We made it. We are a little over the midway point of the NBA season. What a fantastic season so far. Emotional at times, with the passing of the great Craig Sager, but the play on the court has been very entertaining to watch. Why don’t we just dive into our midseason NBA Award Picks, which were incredibly difficult decisions.
James Harden: Since the preseason, many had expected James Harden to tear it up this season. He’s lived up to the hype. He’s putting up ridiculous numbers with the Rockets. Don’t get me wrong, Westbrook has been great this season, getting more triple doubles than anybody can keep track of. However, James Harden has had an attitude on the court that has been unmatched since Day 1 of the season. However, you never know what happens in the second half. Russell Westbrook should still have been a starter.
Coach of the Year
Mike D’Antoni: Head coach of the Houston Rockets. This team was mediocre at best in 2015, now they find themselves at 33-12. Obviously, James Harden inhumane play has a part to do with that, but D’Antoni is the mastermind behind the play. His offensive mentality has proven well for Houston. The system that D’Antoni runs is perfect for guards, just as he did with Nash back in the day. Many would argue Harden is marginally better than Steve Nash. If they can continue this dominance, don’t see why Mike can’t be the Coach of the Year.
Rookie of the Year
Joel Embiid: Easy, easy answer. Although, the Sixers stud has only played 30 games to this point, he has been an intense force of nature, averaging nearly 20 points per game and really putting the Sixers on the map for the first time in a while (really since Iverson). Embiid has given life to his squad. Whether it is his social media heroics, or his constant desire to be serious with the game he loves, it’s working. Averaging almost 8 rebounds a game, shooting nearly 80% from the line, JoJo’s numbers are very solid so far this season.
Most Improved Player of the Year
Giannis Antetokounmpo: Where did this man land from? Which spaceship had the pleasure of dropping him off? The Greek Freak is a legit force in Milwaukee. He is huge, aggressive, talented, and addicted to progress. Giannis is the second most versatile player in the league besides LeBron James. He is averaging 23 PPG, 5 APG, and 8 RPG, which is better than all of his numbers from last season. Milwaukee is going to shine in the coming years with Giannis, Jabari Parker, and Co.
Defensive Player of the Year
Hassan Whiteside: Although Miami continues to be in its rebuilding stages, Whiteside has been a complete beast this year leading the league in rebounds, and near the top in blocks. If the Heat’s record were to be better, this would have been an easy win for Whiteside. However, besides him, Draymond or Rudy Gobert are definitely in the question.
Sixth Man of the Year
Eric Gordon: Eric Gordon is the clear cut choice on this one. He is averaging nearly 20 points, with 2 assists and rebounds a piece. Yes, he does have the bearded god on his team, but has contributed to his 33-12 Rockets team being his right hand man. Wow. The Rockets won big in my midseason awards. Let’s see what happens in the second half of the season.