Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

Mid-Season NBA Awards

The NBA is eyeing the halfway point, as most teams are at or around the 40-game mark. The NBA is at the point of their season where there aren’t any questions of fluke teams or players anymore. Teams have competed enough to know where they stand, and players have shown their skills off enough to know just how good they are. The season has gone on long enough to be able to announce some NBA mid-season awards. Although things can unfold differently during the second half of the season, people deserve to be awarded for their phenomenal role in the game of basketball.

NBA Mid-Season Awards

MVP: Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis Antetokounmpo has been his usual dominant self this year–except even better. Antetokounmpo has increased his points per game average to 30 and his rebounds per game average to 12.8. He has also increased his three-point percentage average to 32.5 percent, up from 25.6 percent the year before. Antetokounmpo has been playing stellar defense as well, boasting one block per game and 1.1 steals per game. He has the second-highest defensive win shares in the league, behind the Miami Heat‘s Justise Winslow. Antetokounmpo has been able to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to an NBA-best 38-6 while playing lower minutes than the year before.

Although players such as the Los Angeles LakersLeBron James and Anthony Davis have been putting up their case for MVP, no one has come particularly close to Antetokounmpo. It’s going to take a miracle from several individuals to derail Antetokounmpo’s path to back-to-back NBA MVP titles.

Rookie of the Year: Ja Morant

Ja Morant has been somewhat of a surprising ROTY winner since most thought Williamson would dominate the rookie class. But even if Williamson was on the court this entire time, Morant has still been putting on a show. On top of his flashy dunks and savvy game-winners, Morant has proven he can lead a team, even in his first year. Morant has averaged 17.9 points, seven assists, and 1.1 steals. As a 20-year-old, he averages 40.2 percent from three-point land, and almost had a late entry for the dunk of the decade award last month (sorry, Kevin Love).

Morant has quietly led the young and talented Memphis Grizzlies to the eighth seed in the Western Conference. He has proven to be a winner in this league. Some say he is the next Russell Westbrook, some say he is the next John Wall, some say he is both. But everyone can say that he is a young star in this league and is going to keep improving. Morant is the clear ROTY winner so far this season.

Defensive Player of the Year: Anthony Davis

Davis, fresh off of a trade from the New Orleans Pelicans, has been balling for the Lakers. Davis has been phenomenal on the defensive end for the Lakers and has been a cornerstone for their success. He gives their defense motivation and life being the anchor down low. Davis averages 2.6 blocks and 1.5 steals per game. Davis is the key contributor to the Lakers’ defensive success, as they have become one of the NBA’s top defensive teams, ranked third in defensive rating with a score of 104.7. He has proven year after year that he is a great defender, but this year is the year that Davis achieves DPOY status.

Sixth Man of the Year: Montrezl Harrell

The Los Angeles Clippers have been firing on all cylinders this year, and are in second place in the Western Conference with a record of 30-13. The Clippers have two Sixth Man of the Year candidates in Montrezl Harrell and Lou Williams. The race between the two is very close. Although Williams has just named his son ‘Syx’ and is known as the king of sixth men, he has started a lot of games in absence of the Clippers’ stars Paul George and Kawhi Leonard.

Harrell gets the edge with this award. If Harrell keeps his production up, he is on pace to average career-highs with 19.3 points per game and 7.1 rebounds per game. His point production is very impressive as the offense doesn’t revolve around him, so he gets most of his points off of hustle plays. Congratulations to Harrell and the Clippers as he has been working extremely hard this season.

Most Improved Player: Devonte’ Graham

The Charlotte Hornets‘ point guard has been quietly making his case for Most Improved Player while rotting away in one of the worst franchises in professional sports history. Devonte’ Graham went from a borderline G-League player to a fringe All-Star in one offseason. Graham has improved his points per game averages from 4.7 to 18.7. He has improved his assists per game averages from 2.6 to 7.7. Graham is also shooting a higher percentage from three at 38.7 percent. He has increased his minutes drastically from 14.7 to 35.2. Graham has worked his way up to the lead role on the Hornets and has given them a glimpse of hope they need for the future.

Coach of the Year: Erik Spoelstra, Miami Heat

The Heat did not have as high of expectations going into this season. They only added one notable star in Jimmy Butler during free agency. They were expected to be a fringe playoff team. Their young core was projected to still need a few more years to develop. But the Heat have been a surprise in the Eastern Conference, as they are sitting in second place with a 29-13 record. It’s no secret that Spoelstra is a good coach, and can get the most out of whatever squad he has in front of them. The Heat’s young core is phenomenal, with players like Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro shining. Spoelstra knows how to develop and use his talent well, and the COY NBA mid-season award goes to him.

Executive of the Year: Lawrence Frank, Los Angeles Clippers

The battle for LA has been the most thrilling it’s been in years, in part thanks to Frank. The Clippers’ executive managed to pull off a blockbuster trade and a huge free agency signing–on the same night. He was able to match the Lakers’ offseason talent boost by obtaining their own. He is one of the main reasons why this season has been one of the most competitive seasons in years. Frank is the reason why the Clippers are back in championship contention. The Executive of the Year award is a small one, but a deserving one, as it is hard to see from the outside just how challenging the executive’s duties are.

Main Photo
Embed from Getty Images


More Posts

Send Us A Message