NBA Awards Predictions

If you haven’t been watching the NBA this season then you have missed out on some great basketball. The regular season for the NBA is considered to be a bit lacklustre due to how predictable is can be after a certain point and many stars will sit out games. While some of this is still true to some extent, the NBA has been relatively unpredictable this season and predicting who will win and what players will do well has been very up in the air.

As we get towards the end of the season, it’s now time to consider who should win what awards and this year more than any feels like there are multiple awards where more than one player could win it. So let’s be completely wrong and make some predictions of who is going to win awards for this year’s NBA season.

Rookie Of The Year

The Rookie of the Year award is one that has really only been a two-horse race this entire season and that’s what everyone thought it would be. This award is probably the one that was the most predictable going into the season and there’s good reason for that. Victor Wembanyama and Chet Holmgren both play like they’ve been in the league for years and yet they are still rookies. These two can sell you on their shot-blocking ability alone as to why they’re so good. Wembanyama ranks first in shots blocked per game and Holmgren is ranked fifth.

These two big men have been fantastic for each of their teams but if I were to choose one winner then I’d have to give it to Wembanyama. He’s putting up great numbers and just looks dominant on the court. It may also help him that he is far and away the best player on his team whereas Holmgren has a couple of all-star talents on his team so he’s not expected to do as much and doesn’t need to.

Both of these guys are going to get better, which is scary to think about, but as of right now, I think I’d give the edge to Victor Wembanyama just because his numbers and impact have been slightly better than Holmgren.

An honorable mention for this pick in my opinion is Keyonte George. He’s been fantastic for the Jazz this season and looks like he could be their starting point guard for the future. He still has some room to grow but he’s looking pretty good so far.

Defensive Player Of The Year

This award is kind of funny. The reason being that the person I think should win it shouldn’t come as a surprise because they’ve won Defensive Player of the Year more than once, but it is a bit of a surprise given how last year went. That player being Rudy Gobert. Gobert didn’t look like that good of a fit last season when the Minnesota Timberwolves traded for the French man and the trade was looking really bad after last season. But somehow, he and the team have been able to make things work and turn it around and now the Timberwolves are a top team in the Western Conference. Gobert has been back to his lockdown ways and is providing great defence to this team and fitting well alongside Karl Anthony Towns.

Part of this could be because of the influence of Mike Conley who is playing his first full year with the team and he seems to have found a way to make this team gel really well and that has greatly benefitted Gobert. He will likely win another Defensive Player of the Year award and after recovering from his bad season last year, he very much deserves it.

Honourable mention goes to OG Anunoby as he has been a clamp for the Knicks when he has played, but the injuries he’s suffered and the time he’s missed make it hard to give him this award. However, I fully expect Anunoby to be in the conversation for this award next year and I think he will win it if I were to make a prediction today.

Most Improved Player

It feels like this season there have been a number who have improved greatly. So many players have taken steps to the point where it was impossible to choose all-stars without having some significant snubs. The league is in a good place and we are seeing so many players improve.

However, I think for this award, there are two players who have shown some great improvements. Those two are Tyrese Maxey and Coby White. For Maxey, he had the impossible task of trying to fill James Harden’s shoes this season, and he ended up doing very well and passed with flying colours. Maxey has turned into a star guard who can be a legitimate number-two option on a contending team. He still has some places to improve in terms of point guard skills, but the jump he took this season has been incredible.

For Coby White, he has emerged as a solid point guard for a team that has been lacking a true one since Lonzo Ball got injured two years ago. White has seen an almost ten-point increase in his points-per-game average and has been a solid distributor as well. White has taken a big leap and looks to build on that for next season.

For choosing a winner, I will go with Maxey since he’s become an all-star calibre player. It’s pretty close but I’ll give the edge to Maxey.

Honourable mention to RJ Barrett who I don’t think will even be very high in the nominations, if he even gets any votes, but I wanted to give him a shoutout for how well he’s improved since joining the Raptors. He’s starting to show some of that potential he had in his draft year and I’m excited to see if he can take another step next season.

Most Valuable Player

MVP is a tough one to pick. To me, it’s going to be either Nikola Jokic, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, or Luka Doncic. The argument for Shai is a good one as he has been so fricking good this year as he’s putting up an insane amount of points per game and putting up a solid number of assists and rebounds while leading a Thunder team to be one of the best in the west. Luka Doncic is getting a lot of triple-doubles and has been a dominant force offensively for the Mavericks.

However, this award is going to Nikola Jokic. The guy is almost averaging a triple-double and he just looks dominant out there against opposing teams. He helps elevate his teammates and he will likely be leading his team to another deep playoff run this post-season.

The only reason I think Jokic didn’t win MVP last season is because of voter fatigue since he won the previous two years. He should win this year and this should’ve been his fourth straight MVP award because he’s been that damn good. Even if he doesn’t win it this year, you just know he’ll be back in contention for again next year because he’s an unstoppable force in this league that no one has been able to solve.

It’s been a fun year in the NBA this season and the playoffs are gonna bring a lot more fun as well. I hope you’re in for the ride because things are about to pick up in the NBA.

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