Monday, October 26, 2015

2016 NBA Season Predictions: Awards Preview


NBA MVP: James Harden

Harden was so outspoken on his desire to win this award last year and this off-season that I expect his focus to be on winning it this year. The other competitors either don't care about winning another one (LeBron and Curry), are on the same team so their individual greatness is tempered statistically (Westbrook and Durant), or won't win enough games (Anthony Davis). Harden is the winning combination of being a great individual talent on a great team who also strives for individual accolades.

NBA Rookie of the Year: Emmanuel Mudiay

He's a wild card but if the Denver Nuggets perform better than already-low expectations, there's no reason he can't win the award. If he can contain his turnovers, Mudiay is poised to be instrumental in Denver's rebuilding.

Coach of the Year: Billy Donovan

He is in the absolute perfect position to win Coach of the Year. Expectations are low for him personally considering it is his first year in the NBA. His team is loaded with talent. His players seem to be buying into his system. And most importantly, it's easy to compare his value added considering not much has changed in the organization outside of trading Scott Brooks for him. He's not Steve Kerr (who was an NBA player, executive, and commentator before coaching), but he does have the coaching experience that Kerr did not coming into his first stint as an NBA coach. If his value added is measurably large, which I think it will be, the COY is his to lose. 

Defensive Player of the Year: Draymond Green



Tony Allen's shouting "First team all defense!" in the playoffs against the Warriors last year can now be matched by Draymond who earned those honors in 2015. And while Kawhi was a great defensive player, I expect the combination of his already impressive defensive versatility with a championship ring and passion to win the award to propel him to 2016 Defensive Player of the Year. Nobody combines versatility with talent better on that end of the floor than Draymond Green.

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