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NBA Mid-Season Awards

Jarrett Bailey, Sports Writer

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The NBA season is halfway done, and so far, as with every season, there has been a lot of play worthy of attention. With that said, here are my Second Annual Mid-Season Awards:

 

  • Most Valuable Player: Stephen Curry, Warriors: Steph is redefining the game of basketball with his extraordinary play. He is currently leading the NBA in PPG (29.8), 10th in assists (6.6) and is 5th in steals (2.14). There’s nothing I can say about Curry that hasn’t already been said; He’s the best shooter in the game, he can pass the rock, and he changes games. An argument can be made that he has taken the title of best player on Earth.
  • Defensive Player of the Year: Hassan Whiteside, Heat: This may be the hardest award to give out, because it really is a toss up to me right now between Whiteside and DeAndre Jordan. Jordan is averaging almost 4 more rebounds per game than Whiteside (14.9 to 11.0), but Whiteside’s block numbers are out of this world. With 3.89 blocks per game, he is averaging 1.62 more blocks than his nearest opponent, which oddly enough is Jordan (2.27). I’d have to give my vote to Whiteside, though, just because of what a difference he makes to the Heat. I’m not saying that Jordan makes no difference to the Clippers, but when you compare rosters, Whiteside is definitely more important to the Heat rotation than Jordan is to LA.
  • Sixth Man of the Year: Ryan Anderson, Pelicans: Anderson is having a great bounce back year. Both of his PPG and rebounding averages are up a noticeable amount. He is currently averaging just under 18 PPG and 6 rebounds per game this year, compared to just 13 points and 5 rebounds last season. His 3-point percentage has jumped as well, going from .340% to .381%. This may not be a significant jump, but you can tell by the way he’s playing that he is more comfortable on the court and has filled his role with ease.
  • Rookie of the Year: Karl-Anthony Towns, Timberwolves: In a rookie class that included talents such as Frank Kaminsky, Kristaps Porzingis, and Jahlil Okafor, Towns has stood out among them all. Towns leads all rookies in rebounding (10.1 per game), tied for the lead in PPG among rookies with Okafor (17.1). Towns’ size does a lot for his play, but being molded by future Hall-of-Famer Kevin Garnett at such a young age will do wonders for his character and his play on the basketball court.
  • Most Improved Player: Isaiah Thomas, Celtics: The fifth year guard is having his best year as a pro. After only starting one game in the past two seasons, Thomas has started 52 of 55 games this year and is averaging career highs in points (21.5), assists (6.6), and rebounds (3.0). Thomas has filled his role and then some with his spectacular play and his team is sitting in the third slot in the East.
  • Coach of the Year: Steve Kerr, Warriors: This is almost an obvious choice, seeing that Kerr’s team is sitting pretty with the best record in the NBA at 48-4 and making a run at breaking the record of most wins in a season, a record set by the 1996 Bulls who went 72-10; a team that Kerr was also apart of, splashing home three balls en route to winning three titles with the franchise. The players obviously love playing for him and are the frontrunners in the West and look poised to win their second straight title.
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