27 January 2015
2014-15 NBA Midseason Awards
Most Valuable Player - Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
This year has been more wide open than NBA seasons past in terms of the MVP race as the usual suspects in LeBron James and Kevin Durant have been felled at times by injuries. Both could very well get themselves in the mix once again but to me, it's down to Curry and James Harden in a tough call. While Curry has the benefit of a deeper roster (and an actual coach), he also gets the benefit of being the best player on the best team in the Association.
Runner-Up - James Harden, Houston Rockets
Rookie of the Year - Andrew Wiggins, Minnesota Timberwolves
Unlike the MVP discussion, this is pretty easy as there is only one rookie at the moment averaging double-digits in scoring, and that would be the top overall selection from Kansas. Wiggins has shown some growing pains as one would expect from a 19-year-old (he does turn 20 in a month), but he also has shown a ton of promise.
Runner-Up - Nikola Mirotic, Chicago Bulls
Sixth Man of the Year - Lou Williams, Toronto Raptors
Another tough call here but I think the underrated Williams deserves a little more credit than he has may have gotten over the years with his excellent play this year for a strong club in T-Dot. Williams has helped to fill the void of DeMar DeRozan but he has kept up his play when he's been coming off the pine, averaging 15 points-per-game in 24 minutes a game.
Runner-Up - Marreese Speights, Golden State Warriors
Most Improved Player - Jimmy Butler, Chicago Bulls
Even as Draymond Green has had a tremendous season to date, this one is pretty easy to decide as Butler has made "the leap" from a quality contributor to a max-caliber of player as he has excelled on both ends of the court as he leads another quality Bulls team. The fact that he is leading the league in minutes shows how important Butler is to this team.
Runner-Up - Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors
Defensive Player of the Year - Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors
It seems a little out of the ordinary to have somebody win this award that is not a classic "big guy," but Green certainly is deserving of this honor. Green is a significant part of the Warriors having the best defense in the NBA as he can defend both big guys in the paint and guards out on the perimeter. He also leads the league in defensive rating and defensive win shares, both key signs of an excellent defensive player.
Runner-Up - Dwight Howard, Houston Rockets
Coach of the Year - Mike Budenholzer, Atlanta Hawks
Steve Kerr deserves his fair share of consideration for this award but what Budenholzer has done this season with this Hawks club has been remarkable. We always thought that you needed star players to excel in the NBA but Budenholzer has taken a club with a bunch of really good players but had struggled to make waves in the Eastern Conference, and has powered them to a 37-8 record. Budenholzer has had his guys buy into his system perfectly and it has made them the elite team in the East.
Runner-Up - Steve Kerr, Golden State Warriors