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MVP: Kevin Durant
2011-12 Stats: 27.7 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 3.3 APG
The MVP race is wide open right now. There are possibly four or five players who all have a chance to take home this coveted award. While right now LeBron James is making a strong push as the favorite, it’s honestly KD’s to lose. What voter’s will notice is that Kevin Durant is having just as good a statistical year as King James.
While James tries to make people forget about his NBA Finals play, he cannot convince people that he is more important to his team than Durant is to the Thunder. Plus, those young legs in OKC will help the Thunder land the number one spot in the Western Conference.
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Rookie of the Year:
2011-12 Stats: 18.6 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 4.9 APG
Probably the easiest selection for the voters, as Kyrie Irving is reminding people of a young CP3. Irving has taken the league by storm and barring a serious run by Ricky Rubio and his T-Wolves, Irving is almost a lock to win the Rookie of the Year award.
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Defensive Player of the Year: Serge Ibaka
2011-12 Stats: 8.3 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 3.3 BPG
While the award will probably be given to Dwight Howard, if you asked me I would have to go with Serge Ibaka. With the Thunder exceeding expectations and Ibaka, aka “IBLOCKA”, holding down the defensive end. Ibaka’s first career triple-double not only helped his team beat the Nuggets, but it also helped him with the defensive voters as it featured 11 blocks! Oh that’s not enough, well it was the third time “Iblocka” has recorded at least 10 blocks in a game this year!
Most Improved Player: Jeremy Lin
2011-12 Stats: 14.6 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 5.7 APG
Image Courtesy of usatoday.net
Ryan Anderson and Kyle Lowry and both very well deserving of this award, I believe that their statistical rises are largely due to playing more minutes a game this year. As far as Anderson goes I strongly believe that he is in a lose-lose predicament with the Dwight Howard situation.
As Howard’s situation plays out it will likely overshadow Anderson’s play. But, if Orlando does trade Howard then Anderson may not find himself as many open looks as he saw with Howard in the line-up. With that being said, the decision boils down to Lowry vs. Lin. Lowry may be one of the best pass-first point guards in the NBA. But, if the Rockets don’t make the Playoffs then I believe Lowry won’t be able to take home this award. As far as Lin is concerned, it’s very simple, in a week, he went from D-League afterthought and waiver casualty to Knicks starting point guard and New York’s savior!
Image Courtesy of bleacherreport.net
6th Man of the Year: Louis Williams
2011-12 Stats: 15.6 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 3.7 APG
Playing the Jamal Crawford/Jason Terry role for the Sixers’, Lou Williams is the Sixers’ go-to scorer and he comes off the bench. He has played a vital part in helping the Sixers get off to a huge early lead in the Atlantic Division. While James Harden’s role has grown more important since the injury to backup point guard Eric Maynor, enabling Harden to put up more stats, the fact that the Sixers are at top of the Atlantic Division is way more surprising then the Thunder at top of the Western Conference.
Coach of the Year: Doug Collins
Sixers Record: 20-13* (currently on 4 game losing streak)
While Greg Popovich is also looking like a strong candidate for this award, Doug Collins has the supposedly star-less Sixers playing team ball. Convincing players like Andre Iguodala (who once averaged 15.6 shots per game in a season) into taking just 10.2 shots and still defending at a high level. While convincing his stars and everyone else to sacrifice for the greater good. Winning is why coaches get this award; and if the Sixers continue to win then Collins will take home this season’s Coach of the Year award.
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