Thursday, April 14, 2016

Full Court Press 4.14.16: 2015-16 NBA Awards Predictions #NBA

2015-16 NBA Awards Predictions
By Randy Groce, @ImissWiggins

Another long NBA season has come to an end. Records have been broken and milestones have been reached. We have reached the point where we will find out who are the winners and losers of the awards that we as fans have been debating about since the All Star break. All of the categories will have at least four mentionable players, but I will only highlight the top two or three that truly have a shot at winning.

Like anyone else who's a fan of the NBA I have my personal favorites, but the players that I choose as winners will be chosen based on what I saw on the court. The categories are: MVP, Coach of the year, Rookie of the year, Defensive Player of the year, Most Improved Player, 6th Man of the year, and Comeback player of the year. Since we're here I think I'll even throw in the First and Second All NBA Team. So, let the arguments begin........

Comeback Player of the year

Paul George
Kevin Durant

Paul George is my winner. George returned this season after only playing in a handful of games last season to a completely different and younger Pacer roster than he's played with his last few seasons. George is averaging 23 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists this season all while leading his team back to the playoffs.

Winner: Paul George

Most Improved Player

Andre Drummond
CJ McCollum
Steph Curry

All three of these guys had big jumps in their numbers from last season. It seems as though Portland got rid of every player on the roster except for Lillard and McCollum. McCollum averaged 20 points per game this year and has Portland in the 5th seed right now. Curry has added seven more points per game from last season which is almost unheard of from a guy who just won the MVP. Drummond has looked like a monster in the paint grabbing every rebound in sight this season. Based where Detroit is now compared to where they were last year I think I'll take Drummond. Also, Drummond is the only player in the NBA this season to record 1,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, 100 blocks & 100 steals.

Winner: Andre Drummond

Sixth Man Of The Year

Andre Iguodala
Will Barton
Jamal Crawford

I gotta go with Iggy. This was only his second year ever coming off of the bench, but fresh off of being named last years Finals MVP Iguodala made it possible for Steph and Klay to spend many nights on the bench in the fourth quarter with his playmaking and leadership abilities.

Winner: Andre Iguodala

Rookie Of The Year

Karl Anthony Towns
Kristaps Porzingis

This is probably the only category where I don't even think that it's close. Towns is averaging 18points/10 rebounds a game and is making it look easy for a 20 yr old. Paired with Andrew Wiggins, the Wolves are a coach away from maybe seeing how good they can be. Porzingis, averaging 14 points/7 rebounds was booed on draft night by Knick fans. Maybe they'll give up on begging LeBron to come to town and they'll realize that they have a good young piece to watch grow and hopefully turn their franchise around. 

Winner: Karl Anthony-Towns

Defensive Player Of The Year

Kawhi Leonard
Draymond Green
Hassan Whiteside

Both Leonard and Green can guard all five positions without having it affect their offense, but if I need one guy to guard anyone in the league for one possession to win a game I have to pick Kawhi. Whiteside affects the game in the paint the way Dwight Howard used to and the way DeAndre Jordan is supposed to.

Winner: Kawhi Leonard

Coach Of The Year 

Steve Kerr
Terry Stotts
Gregg Popovich

I'm pretty sure Popovich has never won this award which is weird because he should have won it at least 4 times. Unfortunately, I can't see myself giving it to him this year either. He's led the Spurs to the best season in the team's history. The problem with that is Golden State is having the best season ever. As I stated earlier when Portland is in the middle of a rebuild and lost their franchise player and somehow found a way to make it the playoffs this year. No way this happens without Stotts. Although Kerr has coached less than half of the games for the Warriors this season, they had the same players and ran the exact same system as they did last year. The system belongs to Kerr.

Winner: Steve Kerr


Steph Curry
LeBron James
Russell Westbrook

There is no wrong answer for this category when it comes to these three men. When LeBron (25 points/ 7 rebounds/ 6 assists) doesn't play, the Cavs lose. Despite a coaching change and a lot of "rumblings' in the locker room, the Cavs still finished with the best record in the East. Westbrook (23 points/10 assists/8 rebounds) has matured and has turned himself into an almost automatic triple double machine while leading his team to the fourth best record in the league. Curry, who has more attention payed to him this year than last has improved his scoring average from 23 points per game to 30(29.9). Curry is averaging 30 points/6assists/5rebounds and his team is on the verge of breaking all time wins mark.

Winner: Co-MVP's Steph Curry and Russell Westbrook

First Team All NBA

Steph Curry
Russell Westbrook
Lebron James
Kawhi Leonard
Hassan Whiteside

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