NBA Awards Race
What makes a Rookie of the Year? Truth be told, it's often little more than a stats-grab, an award given to the newbie who tallies the most points or hands out the most assists. To gather the types of numbers that win, however, a rookie has to earn starter's minutes, which usually come with a team digging itself out of one lottery while headed to the next.
Hence, Tyreke Evans gets the freedom to direct the Kings' offense, and Stephen Curry gets to play without having to make defense a priority in Golden State.
Early in the season, Milwaukee's Brandon Jennings seemed destined for those sorts of numbers and freedom, until a playoff race and a coach who breathes defense intervened. So while Jennings' numbers have declined from the early-season marks that made him the favorite for rookie honors, he's received a lesson in leadership. It hasn't been pretty, though, as his 36.8 percent shooting attests, but it could help him become a more complete player.
As for the short term, who gets the nod in the Rookie of the Year race this week -- Evans for his steady, across-the-board production, Curry for his recent dominance or Jennings for his guiding a playoff contender? Read on ...
(All stats and records are through March 2.)
F, Cleveland Cavaliers
Previous Ranking: 1
PPG RPG APG FG%
29.9 7.1 8.5 50.3
We'll let Stan Van Gundy handle this one. "LeBron is going to get the award. It's not going to be a close vote," the Magic coach told FanHouse. "All the players and coaches in the league know who is going to get the MVP." Welp, settles that one.
G, Los Angeles Lakers
Previous Ranking: 3
PPG RPG APG FG%
27.4 5.3 4.8 45.8
What do the Lakers hope to gain by playing a guy 39 minutes a night after coming back from an ankle injury? The West is all but wrapped up and does anyone think L.A. can't win at least one on the road in the Finals should it lose home-court advantage for a potential series with Cleveland?
F, Dallas Mavericks
Previous Ranking: --
PPG RPG APG FG%
25.2 7.8 2.5 47.9
Just when we thought the No. 2 seed in the West was reserved for the Nuggets, Nowitzki helps guide the Mavs to eight straight wins, including conquests in Orlando, Atlanta and Charlotte.
F, Oklahoma City Thunder
Previous Ranking: 2
PPG RPG APG FG%
29.8 7.6 2.8 47.9
He blocked 1.2 shots per game in February, a pretty good indicator he's learning to excel on both ends of the floor. And leading the Thunder to the best month since the franchise moved to OKC (9-2) is a pretty good indicator he's learning how to compete for the MVP.
C, Orlando Magic
Previous Ranking: --
PPG RPG BPG FG%
18.5 13.2 2.8 60.1
Again, Coach Van Gundy, your thoughts: "You would think that he's not one of the elite players in the league ... the stuff I read about him," Van Gundy told the Orlando Sentinel. If there's guys in the league playing better than he is right now, there's like two or three of them."
Rookie of the Year
Spotlight: After Kevin Martin was shipped to Houston, the Kings moved Evans' locker closest to the players' exit, a courtesy previously awarded Chris Webber in years past. The keys to the franchise now clearly rest in Evans' hands, not a bad idea for someone Jazz star Deron Williams said "makes me look small." 1. Tyreke Evans, Kings (PR: 1)
2. Brandon Jennings, Bucks (PR: 3)
3. Stephen Curry, Warriors (PR: 2)
4. Darren Collison, Hornets (PR: --)
5. Marcus Thornton, Hornets (PR: --)
Sixth Man Award
Spotlight: While no longer a sixth man, Landry's work off the bench in Houston (16.1 points, 5.6 rebounds per game) was enough to help the Rockets secure one of the best scorers in the game, Kevin Martin, at the trade deadline. That's a good return for someone who started one game before becoming a King. 1. Carl Landry, Kings (PR: 1)
2. Jamal Crawford, Hawks (PR: 2)
3. Jason Terry, Mavericks (PR: 4)
4. Anderson Varejao, Cavs (PR: 3)
5. J.R. Smith, Nuggets (PR: --)
Coach of the Year
Spotlight: Everywhere around Brooks' team are signs it is maturing into a contender far ahead of schedule. Example: The Thunder won only eight times on the road last season and now they hold the league's fifth-best road mark at 17-12. And no, you don't want to see OKC come late April. 1. Scott Brooks, Thunder (PR: 1)
2. Nate McMillan, Trail Blazers (PR: 2)
3. Scott Skiles, Bucks (PR: --)
4. Jerry Sloan, Jazz (PR: 5)
