End of Year Awards: Need Your Help!
By Mike Rice
Every year at this time, announcers and beat writers of all 30 NBA teams select individual NBA award winners for the following categories:
1. Coach of the Year
2. Rookie of the Year
3. Most Improved Player
4. Defensive Player of the Year
5. Sixth Man
6. Most Valuable Player
7. All – NBA Teams
I have not filled out my ballot yet because I am not sure of some of what I feel and believe. What I need is a little help from you guys – who all know a lot about the Trail Blazers and the NBA. So I am asking for you to send me your thoughts on who should win the award in these difficult categories. I will give you my thoughts on who’s in the running for each award, but if you have someone you think is more deserving – fire away.
Let’s start with Coach of the Year.
Scotty Brooks came out of nowhere to win the award for his great season with Oklahoma City last year. This year the coaches that have helped their teams the most are Nate McMillan, Tom Thibodeau of the Bulls, Doug Collins of the 76ers, Phil Jackson of the Lakers, Gregg Popovich of the Spurs and Rick Carlisle of the Mavericks. Maybe you have someone you feel also belongs on the list, but who worked their magic the best? Let me know.
Next is Rookie of the Year.
At the start of the year John Wall got a lot of attention. I know Mike Barrett and Antonio Harvey picked him at the start of the year. Others who have had good rookie season are DeMarcus Cousins of Sacramento, Landry Fields of the Knicks, Gary Neal of San Antonio and lastly Blake Griffin of the Clippers. Do you have a favorite? Let me know.
The next award is for Most Improved Player.
Last year Aaron Brooks got it and then was traded by Houston. This year you should think about Kevin Love of the Timberwolves, Dorell Wright of Golden State, Russell Westbrook of the Thunder, DeMar Derozan of the Raptors, Danilo Gallinari of the Knicks/Nuggets, Serge Ibaka of the Thunder and, of course, LaMarcus Aldridge of the Blazers.
Defensive Player of the Year.
Dwight Howard of Orlando has won it the past two years. Is there anyone you believe helps more on the defensive end than him? Serge Ibaka of the Thunder, JaVale McGee of the Wizards, Rajon Rondo of the Celtics – all have helped their teams this year on the defensive end.
Sixth Man of the Year.
Jamal Crawford of the Hawks scored enough for the Hawks last year to win it. I guess Lamar Odom has come off the bench enough to qualify – he did the same thing for the USA Team. Others you should think about are Jason Terry of Dallas, ‘Sweet’ Lou Williams of the 76ers, James Harden of the Thunder, Glenn Davis of the Celtics and Rudy Fernandez of the Blazers.
Finally, there is the Most Valuable Player.
I have always looked at this award as the player who has helped his team become a big winner. A player who, if he missed the season, his team would probably not be nearly as good. Any suggestions?
The All-NBA team has three tiers: first team, second team and third team. I will let you help me out with this one as well. Just give me 15 names of people who are the best in the league and what order you rank them.
Now please HELP ME FILL OUT MY BALLOT! I know it’s tough work, but I believe in you!