NBA Lester Awards
This has actually been a very enjoyable basketball season. It’s like old times with the Lakers and the Celtics dominating their respective Conferences. OK, the Lakers haven’t exactly dominated the West, but they did have the best record. It’s time to reflect on the season before the real season begins.
MVP - Kevin Garnett
I want to say Kobe Bryant (and I do expect him to win it), but I just couldn’t overlook the fact that Boston has the league’s best record and has made the best single-season turnaround in NBA history. KG’s numbers don’t scream MVP, but the way he’s brought the intensity level of the Celtics up, especially on D is the reason I’m handing him the trophy. Chris Paul, my midseason choice, is also quite worthy, and possibly the person who means the most to his team’s success. If they won the West, I’d probably give him the award.
Rookie of the Year - Kevin Durant
Al Horford made a game out of it, but in the end Durant was the top rookie. He was the only rookie to average over 13 points per game at 20 ppg. He was Top Ten in Rookie Rebounding. He was third in Rookie Assists. All of this while playing with a big X on his chest. He lived up to the lofty expectations. Wonder if anyone still cares what he can or can’t bench press?
Most Improved - Hedo Turkoglu
Jose Calderon was the half-time winner, but he seemed to trail off. Meanwhile, Hedo was one of four players to average 10+ points, 5+ rebounds, and 5+ assists. His numbers were pretty much up across the board.
Comeback Player of the Year - Peja Stojakovic
I’ll stick with my half-time choice in Peja. He had a great season finishing with 16.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.2 assists. He shot 44% from downtown. Not bad for a guy who hadn’t played more than 60 games since 2004.
Sixth Man of the Year - Manu Ginobili
There really is no other choice. Manu was amazing. He averaged 19.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 4.5 assist for the Spurs. He really stepped up his game when Tony Parker went down. Although he’s arguably the best player on the team, and one of the best in the league, he came off the bench most of the season.
Defensive Player of the Year – Marcus Camby
Camby had 3.60 blocks per game, which led the league, to go along with his 10.3 defensive rebounds per game, which was good for second in the league. He added a steal of a game.
Coach of the Year - Doc Rivers
The Celtics had too big of a turnaround and were far too successful for them not to shine during Award Season.
NBA First Team
NBA Second Team
NBA Third Team
Those are my picks. What changes would you make?