Kia NBA Most Valuable Player:
Candidates: Giannis Antetokounmpo, James Harden, and LeBron James
Prediction: Giannis Antetokounmpo
Reasoning: Giannis had an incredible year averaging 29.5 PPG, 13.6 RPG, 5.6 APG, and 1.0 SPG. Giannis also led his Bucks to having the best record in the NBA at 56-17. James Harden and LeBron both had incredible years however, Giannis had the best season in my opinion and did the most for his team.
Kia NBA Rookie of the Year:
Candidates: Ja Morant, Kendrick Nunn, and Zion Williamson
Prediction: Ja Morant
Reasoning: Ja Morant had a great rookie year for the Memphis Grizzlies. Ja averaged 17.8 PPG, 3.9 RPG, and 7.3 APG while taking on the leader of the team. Zion had a great rookie year as well but he did not play enough games or minutes in his rookie year in my opinion to earn this award over Morant. Nunn also had a good year especially since he was undrafted however, his stats were not as good and he did not lead the Heat.
Kia NBA Sixth Man of the Year:
Candidates: Montrezl Harrell, Dennis Schroder, and Lou Williams
Prediction: Lou Williams
Reasoning: Before I get into my reasoning, I am confused as how there are two players from the same team going up for this award. However, I will give this award to Lou Williams. He has pretty much made a career off of this award. In Doc Rivers system, Williams provides solid scoring and defense off the bench. This season he averaged 18.2 PPG, 3.1 RPG, and 5.6 APG. This is a tough award as all three candidates have similar stats.
Kia NBA Most Improved Player:
Candidates: Bam Adebayo, Luka Doncic, and Brandon Ingram
Prediction: Brandon Ingram
Reasoning: This was another tough prediction to make. However, I feel like it should go to Brandon Ingram. Bam Adebayo also broke out and had a great year averaging a double-double. I feel like Luka should not win because he is still a superstar and all he did was just have a better year. He still averaged over 20 PPG and is still the leader of the Mavericks. However, this time he is in the playoffs. Ingram went from being LeBron’s sidekick in Los Angeles to being the best player on a young Pelicans team. Ingram averaged 23.8 PPG, 6.1 RPG, and 4.2 APG. Now throw in a healthy Zion and these two can make a dynamic duo for many years to come.
NBA Coach of the Year:
Candidates: Mike Budenholzer, Billy Donovan, and Nick Nurse
Prediction: Billy Donovan
Reasoning: These coaches are all great coaches. Budenholzer led the Bucks to the best record in the NBA, Nick Nurse led the Raptors to be a strong second seed even without Kawhi Leonard, and Donovan led the Thunder to a 5 seed tied with the Rockets, when it seemed like the Thunder may be rebuilding. Not many people thought the Thunder would make the playoffs especially in a tough Western Conference especially being tied with the team that they traded Russell Westbrook to. In my opinion, Billy Donovan deserves this award the most.