My NBA awards selections

My NBA awards selections
May 19
13:30 2021

As the NBA regular season draws to a close, I like to think I have a clear idea of who will win the various NBA awards. This season was shortened by 10 games, but it was definitely a large enough sample size. Injuries and missed games played a major role with some of the contenders for these awards, but all in all, those who I think will win are fully deserving.

Here are my predictions for the NBA Awards:

Most Valuable Player: Nikola Jokić, Denver Nuggets

I figured I would start with the most sought-after of the awards. There has been this roller coaster type effect on the MVP race this season. Many of the candidates have gone up and down this year for various reasons. The most consistent of those candidates has been Jokić. He has been one of the best frontcourt players in the league for the last several years. This season, he has really come into his own. Jokić is averaging 26.5 points, 10.9 rebounds and 8.4 assists at the time this article was written. Joker, as he is affectionately called, has the Nuggets in 4th place in the Western Conference, four games out of first place. What makes Jokić’s season more impressive is the fact that his All-Star teammate, Jamal Murray, who was lost for the season on April 12 with a torn ACL, and the Nuggets are still in a great position out West.  

Rookie of the Year: LaMelo Ball, Charlotte Hornets

Ball has been the clear-cut best of this year’s rookie class. Everyone knew he was an above average passer, but it has been his scoring ability that has been most impressive. Ball is currently averaging 16 pts., 6 ast., and 6 rebs. per game so far this year. The only strike against Ball has been the amount of games he has played. Ball has only played in 49 of Charlotte’s games due to a fractured right wrist that caused him to be sidelined for over a month. On Jan. 9, Ball became the youngest player to record a triple double. He also was the Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for December, January and February. The scary part is that Ball still has so much upside and has only scratched the surface of his offensive capabilities. Michael Jordan has not had the best history when it comes to drafting players in the lottery, but he seems to have chosen correctly with Ball.

Coach of the Year: Tom Thibodeau, New York Knicks

Thibodeau took over a New York Knick franchise in 2020 that had been one of the worst teams in the league for several years. Thibodeau has turned the Knicks into one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference, as well as the best defensive team in the league. In only his first season with New York, Thibodeau has the Knicks in the playoffs for the first time since the 2012-13 season. Even though the Knicks were not able to lure any of the big-name free agents to Madison Square Garden in the off season, they have a talented, young core group of players led by Julius Randle. It was to be anticipated that Thibodeau was going to turn the Knicks into one of the best defensive teams in the league; however, it has been a surprise as to how that has translated into so many wins for the team. He has given Knick fans something to cheer about once again, but more importantly, hope for the future.

Most Improved Player: Julius Randle, New York Knicks

There are several players around the league that have taken their game to the next level.  Whether it be from playing more minutes, or a fresh start with a new team, there are always a handful of players that surprise you every year with their elevated play from the year before. Julius Randle is the perfect example of a player blossoming in a new place. In his second season in New York, Randle was named an All-Star for the first time in his seven-year career. He is averaging 24, 6, and 10 for the year and is playing over 37 minutes per game. Randle showed a lot of promise while playing for the Los Angeles Lakers his first four years in the league. It seems all he needed was the right set of circumstances for him to reach his full potential.

Defensive Player of the Year: Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers

Ben Simmons came into the league as an above average defender. He is one of the most versatile defenders in the league with the ability to defend backcourt and frontcourt players alike. Unlike many recent winners, Simmons’ ability to guard wing players sets him apart from others. He is one of the best on-ball defenders against backcourt players in the league. He is fifth in steals per game at 1.6 and third in deflections at 3.6 per game. With his size, athletic ability, and willingness to defend, it’s a wonder why Simmons has not won the award already.  

Sixth Man of the Year: Jordan Clarkson, Utah Jazz

Montrezl Harrell is the reigning Sixth Man of the Year and he is in the running for the award once again. This year, I think the award should go to Jordan Clarkson for the impact he has had on the Jazz. Utah is the top team in the Western Conference and has the best record in the league and Clarkson has had a lot to do with that. Clarkson is averaging over 18 points this year and is the second leading scorer on the team. It’s rare that a team of this caliber has their second leading scorer coming off the bench. Clarkson has played well during clutch moments this year and I am not sure the Jazz would have the Number One seed in the Western Conference if not for the contributions from Clarkson.

About Author

Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors