The NBA season is over half-way done, and some of the NBA Awards races appear to be neck and neck. While some award finalists are close, some are not close at all. I’m here to give you who I believe should win each of the NBA awards: Most Valuable Player, Rookie of the Year, Sixth Man Award, Defensive Player of the Year, Most Improved Player and Coach of the Year.

NBA Most Valuable Player:

This is the year of the Greek Freak. Forward Giannis Antetokounmpo is averaging 27.2 points per game, 12.7 rebounds per game and 6.0 assists per game, all are career highs. He has led his team to the number one seed in the Eastern Conference and the best record in the NBA as the Milwaukee Bucks are 45-14, two games ahead of the Toronto Raptors (44-17).

There is absolutely no way to cover Antetokounmpo without giving his teammates wide-open looks. The Greek Freak’s insane athleticism and ability to take the ball to the rack from anywhere on the court creates a matchup nightmare.

Not only is Antetokounmpo unstoppable on offense, he is a force on defense. He is averaging 1.5 blocks and 1.4 steals per game.

James Harden is having a great year, but nothing can compare to the sheer dominance being presented by Antetokounmpo.

Kia NBA Rookie of the Year:

I mentioned above that some awards races are close. This one is not close at all. The biggest steal in the draft, Luka Doncic, will win Rookie of the Year. Doncic is averaging 20.7 points per game, 7.2 rebounds per game and 5.6 assists per game, literally carrying his Dallas Mavericks squad.

The former Euroleague MVP has been
a pro in Europe since he was 16 years old. Doncic’s success in the Euroleague has transated to the NBA as he 
is the clear favorite to take home the award. Soon to be paired with injured Kristaps Porzingis after a trade from the Knicks, Doncic will soon be a candidate for league MVP in the coming years!

Kia Sixth Man of the Year:

I believe that Derrick Rose of the Minnesota Timberwolves should win the Sixth Man of the Year award. Rose is averaging the most points he has had since his All-Star years with the Bulls. He is currently averaging 18.4 points per game and 4.7 assists per game while providing valuable veteran experience.

Seeing Rose excel in his role is pleasing to me as an NBA fanatic. After bouncing around teams after leaving
the Bulls, Rose has
nally found his role in the T’Wolves. Providing efficient scoring and leadership off the bench is where Rose excels.

Defensive Player of the Year:

Paul George will win Defensive Player of the Year because of his lock-down defense and ability to transition from his elite offense to elite defense. George is averaging 2.2 steals per game and is the best in the NBA at transition defense.

George is having his best year on both ends of the court, which is why I put him number one in this category. An MVP candidate, George needs to win at least one award this season because of his superior play.

Most Improved Player:

Pascal Siakam from the Toronto Raptors will win Most Improved Player. The 24-year old forward is averaging near 33 minutes per game, shooting 55% from the field, 16.1 points per game, 7 rebounds and 1 steal per game. All stats are career highs and Siakam has emerged as a dominant force for Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry.

The Raptors hold the second-best record in the NBA behind the Milwaukee Bucks, and a big part of their success is newfound hero Siakam.

Coach of the Year:

Mike Budenholzer, Milwaukee Bucks

While the Bucks hold the number one record in the league and my pick for the MVP, Budenholzer still finds ways to surprise their opponents. With an athlete like Antetokounmpo on your roster, you will win games when he’s playing well. However, even when the Greek Freak isn’t playing particularly well, the Bucks still find ways to win.

Khris Middleton earned his first All-Star appearance under the direction of Budenholzer, and other players such as Drew Bledsoe are excelling under his leadership.

The fact that a small-market franchise such as Milwaukee owns the best record in the league over markets such as Boston, Golden State, and Los Angeles is a testament to the ability of the coaching staff. Budenholzer wins this award. 

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