NBA Awards Predictions: It’s A Tight Race for MVP, DPOY & Coach Of The Year
Let’s put the leading parties head-to-head
There is still a significant time to go until the NBA Playoffs, but there are already certain parties making their bids for Most Valuable Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and Coach of the Year. The leading contestants are definitely up for debate, but we’ve put together some of the favorites and put them head-to-head.
Most Valuable Player: Kawhi Leonard vs. Russell Westbrook
Kawhi Leonard has been packing on his resume all season long. In terms of statistics, he ranks within the top ten for points (26.3), free-throw attempts (7.6) and steals (1.9). But more than the numbers he’s been racking up, he’s also made some very important moves in crucial games for the San Antonio Spurs. It was his game-winning shot, for example, that beat out the Indiana Pacers.
But then there is also Russell Westbrook, who has been leading the Oklahoma City Thunders, a team which now holds sixth place in the Western Conference. He proved this season that he has the talent and passion to lead a team to victory, and it might just be enough that voters oversee the possible ceiling for OKC. Westbrook has been raining down on triple-doubles for his team, as well as 10.6 rebounds, 10.3 assists and 31.8 points.
Defensive Player Of The Year: Draymond Green vs. Rudy Gobert
With the absence of Kevin Durant, the Golden State Warriors have had to pick up in terms of defense. The shift has not exactly happened yet as evidenced by the Knicks’ and Hawks’ triple digits against the Dubs. Nevertheless, Green already has a strong bid for DPOY. He leads the league in terms of steals (2.1) and has helped knock down competitors by 5.2 percent below their average shooting success rates.
But Utah Jazz’s Rudy Gobert has also been knocking in some impressive numbers. He has an average of 2.5 blocks per game, but it’s really how he shoots down the point averages of the league’s big names that make his defensive presence obvious. Anthony Davis, for example, averages 28.1 points per game, but with Gobert as the leading defender, he scored just 16 points.
Coach Of the Year: Mike D’Antoni vs. Brad Stevens
Mike D’Atoni has done a remarkable job for the Houston Rockets. The team already has 47 wins this year and just 21 losses, which is a stark contrast to their 41-41 record from the previous season. What D’Atoni has done with a team put together by Daryl Morey is remarkable, especially from beyond the arc.
The man behind the Boston Celtics, Brad Stevens, has numbers that any coach would be proud of. His team is currently ranked as the second team in the Eastern Conference. He has helped in the overall growth of the Celtics, who finished humbly as the seventh seed in the Eastern conference back in the 2014-2015 season.
But guess we all just have to wait and see. Who's your bet for MVP, DPOY and Coach of the Year? Let us know in the comments section below.