MVP - Kobe Bryant
Lebron James, Chris Paul & Kevin Garnett have all put forward strong claims to this years highest individual prize, but if Kobe doesn't win it this year, he may never do so.
Rookie of the Year - Al Horford
If Kevin Durant wasn't averaging 20ppg on this awful Seattle team, then he'd be in danger of being labelled a bust. Someone had to score points for the Sonics. Horford on the other hand, while almost averaging a double-double on the season, has had a greater impact in helping the Hawks to break their 9 year playoff drought and for me, that gives him the edge.
Coach of the Year - Byron Scott
This award is a bit misleading because it often goes to a coach who's team's had the biggest turn around from the season before. Case in point, Sam Mitchell has won this award the same amount of times as Gregg Popovich and Phil Jackson, and at the time Mitchell had only coached one +.500 season !
So based on that rationale, Byron Scott just edges out Doc Rivers because Doc was expected to make the Celtics immediately into a contender this year. For Scott though, he has turned the Hornets from not making the playoffs last year to number 2 seed this season. Now comes the big test for the Hornets though as the regular season counts for little come playoff time.
If this award is to be given to the league's best coach, then that is San Antonio's Gregg Popovich. Year in, year out his Spurs are contenders and off court issues are non-existent, such is the mutual respect between the players and coach. The only time San Antonio have made the news during the off season was last year when Tony Parker wed Eva Longoria. It's unlikely Pop handed out any punishment to Parker for drawing that kind of attention to the team.
Most Improved Player - Hedo Turkoglu
This is the only award that there isn't a clear cut winner. Jose Calderon, Beno Udrih and even Dwight Howard and Chris Paul probably qualify for this award, but Hedo has had the most unexpected impact. A career fringe player, Hedo made the step up this year and is most likely to win this award.
Sixth Man of the Year - Manu Ginobili
Manu might just be San Antonio's best player right now and that's even more amazing considering he doesn't even start. But it's just another reason why the Spurs are so consistently good, ego's never come before winning.
All NBA First Team
F: Kevin Garnett
F: Lebron James
C: Dwight Howard
G: Kobe Bryant
G: Chris Paul
Knicks Morning News (2017.04.23)
3 hours ago