Time to cast the ballots on an election I know something about
It’s Election Day!
No, not that one, sillyheads, one that I care about.
(I keed, I keed)
I’ve put off submitting my ballots for the NBA awards until today, mostly because I’m a wee bit lazy and partially because I really wanted to see how the regular season unfolded.
But when I got the reminder from the league office yesterday, figured it was time to get thinking.
So, as we go speeding to the end of the season – and speeding is bad unless you get busted by a cop who’s got better things to do on your court date -- this is what I thought, along with some other fun stuff sprinkled in.
Dwight Howard LeBron James Kevin Durant
Oh, yeah, this was hard. Very hard. Maybe the hardest one I’ve had in years.
What is the MVP? Best player on best team? Statistically dominant guy? Guy a good team could least do without? The guy who elevates teammates the most? A combination, to me. You have to consider numbers a bit, impact a lot, team success quite a bit.
I know you could make a compelling case for any of those five – in fact, Stan Van Gundy almost had me swung over to Dwight a couple of weeks ago – but, to me, Rose has passed the eye test and the numbers test and the team test.
I guess the biggest snub here would be Dirk but there’s only room for five names.
Coach of the Year
I’m virtually certain that Thibodeau will win and he’s as deserving as anyone on the list; what he’s done in his first year is incredible.
But I saw Philly a couple of times early in the season, I saw them last week and what Collins has done with the talent available to him has been astounding.
In late November, I don’t think many thought the Sixers would win 25 games, let alone be the seventh seed in the playoffs.
And, yes, it was incredibly hard to leave Gregg Popovich off the ballot but George had all kinds of stuff to put up with and still coaxed the Nuggets to a great record.
Rookie of the Year
Perhaps the biggest no-brainer of the bunch.
Sure, there could be questions about whether Griffin really is a rookie (does hanging around the NBA for a full season to learn the ropes count?) but the rules say he is and until they change the rules, I’m not sure how anyone could vote against him.
Should they change the rules? Maybe but that’s a discussion for another day.
Snubs? None, really, although I imagine DeMarcus Cousins will get some support.
Defensive player of the Year
Oops. Sorry. This is the biggest no-brainer of the bunch.
If this isn’t near unanimous, I’ll be shocked, no one impacts the game from the defensive end more than Howard does.
A handful of coaches – heads and assistants – have been singing Hill’s praises all year and every time I’ve seen him, he’s been excellent.
Deng? Over Carl Landry and Thabo Sefolosha although I could have goe either way.
Just keeping you up to speed on what’s going on with my colleague Bill over in Beijing.
I’m not all the worried about my Jays, but I have to tell you, this west trip is not working out the way I’d hoped.
But it’s not like anyone in the AL East is off to a torrid start so I remain calm and confident.
And need them to get back East so I can watch more.
Anyway, we now return to the regularly-scheduled voting process.
Sixth Man of the Year
Tough to vote against Terry, who’s been spectacular but Odom’s such a key cog to whatever the Lakers do – even moreso now that there will be questions about Bynum after he injured his knee late Tuesday night.
Another tough one but Westbrook’s overall team success rules the day.
Yes, some love for Hump because he’s finally figured it out and I’m glad.
All NBA teams
The first two kind of write themselves, the third took some thinking but I’m pretty sure there’ll be some agreement.
Maybe Garnett could have been in there somewhere and I’m sure there are others but I’d be okay with any of those teams.
Hey, Ira talked to Chris about tonight – the dude’s always finding the right story – and here’s what he’s got, making it easier for me this morning at shootarounds.
Oh yeah, we’re a late start tonight, 8 p.m. East, because the league has set the final night of the season up with all 8 p.m. or 10:30 p.m. starts. Probably has something to do with tanking possibilities or flexibility for TV partners but it’s a bit of a deadline pain for me. And we know it’s all about me, right?
Anyway, if you’re looking for the IGBT, don’t look ‘til 7:45 or so.