25 January 2013

2012-13 NBA Midseason Awards

We have arrived at around the halfway point in the 2012-13 NBA season and you know what, having a non-strike shortened season is not half bad (although I am all for shorter regular seasons). So let's dish out some midseason hardware, shall we?

MVP - Kevin Durant, SF, Oklahoma City
I came very close to giving this award to LeBron James, as well as giving serious thought to Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony, and he may very well end up the recipient as the season's conclusion and yes, he is having another other-worldly season. But not only are Durant's numbers incredible, especially the fact that he is on pace for a rare 50-40-90 shooting season, as well as the fact that his defense has greatly improved, he is leading a team that is kicking butt and taking names in a very strong conference and has had to take on a greater load with the trade of James Harden.
Runner-Up - LeBron James, SF, Miami

Rookie of the Year - Damian Lillard, PG, Portland
This one is easy as Lillard has been a big reason why the Trail, without any bench whatsoever, are in playoff contention as he has been tremendous. Lillard has adjusted very well to the NBA from Weber State and he has been playing really well all season long, averaging 18.3 points and 6.6 assists.
Runner-Up - Anthony Davis, PF, Kentucky

Sixth Man Award - Jamal Crawford, SG, Los Angeles Clippers
This is a tough one because there are a bunch of guys who deserve this award like J.R. Smith, Kevin Martin, Jarrett Jack, Manu Ginobili but I have to give it to Crawford because he has energized the Clippers towards the top of the West with his instant offense off the bench and has been so productive, the Clips do not lose much of a beat when he keying the offense in the second unit.
Runner-Up - J.R. Smith, SG, New York

Coach of the Year - Tom Thibodeau, Chicago
Like the Sixth Man, there are a bunch of very deserving candidates for this award but I've got to give this one to Thibodeau in a close one over Mike Woodson because the Bulls have been very good this year, they are on top of the Central, their defense has been tremendous as usual and that is a testament to the coach, and they are doing in without Derrick Rose and with a weaker bunch than they had a year ago. After all, Nate Robinson and Marco Belinelli are getting a nice chunk of minutes.
Runner-Up - Mike Woodson, New York

Defensive Player of the Year - Joakim Noah, C, Chicago
I understand that the excellent defense has a lot to do with the schemes of Thibodeau but Noah has been the key defensive force as he has done a tremendous job blocking and contesting shots and he has shown skills at being able to handle the pick-and-roll. Not to mention his playing time has greatly increased this year due to the departure of Omer Asik.
Runner-Up - Tony Allen, SG, Memphis

Most Improved - Paul George, SG, Indiana
George has stepped up big time for the Pacers this year and he has done more than fill the shoes of the injured Danny Granger en route to his first NBA All-Star selection. George has been tremendous on both ends of the court and his game has been strong with his inside and outside games, as he has improved his shooting from outside every year to an above-average spot.
Runner-Up - Greivis Vasquez, PG, New Orleans

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