Sixth Man of the Year
SG Jamal Crawford, Atlanta Hawks
His instant spark off the bench has been vital for Atlanta’s success. He is looking like his same ole’ self from last season. Crawford must keep up the scoring if the Hawks want to contend with the big boys (Orlando Magic, Boston Celtics, and Miami Heat).
SG Jason Terry, Dallas Mavericks and PF Glen Davis, Boston Celtics
Houston Rockets (Sorry Murph, but at least you got the Packers!)
I don’t think many people expected Houston to be last in their division right now. I didn’t. I believed they were a top ten team in the preseason. Looks like I was wrong. They have been unlucky with Yao Ming, but their roster is full of talent. Luckily, it’s a long season and there’s still enough time for the Rockets to make a push. Will they be able to make a late run?
Surprise Player of the Season
SG Gary Neal, San Antonio Spurs
Call me biased, but without this guy the Spurs would not have the best record in the league right now. Neal has stepped into the rotation nicely, hitting big shot after big shot. He is a pure scorer and could be starting for many other teams. Let’s just hope he doesn’t fall into Roger Mason effect.
Rookie of the Year
Blake Griffin- Los Angeles Clippers
Just look at the number of times Griffin has made ESPN’s top ten plays since the season began. This award is a lock. If he can work on a more consistent outside game, then Griffin could have a shot of being one of the best power forwards ever.
PG John Wall, Washington Wizards
Defensive Player of the Year
C Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic
Superman has a chance of making it back to back defensive player of the year as he ranks 5th in blocks and 2nd in rebounds. He also happens to lead all centers in steals with 1.24 a game. As a team, the Magic are 6th in points against. This beast can take over a game, defensively, at any moment.
C Andrew Bogut, Milwaukee Bucks and C Tyson Chandler, Dallas Mavericks
Coach of the Year
Gregg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs
I don’t think many people would have thought the Spurs would be 35-6 at this point for season. I didn’t and I’m a huge Spurs fan. Pop has done an excellent job managing our vets all season, with great contribution from our young guys. San Antonio has a chance to finish with the best record in their franchise history.
Eric Spoelstra, Miami Heat
Most Improved Player
SG Nick Young, Washington Wizards
Many will argue Kevin Love, but he was a starter last season and with the loss of Al Jefferson I expected him to a be force for the Timberwolves. Young on the other hand wasn’t even in the rotation to begin the season. I didn’t even know he was still in the league. He has played sparsely throughout his career, but since the Gilbert Arenas trade, Young has seen a lot more minutes. With those minutes he hasn’t disappointed. He has become a legitimate scoring threat for the Wizards.
PG Raymond Felton, New York Knicks and SF Dorrell Arthur, Golden State Warriors
Most Valuable Player
PF Amare Stoudemire, New York Knicks
The Knicks went from being a laughing to stock to legitimate playoff contenders in the East; all with the addition of Amare. He started off the season on absolute fire, setting a franchise record for consecutive 30-point games. If the Knicks are able to acquire Carmelo Anthony, then we might have a nasty one-two punch on our hands.
PG Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls and PG Deron Williams, Utah Jazz