5. Mike Brown, Cavaliers (PR: --)
Defensive Player of the Year
Spotlight: Blocking 3.3 shots and grabbing 13.2 rebounds per game in February is the stuff of defensive dominance, but committing 3.7 fouls per contest this season is the stuff of reckless indulgence. It's time for Howard to stop complaining and start adding some savvy to his skills. 1. Dwight Howard, Magic (PR: 1)
2. Josh Smith, Hawks (PR: 2)
3. Andrew Bogut, Bucks (PR: --)
4. Gerald Wallace, Bobcats (PR: 3)
5. Anderson Varejao, Cavs (PR: --)
Most Improved Player
Spotlight: With his 29 consecutive games of scoring at least 25 points, Durant beat out Kobe, LeBron and Allen Iverson with the feat. Be careful, Thunder fans, as New York media have already started salivating over bringing Durant to the Big Apple should Oklahoma City not grant the young star an extension this summer. 1. Kevin Durant, Thunder (PR: 1)
2. Marc Gasol, Grizzlies (PR: 2)
3. Andrew Bogut, Bucks (PR: 4)
4. Carl Landry, Kings (PR: 3)
5. Aaron Brooks, Rockets (PR: 5)
Read More: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/paul_forrester/03/03/award...
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i have no problems with landry, crawford and terry being the top 3 6th man finalists. But i would add both odom and love over verajao and jr smith in the top 5.
I will say this again about Jennings, people fell in love with him when he dropped 55 and then fell out of love with him when he went into his terrible shooting slump. This kid is the floor leader for a Bucks team that no one thought would be in the playoff race, especially with Redd out. He is playing the point better then any rookie this year.
There were a lot of knocks on his attitude and character coming in but he has stayed quiet (except for a couple of tweets) and has never once complained about anything. He takes wins over personal stats.
This kid just shows up and balls. When he gets some quality players around him, watch out. Just look what the emergence of a John Salmons has done, 5 straight wins.
i for one never fell out of love with him. but youre right many peopel jumped right off the bandwagon but thats how it is on here. alot of peopel see one good or great game and jump on or a good or bad game and jump off. hell batum had a good game and some now think he can be built around and will for sure be a allstar one day
I would really have no problem with Kevin Durant winning the MVP award because what he has done this season to be is more exciting to watch than Kobe and Lebron and where he has taken this team in his 3rd year is impressive. I am pretty sure Kobe was just scratching the surface in year 3, and I don't think Lebron took his team to the playoffs until year 4, so Durant gets my vote.
i think i might have to agree with you a lil(i can see giving him some votes) because of where he has taken okc in the western conference. at the same time i would vote for lebron because he does more things then durant and is just as scarey on defense
A 37% FG percent is not bad, its Atrocious! there is no way i can award a kid who is shooting that bad. Yes they are winning but a asterisk because its the East....If this means anything espn had a poll this morning about ROY winner 40% chose Curry, 37% Reke % 23% Jenning. Its Reke's award to lose, i believe curry will catch him though
the east isnt that good but still the bucks werent considered to be that good even with redd. now they are a playoff team without redd. not saying he should win it but its a overall award not just because one part of a players game isnt good. cant take away shaqs mvp because of his god auful free throw percentage or ben wallace defense award because of his bad free throw shooting either. that would be like someone saying "well sac and gs are so bad that evans and curry cant get the award because anyone can put up those numbers on teams with horrible records" even if it is in the west( they lose to east coast teams just like they have lost to west coast teams). cant just pick and choose which parts should exclude a player
You just made my point about the bucks, they are really not a good team, not on paper & i can make that assumption watching them too yet they are still in the playoffs, not by their own great merit but because the bottom of the east is Pathetic.
