Is this the season that Carmelo Anthony wins an MVP?
The 2013-14 NBA season is right around the corner, which means that it is time for all of the basketball forecasters to put in their two cents on the happenings around the Association. Here is the Hardwood Gold Rush take on the 2013-14 NBA season award predictions from Jordan Morey, Justin Adams and Peter Sherwill:
Regular Season MVP:
Jordan – Derek Rose (Chicago Bulls) – Rose is coming back with a vengeance. After missing all of last season with a torn ACL, Rose will lead his team to the Eastern Conference Finals where he will face the Heat.
Justin – Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks) – It has to happen sometime, right? The NBA’s best scorer has no excuses for not taking the Knicks to the next level.
Peter – LeBron James (Miami Heat) – Until he is no longer the best player on the planet, you really cannot pick against him. James is in the prime of his career and will have another big year.
Rookie of the Year:
Jordan – Victor Oladipo (Orlando Magic) – Oladipo gets buckets. With a less-than-impressive Orlando Magic squad this year, Oladipo will get plenty of minutes and make an immediate impact. The kid looked good in Summer League and preseason.
Justin – Anthony Bennett (Cleveland Cavaliers) – The first pick in the NBA draft should have a great impact on the Cavs. Look for new head coach Mike Brown to get the most out of the big man.
Peter – Victor Oladipo (Orlando Magic) – Orlando is handing Oladipo the keys to the Magic Kingdom and for good reason. He is the most complete player in this rookie class and that will translate to a ROY trophy.
Defensive Player of the Year:
Jordan – Roy Hibbert (Indiana Pacers) – After a huge year in 2012-13, Hibbert has shown no sign of letting up. The double-double machine groomed by Brian Shaw will have a monstrous season. The only other player who could finish with better numbers this season is Dwight Howard. Hibbert has developed into the best post player in the East, and will have a fantastic season.
Justin – Dwight Howard (Houston Rockets) – Roy Hibbert is an amazing choice, but I like a player who has a chip on his shoulder. Howard will be healthy for the first time in two seasons and reclaim his spot as the most dominant big man in the league.
Peter – Andre Iguodala (Golden State Warriors) – His offseason signing will put Golden State on the next level and since they have plenty of scoring options, Iggy can focus all of his energy on the defensive end. He will finally live up to his billing as an elite defender in the NBA by winning DPOY.
Sixth Man of the Year:
Jordan – Harrison Barnes (Golden State Warriors) – With the addition of Andre Iguodala to the Warriors, Barnes will likely ride the bench. Last year the kid showed all-star potential – especially in the postseason. Barnes will come off the bench and put up big points for the Warriors this season. His energy will be huge for the Warriors, and it will win them many games.
Justin – Jamal Crawford (Los Angeles Clippers) – The streaky shooter off the bench will benefit greatly from the bevy of talent that the Clippers have acquired in the offseason.
Peter – Tyreke Evans (New Orleans Pelicans) – The fifth year player was sent to New Orleans in a sign-and-trade with the Sacramento Kings. This is a fresh start for Evans after being surrounded by trade rumors over the last few seasons. Evans is a creative scorer and will get to play in his more natural role as a swingman instead of as a miscast point guard.
Most Improved Player of the Year:
Jordan – Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans)- The Pelicans may be the biggest surprise in the preseason. They did not lose a single game with their young starting lineup. Davis missed a lot of last season with injuries, but appears to be fine going into this season. After playing with the US Olympic team, and the addition of Jrue Holiday, Davis will have a monstrous season. The kid has freakish height and athletic abilities. His talents will not go unnoticed in 2013-14.
Justin – Greg Oden (Miami Heat) – Here’s hoping that the former first-round pick can stay healthy for an entire season and reignite his NBA career.
Peter – DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings) – Talk about a clean slate – new ownership, new coach and new front office – plus a freshly inked four-year contract extension worth a reported $62 million. Oh and let’s not forget that one of the most dominant big men of all time is mentoring Cousins – Shaquille O’Neal. It shapes up to be a perfect storm in Sacramento. Also keep Jimmy Butler from the Chicago Bulls on your radar.
Coach of the Year:
Jordan – Kevin McHale (Houston Rockets) – The Rockets pulled off the biggest move in free agency by signing Dwight Howard. Last year, the Rockets got James Harden. With so many weapons at McHale’s disposal, the Rockets have the chance to contend in the West. If the Rockets get a high seed in the playoffs, I expect McHale to get the nod.
Justin – Erik Spoelstra (Miami Heat) – It’s about time that we look at Spoelstra as an elite coach. Sure he has amazing talent, but he has to deal with tremendous expectations and place them together to work as one unit. Great players make great coaches, but great coaches enhance the legacy of great players.
Peter – Tom Thibodeau (Chicago Bulls) – With the return of Derek Rose to a team that defeated the favored Brooklyn Nets last spring in the playoffs and stole a game from the Miami Heat, Thibodeau’s job got a little easier this year. The Bulls will give the Heat all they can handle this season and finish with the best record in the NBA, securing his second Red Auerbach Trophy.
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