Early Awards Picks

I know it’s very early and these awards are often pointless, but I’m going to have some fun with it anyways.

Most Valuable Player: LeBron James

No surprise here. James is the consensus MVP favorite among most people thanks to Cleveland’s success. Composite Score agrees and has him ranked as the #1 player. I’ve been calling him the MVP for years now, so it’s about time he got his due. His Offensive and Defensive Composite Score are both near the very top of the NBA, and it still looks like he’s cruising. John Hollinger of ESPN.com always points out the fact that Cleveland can use him for basically all 48 minutes during every playoff game. He’s right. Watch out for the Cavs.

Rookie of the Year: Russell Westbrook

There were a couple of good candidates, and I even considered Mario Chalmers, but I’m going with Westbrook on this one. His Composite Score is in the top 20 percent of the league and he’s strong on both ends of the court. The Thunder’s poor record actually serves as a benefit in his favor in my book. It’s hard to have a great DCS when your team isn’t very good, but that hasn’t stopped Westbrook. Put him on a good team and he’d rank extremely high.

Coach of the Year: Mike Brown

I have no stats for coaches, so this is purely subjective. Cleveland has transformed from a decent regular season team to a dominant one. Even more impressive, they did this despite only having one significant addition to their team in Mo Williams. Williams is good but he’s not that good. I think Brown deserves a lot of credit. It’s amazing how such a good coach has been criticized so much in the past.

Most Improved Player: Danny Granger

There are a lot of good candidates, but I’m going with Granger. Granger has been a gunslinger all year and has posted some impressive point totals. He’s never been a bad player but he’s taken his game to a new level so far this season. His defense, like most players on the Pacers, is nothing special. But oh my, that offense is impressive. His OCS percentile is 93.81%. With Granger and now Mike Dunleavy, the Pacers have a couple of talented scorers on the wings.

Defensive Player of the Year: Ben Wallace

I’m sure you’re getting tired of the Cavaliers, but I have to give this one to Wallace. His DCS is tops in the NBA, he generally draws the tough assignments, and he anchors one of the best team defenses in the league. The runner-up according to DCS? Zydrunas Ilgauskas. Now it makes sense why Cleveland is so good…

Sixth Man of the Year: Andrei Kirilenko

He hasn’t always come off the bench, but the switch this season has done wonders for him. Kirilenko has always been a Composite Score favorite. You have to be to beat out Manu Ginobili in this category (and trust me, I was tempted to go with Manu). It’s not often that a team’s best player comes off the bench, but that’s the case with Utah. Kirilenko is in the top 20 percent on offense, but his defense is his calling card. Only five players rank better, and I imagine some of those (cough, Brevin Knight, cough) will fall off as the season progresses.

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