As the NBA season has gotten off to a start, I am a little late here but I would like to make my picks. I will save MVP for last & for MVP I will make my pick, but also list my other top 4 candidates. So let’s get it started:
Coach of the Year: Brad Stevens, Boston Celtics.
In my opinion this man should have won this award last year. His Celtics overcame a lot of adversity and the very injured, young and inexperienced team went to the Eastern Conference Finals, beating the Bucks and Sixers on the way, and took LeBron and the Cavs to 7. This year they will be getting Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward back and are favorites to win the East. Stevens is an amazing coach and I think he will lock this award up easily.
6th Man of the Year: JJ Reddick, Philadelphia 76ers.
Now, this one’s tricky. JJ is currently the 6th man of the Sixers, but that is mainly because they are trying to get Markelle Fultz into the swing of things. If Fultz struggles at some point, JJ could be inserted into the starting lineup. If Reddick remains the 6th man for the whole year, I definitely believe he will win this award. He has already been great for the Sixers off the bench so far this year, averaging 21 points and shooting 44% thus far. If JJ ends up moving into the starting lineup, my next pick would be Marcus Morris of the Boston Celtics.
Most Improved Player: Zach Lavine, Chicago Bulls.
I believe Lavine will take his game to another level this year. I see him jumping into, or close to, superstar status. He has already been great so far this year, averaging 32 points, 4 rebounds and 3 asssists, while shooting 57%. I see him continuing his great play, I don’t know how good the Bulls will be but I have high hopes for Lavine.
Defensive Player of the Year: Kawhi Leonard, Toronto Raptors.
Fresh off a drama filled season last year, I expect a great year from Kawhi. He is also one of my MVP candidates, but more to come on that later. Kawhi is arguably the best defensive player in the league. He is an amazing talent on both ends and I expect him to pick this award up, not much else to say.
Rookie of the Year: Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks
Luka was my pick to win before the season, and I have no reason to change that pick. He has been good through his first four games, averaging 19 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists and shooting 42%. Luka has looked very good and it seems like his time dominating in the EuroLeague is transitioning just fine to the NBA. This year’s rookie class is very good and this will be an award to watch.
Most Valuable Player: Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans.
My top overall candidate for this year’s MVP is Anthony Davis. Davis is the league’s best big man and overall a top 3 player in the league. The 6’11” forward is a freak athlete and a machine on both offense and defense and does it all for his team. So far this year he is averaging 30 points, 13 rebounds, 2 steals, 3 blocks and shooting 60%. I see him continuing his dominance over the league this year, I don’t know how good the Pelicans will be for the year, they currently sit at 3-0 but regardless, Davis will be one of the best players in the league and is my top pick for MVP.
Other MVP Picks (in no particular order):
• Kawhi Leonard, Toronto Raptors
As I mentioned earlier, Kawhi is one of my top picks for MVP. A lot of people have let the drama make them forget that Kawhi is a top 3 or 5 player when healthy. He is by far the best 2-way player in the league. He can score efficiently and has a very good jump shot, both mid range and 3-point. And there’s nothing else I can say about his great defense. He is off to a good start with his new team, the Raptors, averaging 28 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists. The Raptors will finish as one of the best teams in the East and that, along with his great play, should elevate him into MVP talk.
•Giannis Antetokoumpo, Milwaukee Bucks
Giannis is fresh off a great year and I am expecting him to get even better. Giannis truly lives up to his “Greek Freak” nickname, he is 6’11” with a 7’3″ wingspan and is one hell of an athlete. He can cover half the court in about 2 steps, which is just absurd. He can score with ease inside, he even lead the league in point in the paint last year. His jumpshot isn’t fully developed yet, but this dude can ball. He is great on both ends. The Bucks will be a top 5 team in the East being led by Giannis and I expect to see him be talked about a lot for MVP.
•LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers
Well I’m sure you all expected to see this name. LeBron is in the MVP mix just about every year, and he could probably win it every year. This year LeBron is playing with his new squad, the Lakers, and he can definitely make a case for MVP. He is still the best player in the league and he has an improved team from last year. LeBron and the Lakers have gotten off to a slow start it I expect them to get it together soon. They will be a top 5 seed in the West, maybe even 3rd seed and LeBron will continue his reign as the best player in the league, making him a candidate for sure.
•Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
Steph is my sleeper for the award this year. A lot of people have written off any member of the Warriors from winning this award, but I think Steph will make a strong case. Obviously the team is stacked, but Steph is the leader. He is currently averaging 34.6 points, 4.8 rebounds and 6.8 assists while shooting 55% and 52% from 3. Just the other night Steph put up 51 points and hit a staggering 11 3-pointers. Steph make a strong case for this award this year.