend of Jeremy Lin, also known as “Linsanity.” For NBA fanatics, this season has been fantastic, as there are games on every night. With a much-needed All-Star break coming up for the players, who is making the biggest impact this season? Here are my mid-season awards.

MVP: Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers:

Look, the obvious choice for the MVP award this season is LeBron James, who has been simply sensational from Day 1. He’s averaging 27.6 points, 8 rebounds, and 6.8 assists per game. He’s also on the team that has the best record in basketball. Having said that, he doesn’t get my vote. Chris Paul does. Paul inherited a 32-50 Clipper team and has turned them into a contender. At 20-11, the Clippers are sitting atop the Pacific Division, with Paul averaging 19.2 points and 8.6 assists per game. He has been the catalyst all season long and is the main reason why the Clippers are for once relevant. I continue to try to make my case that on a team that features both LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, neither of them should win the MVP award.

Runners Up: LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant

Rookie of the Year: Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers:

In 2003, the Cavaliers won the lottery, landing them LeBron James, and you know the rest of that story. Eight years later, the Cavaliers won it again, and have found another superstar in Kyrie Irving. After playing just one limited season at Duke, Irving has turned heads in the NBA and is averaging 18 points and 5 assists per game. He isn’t going to make Cavs fans completely forget about that LeBron guy anytime soon, but Irving is on his way to stardom.

Runners Up: Ricky Rubio, Kemba Walker

Coach of the Year: Greg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs

While coaches such as Doug Collins and Tom Thibodeau are both deserving of this award, my vote as of right now goes to Greg Popovich. People say the Spurs are too old, that their championship aspirations are finished, but don’t tell that to them. Even without Manu Ginobili for an extended period of time, the Spurs rallied thanks to guys like Gary Neal and Danny Green. They are currently sitting at second place in the Western Conference with a 13-1 home record. As long as Popovich is around, the Spurs will be a factor in the Western Conference. He gets the most out of his players every single year.

Runners Up: Doug Collins, Tom Thibodeau, Frank Vogel

Biggest Surprise (Player): Jeremy Lin, New York Knicks

I think it’s safe to say that this one goes without saying. He went from the end of the bench on a struggling Knicks team to the biggest story in the NBA.

Biggest Disappointment (Player): Brandon Roy, Greg Oden

Does any franchise have worse luck than the Portland Trailblazers? Brandon Roy lasted just five seasons in Portland and was forced to retire this season, as his knees couldn’t hold up. Greg Oden simply cannot catch a break as he has played in just 82 total games since being drafted in 2007. After another knee surgery this season, Oden was declared out for the year. It’s likely the end of his tenure in Portland and possibly his career.

Biggest Surprise (Team): Philadelphia 76ers

Doug Collins has changed the face of the Sixers franchise in just his second season in Philadelphia. After sneaking into the playoffs a season ago, the Sixers have taken another step forward this year, as they are in first place in the Atlantic Division. They also have their first All-Star (Andre Iguodala) since Allen Iverson. That’s ten years in the making.

Runners Up: Indiana Pacers, Minnesota Timberwolves

Biggest Disappointment (Team): Boston Celtics

Unlike the Spurs, the Celtics old age has shown in a big way this year as they head into the All-Star break with a losing record of 15-17. It sure does not look like they have enough for one final  extended playoff run. Is it time to break up the Big 3?

Runner Up: Denver Nuggets

Best Team: Miami Heat

There are times during the season where the Heat have looked unbeatable, and it seems inevitable that a championship is on the radar.

Worst Team: Charlotte Bobcats

It’s amazing that this award doesn’t belong to the Washington Wizards. The fact of the matter is the Bobcats lost to Washington twice. You’ve got some work to do with this team Michael Jordan.

Best Story: Jeremy Lin, in a landslide victory.

Most Overused Phrase:“Linsanity.

I like Jeremy Lin as much as the next guy, but this “Linsanity” fiasco has blown up, and the term itself has taken over the NBA.

Runner Up: Lob City

Player with Most to Prove in the Second Half: Carlos Boozer, Chicago Bulls

If the Bulls want to get over the hump and beat the Heat, it all boils down to Carlos Boozer. Last season he struggled mightily in the playoffs and is the most criticized player in Chicago by a landslide. He’s had a nice season thus far, but it needs to continue in the playoffs.

Dwight Howard?

Amazingly, I’ve gone the entire time without mentioning Dwight Howard’s name once. After an ugly start to the season, the “Superman” trade talk has cooled down. It seems like it is bound to resurface at some point,though.

NBA Playoffs Prediction:

ECF: Heat over Bulls 4-2

WCF: Thunder over Lakers 4-2

NBA Finals: Heat over Thunder 4-1

For the record, I hope I’m wrong about this.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

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7 responses to “NBA Mid-Season Awards

  1. Good picks, but I can argue with two of them: It’s a toss up between Indiana and Philadelphia for surprise team and I think the other L.A. team will make the Western Conference Finals.

    • Andy,

      My surprise team would be Philly. I am not sure I agree about the Clippers though. But at this point, they are playing good basketball and have as good of a shot as anyone.

      -TheSportsKraze

  2. Lebron James is having one the best statistical seasons in the history of the league. This has to trump your seemingly arbitrary reason for excluding James because of Wade.

    In your opinion a player is ineligible for the MVP when he has a teammate that is too good, right? Well, how do you decide how good is too good?

    So technically, LBJ is the best player in the league, but since Wade is, what, the 5th best player (I’m guessing here), your (again, seemingly arbitrary) MVP selection formula then defaults to the 2nd best player?

    So should Jordan give back his MVPs because he played with Pippen?

    How far would Wade have to fall before LBJ would become eligible for MVP? 7th? 10th?

    Well, let’s take a look at efficiency ratios at the All Star break. LBJ comes easily in 1st (again, he’s having one the greatest statistical seasons in league history). Wade is all the way down in 10th place.

    Your pick, CP3, stands at a respectable 6th place. But guess what, his teammate Blake Griffin is 5th. Shouldn’t Paul be disqualified under your system?

    Seriously, man, LBJ is the MVP hands down.

    • David,

      I personally agree with you. LeBron has played out of this world since the opener on Christmas Day. If I were picking the MVP at this point, I would pick the “King.” But Durant would be nipping at his heels.

      Should be fun to see who steps up the most in the 2nd half.

      -TheSportsKraze

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