The last day of the regular season is upon us, and with it brings, the annual selection of this years award winners. After hours of deliberation, arguing in barbershops, and scoldings by family members that still bring up how great James Worthy was, we have our selections.
When selecting a MVP you must follow a certain criteria. Derrick Rose is not the best player in the league. He isn’t even the best point guard, but he is without a doubt the Most Valuable Player. The Bulls have the best record in the East 61-20 after going 41-41 last season. If you were to make the MVP selection based on stats then Rose loses to LeBron James, who is averaging. 27-7-7 for the fifth time in his career. Where would Miami be without LeBron? Now imagine the Bulls without Rose. Derrick has bought into the plan that Tom Thibodeau laid out. Getting the superstar of the team to fully commit is always key, and Rose has fully committed. He would be just the eighth NBA player to average at least 25 points, 7.5 dimes and 4.0 boards in a season. Rose will be the NBA’s youngest MVP at only 22 years old. Rose is 5th player ever to record 2000pts 600ast 300reb in a season (Oscar, Havlicek, Jordan, Lebron are the others). To put it simply: If you finish with the best record, are the only All-Star, you lead your team in multiple statistical categories, and they would be extremely hopeless without you then you are the MVP.
After Blake Griffin went H.A.M. on the Knicks back in November, murdering Timofey Mozgov and Gallinari, he was the Rookie of the Year.
This award is Dwight Howard’s as long as he is in the NBA. He’s second in the league in boards (14 per game) and fourth in blocks (2.4 per game). Howard is only one of three players since 1980 to average 13+ boards per game in four consecutive seasons. He again leads the league in Defensive Rating (fourth year in a row) and Defensive Win Shares (third year in a row). The Magic have the 3rd best defensive rating in the league solely because of Howard, and at 25 years young he has an extreme upside.
With only 21 starts in his three previous seasons, Kyle Lowry is the epitome of ‘ceasing an opportunity‘. When Aaron Brooks went down with an injured ankle, Lowry stepped in to the role, and not only blew away critics, but blew away Aaron Brooks to another team. Lowry is one of the game’s most overlooked perimeter defenders, his shooting percentages from the field (.426) and from 3-point range (.376) went up dramatically with far more attempts, and so did his scoring average (from 9.1 to 13.5). Lowry did a little bit of everything — 4.1 rebounds per game, 6.7 assists (compared to 2.1 turnovers), and 1.4 steals. He lead the Rockets with a confidence not seen since the days of Vernon Maxwell. A full season of starts should propel Lowry into the upper tier of NBA point guards.
The Los Angeles Lakers second most important player is definitely deserving of this award. Plus it will do wonders for his reality shows ratings. Odom is averaging 14 points, 9 boards, shooting 53% overall, 39% from deep, has a 3.0-1.7 assist-turnover rate, and is one of the most versatile interior defenders in the league. His 15.4 boards% is nearly in the top-20 in the entire NBA. The only slight against Odom is the number of minutes he plays. He ranks third on the Lakers in minutes played.
George Karl had to begin the season with the stresses of his health and the Carmelo Anthony situation. His health improved, while Carmelo Anthony, and Chauncey Billups were traded for the entire New York Knicks roster. With all these distractions Karl steered the team to a 5th place finish in the West and a formidable opponent in the Playoffs.
Honorable Mention: Thibodeau took a Bulls team that finished at 41-41 each of the past two seasons and transformed them into the East’s best team, cracking 60 wins for the first time since the Jordan era.