About Jennings, that’s not just a casual part of one’s game, that’s major! if you can't shoot efficiently from the field that will get you booted out the league. FT is one thing..But not being able to shoot changes the way defenses play the bucks & can hurt the team. Again 37% is historically bad..Imagine the spacing they would have if teams honored his shots and he finished at the basket.
they might mak the playoffs because they can play and jennings is a big part of it. and if you really break it down heres the links for both players shooting percentages from layups to 10 feet out and furture. i could say jennings should be over him because he shoots a better percentage from jumpers
or what if someone said the rookie of the year should go to the player that best helps his team win? ojust as easy as you can say the east is weak i could say evans and curry only get there numbers because there team's are so bad and they get to shoot all they want..someone has to score on a bad team right? if someone wanted to they could say that and have a very good case. should lee not have been a allstar because he was on a bad team in the east?. compare the games that sac played against the same teams that the bucks played. i havent looked at it but since you say the east is so weak ( which it is) then the most fair way would be to compare how both teams did against the same team and see waht there record would be right?
You can't really judge what effect each has on the team b/c if the bucks where out west i believe they would have 17-20 wins only themselves. Those guys were drafted higher which meant they went to a worse off situation.
My point is efficiency is probably one of the most important NBA stats, Teammates or situation can't effect that, thats purely on Jennings. I advocate Curry, but neither he or Reke are just jacking up shots. They both shoot good FG %..Reke get to the line & Curry bangs 3's.....Thats why Nash is soo great. Even a poor shooter like Rondo manages a 49-50% from the field
i guess the nba people and voters dont feel the same way since jennings is talked about being in the running even though he wont win. i guess alot of peopel give him praise for the bucks being int he playoff hunt even with his fg percentage and the bucks being in the east
i wonder should the mvp be the same way then. if a player is leading his team to the playoffs int he east while some guy is on a bad team in the west
first Durant for Most Improved Player is a joke for me,he was one of the top 6 scorer in the NBA last season and one of the highest point average not to get All star ever (still speaking about last season) ,his improvement is more about being about maturing as a star .
I really think A brooks gets this one,may be Gasol but no to Durant
I agree with llperez22 when we talks about 6th man
I have no problem with ROY
Coach of the year :I think that Skiles Brooks Woodson are leading the race but if the mavs finished 2nd in the west Carslile is possible also
i think they put durant there because hes improved as a player while improving the team. last year he was just a scorer this year he scores at the right times and has his team winning. avg 25 one season and avg 29 the next(just an example) can be a big difference if youe scoring at different times that gets you wins compared to scoring at the end of games or during games in which youre gettin blown out, so i can understand why they would put him up there. was durant even in the discussion for mvp last year?
yeah durant has improved and his team is better. But that doesn't mean you deserve mvp just because you got a lot better. I would seriously have to question anyone giving him the award over lebron. As a basketball fan, lebron scares me a lot more then durant does. Lebron can be unstoppable and get to the rim at will. Durant will get 30 and it doesn't seem like the same impact that lebron has on the game.
best rookie i have ever seen.. really!
wow hes the bets rookie you have ever seen?...how old are you?..must be pretty young or havnt been watching basketball long
tyreke evans can do it all he is a 6'5 point guard which is RARE!!! he shoots, he drives, he gets 2 the line, he passes, he rebounds, he plays tough d , he gets lots of steals, and hes clutch already has hecka game winners..how is he not the best?????
just off the top of my head, i would say both shaq and duncan were better then evans. But if you wernt watching then that makes a difference
yeah i dont think he has seen them or jason kidd as a rookie. and evans cant shoot and is ok on defense. reaches alot. i cant say hes clutch considering they havnt won many games. and hes a 6'5 shooting guard/combo guard. that euro kid plays point for them
Just about all the major awards are locked up...Except coach of the year...There are 5 guys who are candidates..
Rookie of the Year..Tyreke Evans
6th Man...Jamaal Crawford
Defensive Player of the Year..Dwight Howard
Most Improved Player..Marc Gasol