In our first reward rankings a few weeks ago, we found ourselves basically guessing from nothing. With a little more of a sample size, here is an updated list of rewards for the end of the year; as well as our first thoughts on All-Star teams.
1. Lebron James, Miami Heat
2. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder
3. Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers
4. Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
5. Brandon Jennings, Milwaukee Bucks
-There is no reason to drop any of the top 3 from their spots. Lebron is still Lebron, Durant is still scoring while improving his rebound numbers, and Chris Paul is leading a team in LA that looks even more dangerous than last year. But with Kobe above career averages in points, rebounds and assists and Brandon Jennings making the Bucks look like an East contender, you have to add them to the discussion.
Defensive Player of the Year:
1. Tyson Chandler
2. Omer Asik
3. Dwight Howard
4. Lebron James
5. Joakim Noah
-Tyson has completely revolutionized the way the New York Knicks play D. In a year plus(really a year with the shortened season) he has a guy like Carmelo committed on the defensive end. That has to count for alot. Omer Asik is doing the same thing in Houston, just to a much smaller extent. Dwight and Lebron are on here because of their freak ability to cover ground, and Noah has been putting up defensive stats better than anyone else in the league(10REBs/2BLKs/1.3STLs).
6th Man of the Year:
1. Jamal Crawford
3. Alexey Shved
4. Mike Dunleavy
5. Ray Allen
-Jamal Crawford has not only been putting starter’s numbers, he has been doing it on a winning team. With not only 20 points a game, but a PER of 22.63 proves that last year was an outlier in terms of his ability. His only competition could be his backcourt mate, Eric Bledsoe. His PER of 24.08 is extremely impressive, but it was his five rebounds in the 4th quarter last night that stole a win from the Spurs. While Allen, Shved and Dunleavy have helped teams become winners, this is a two man race right now.
Rookie of the Year:
1. Anthony Davis
2. Damian Lillard
3. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
4. Dion Waiters
5. Alexey Shved
-Davis and Lillard are quickly running away with this award much like the 6th man. The only questions that remain is who is going to win rookie of the month each month. Davis is averaging 16pts, 8asts and 2blks a game; all while dealing with coming back from a concussion. Lillard, meanwhile has been getting comments like “they stole one” and “they have a real future with him” from guys named Kobe and Lebron. While MKD, Waiters and Shved are showing flashes of brilliance, there hasn’t been the same consistency that Davis and Lillard have shown.
Most Improve Player of the Year:
1. Brandon Jennings
2. Kyrie Irving
3. Jrue Holliday
4. Anderson Varajeo
5. Omer Asik
-Jennings has been going off in Milwaukee, and more importantly, has been getting others involved as well. the 6-3 Bucks have been benefiting from almost eight assists a game, and are really hoping Jennings isn’t playing this hard just because he hasn’t got paid yet. Irving is an obvious choice as well, but it is tough to give this award to a 2nd year player; they are supposed to make a jump. Holliday is making all the 76ers fans forget about both Bynum and Iggy, while Varajeo is taking advantage of the Irving effect. Asik is more in hear simply because he has now has an offensive game.
Forwards: Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony, Joakim Noah
Guards: Rajon Rondo, Kyrie Irving
6th Man: Brandon Jennings
Forwards: Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard, Marc Gasol
Guards: Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul
6th Man: James Harden
Until next time, here is your NBA YouTube Clip!