We are halfway through the NBA regular season, and it has been nothing short of spectacular. Certain teams have separated themselves from the rest of the pack, while certain players have made strong cases for different awards. Some of these award races are very close, while others have an obvious winner.
NBA Award Predictions Through the Halfway Mark of the Regular Season
Most Valuable Player (MVP): Stephen Curry
Did you expect anyone else? Curry is having a historic season with a lot of basketball left to play. This season, Curry has truly shown how valuable he is to the Warriors when he is not playing. We have seen him shoot from places in the arena that only he is allowed to shoot from. Curry has also improved on his passing. He is the leader of the Warriors, and he is looking to help them win a second consecutive championship. While he is doing that, the Warriors are also looking to break the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls’ regular season record of 72-10. Curry is the MVP, and there is no other way to put it.
Most Improved Player: C.J. McCollum
What a season McCollum is having for the Portland Trail Blazers. He has been a great sidekick to Damian Lillard, which has made the two of them form one of the best backcourts in the league. McCollum has taken his offensive game to a whole new level. While Lillard was out with plantar fasciitis for seven games, McCollum took the team on his back and put up 30 points a night. His evolution has been key to a surprisingly decent season for the Trail Blazers. The development of McCollum could also help the Trail Blazers bring in players during free agency. It is great to see him playing at a high level, and he is running away with this award.
Rookie of the Year: Jahlil Okafor
This award is actually the toughest one to pick. But overall, Okafor is having a spectacular season. He has the most 20+ point games out of all of the rookies this season. Okafor’s post game is very solid, while his jump shot is making great strides. It seems that the Sixers have finally found a franchise player in Okafor. He is obviously going to have growing pains, but the future is very bright for Okafor.
Defensive Player of the Year: Draymond Green
Everyone knows that Green has been having an amazing season. He has certainly lived up to the contract he signed in the offseason. While he is very solid on both sides of the court, Green’s defense really gets the Warriors going. Green’s ability to defend every position at a high level makes him a special and unique player. He will not back down from guarding the best players in the world. This award would mean a lot to Green and he deserves to win it, without question.
Sixth Man of the Year: Ryan Anderson
This one is long overdue. It is crazy to think that Anderson has never won this award, as he has been one of the best sixth men in the league for years. In all honesty, Anderson deserves more credit than he receives; he is looked at as just a three-point shooter when he is far more than that. His ability to post up and create space on a fadeaway jumper is unappreciated. Anderson has been great for the Pelicans offense when they get into shooting slumps. It makes sense that multiple contenders are making calls to New Orleans with inquiries about Anderson.
Coach of the Year: Gregg Popovich
Popovich could win this award every year, but this year, he truly deserves it. A lot of people did not expect the Spurs to gel together this quickly. They are only two games behind the Golden State Warriors for the top spot in the West. Credit has to be given to Popovich for helping the Spurs be great this quickly, with their new acquisitions. But if a car is not involved, it seems like he will not care too much for the award.