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NBA awards predictions for the 2019-20 season

NBA awards predictions  for the  2019-20 season
July 29
12:58 2020

The NBA has said they will use all pre-COVID-19 games as the determining factors in how they will choose the winners of their annual awards. That gives us a large enough sample to determine who should walk away with the hardware in each category.

We all know a few of these awards can and have been won by players who put on dynamic performances to close out the season, but since that is not the case this year, we will simply have to go with what we have. Here are my selections for the annual NBA awards and some thoughts as to why I made those selections.

Rookie of the year: Ja Morant (Memphis Grizzlies)

I think the selection of Morant is pretty much a no-brainer after how the rookie has shined throughout his first season in the league. Morant has come into the league and looked like a grizzled veteran midway through his inaugural campaign. He was averaging 17.6 points, 3.5 rebounds and 7 assists per game. No other rookie has popped off the screen quite like Morant. His athleticism, above the rim play and dynamic passing ability have been on display all season long. The future looks bright for Morant and there was no question this year that he deserves this honor above all else.

Sixth Man of the Year: Dennis Schröder (Oklahoma City Thunder)

Unlike the rookie of the year race, it took me quite a long time to decide on the winner for this category. There were a few guys that really stood out and for a while I could not choose. Along with Schröder, Montrezl Harrell and Lou Williams of the Los Angeles Clippers both had a case for the award. Harrell is averaging 18.6 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game, while Williams is putting up 18.7 points, 3.1 rebounds and 5.7 assists. Williams has won the award on three separate occasions and is currently the reigning award winner from 2018 and 2019. I chose to go with Schröder because of the numbers he has put up (19, 3.7, 4.1), along with taking into consideration the team he plays for. Williams and Harrell have two All-NBA caliber players on their roster, but the same cannot be said for the Thunder. I feel like Schröder has more placed on his shoulders with less talent around him and for that I think he should be the winner.

Coach of the Year: Nick Nurse (Toronto Raptors)

After winning the NBA Championship last year with Kawhi Leonard, the Toronto Raptors were flying high. After the departure of Leonard, everyone just assumed that the team would take a nosedive in the standings this year, but that has not been the case. Nick Nurse and his crew have done a great job in holding down the second seed in the Eastern Conference with a 46-18 record when not many expected them to perform so well. Pascal Siakam, Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet and others have done a great job in outperforming expectations and I think Nurse has a lot to do with that. Nurse has put the Raptors in position for another championship run.  

Defensive Player of the Year: Anthony Davis (Los Angeles Lakers)

The two players that immediately jumped to mind when I thought about this award was Anthony Davis and Giannis Antetokounmpo. I decided to go with Davis, even though Giannis has some impressive defensive statistics as well.  Davis is averaging 7.1 defensive rebounds, 1.5 steals, and 2.4 blocks per game, while having a 4.1 defensive win share score. Davis is tasked with doing a lot with the Los Angeles Lakers in a stacked Western Conference. I don’t think there is a wrong answer when choosing between the two, but I felt that Davis should win the award this season.

Most Improved Player: Bam Adebayo (Miami Heat)

You can tell the improvement that Adebayo has made from last season to this one. He has improved in almost every aspect of his game. Adebayo is averaging 16.2 points, 10.5 rebounds and 5.1 assists this season, versus last year when he was only averaging 8.9, 7.3 and 2.2. His stellar play even earned him an All-Star bid this year, his first appearance. Adebayo seems like he is just scratching the surface on how good he can be once he puts it all together.  

Most Valuable Player: Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks)

If we are being honest, there were really only two names to consider for MVP of the league this year, Antetokounmpo and LeBron James. I decided to go with Antetokounmpo to win his second MVP in a row, because he has exceeded what I saw last year.  Giannis is putting up gaudy numbers this year with 29.6 points, 13.7 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game. Antetokounmpo has not even reached his ceiling yet and is already one of the top three players in the league. 

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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