We are half-way into the NBA season, and it is that time to give out the mid-season awards for the NBA’s most productive players so far. While this is not the official awards, of course, it might give a strong indication as to which players will grab the yearly awards at the end of the season.
The MVP race is once again shaping up to be a close one, with guys like Giannis Antetokounmpo and James Harden fighting it out for the third time in a row. Even the Most Improved Player Award can legitimately be given to five or six players like this season, while other awards such as the Sixth Man of the Year are already a foregone conclusion.
Without further ado, here are the midseason awards so far.
Coach of the Year: Frank Vogel
Win-Loss Record: 36-9
The Lakers are by far the best team in the West this season, and a ton of credit goes to LeBron James and Anthony Davis for their production every night. But make no mistake, Frank Vogel has done a tremendous job with the team this year. He uses the right lineups at the right moments and has done a great job of limiting the minutes of LeBron James by playing the assortment of 3-and-D guys that they have.
He has also done a great job of maximizing the Lakers’ defense- and they are one of the best defensive teams in the NBA right now. Vogel has proved doubters wrong and was the best signing for the Lakers this season.
Rookie of the Year: Ja Morant
17.5 PPG, 7.0 APG, 3.4 RPG, 1.0 SPG
Since Zion went out with injury, many expected Morant to take this award with ease. And he certainly has, since Morant is already looking like legitimate All-Star point guard with exceptional passing and athleticism. He fell into the perfect opportunity in Memphis, since he can completely take over all the ball-handling and showcase what he can do on a nightly basis.
Morant will likely continue his stride until the end of the season, and he will be the Rookie of the Year for this exciting Draft Class.
Most Improved Player of the Year: Devonte’ Graham
18.6 PPG, 7.7 APG, 3.6 RPG
Graham has seen his numbers go all the way up, as the best player for the struggling Hornets this season. No one expected him to come out and play as he has, and his numbers all across the board have taken a huge leap. Graham was a benchwarmer last year but has developed into a valuable starting player who is putting up strong numbers.
He might have even set himself up for a major payday coming up, and his first stepping stone will be the Most Improved Player Award.
Sixth Man of the Year: Lou Williams
19.9 PPG, 6.1 APG, 3.1 RPG
Without a doubt, Lou is the best sixth man of all time. He can score like an All-Star, and it is a luxury for the Clippers to have someone like that coming off the bench to torch defenders every night.
Even when he is on a team with guys like Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, Williams has been the closer for the Clippers this season and is one of the most feared players off the bench we have ever seen. Once again, Williams will be crowned the Sixth Man of the Year.
Defensive Player of the Year: Anthony Davis
26.3 PPG, 9.2 RPG, 3.2 APG, 2.5 BPG, 1.5 SPG
Davis is a superstar, but his defense this season has been quite shocking. He completely dominates on that end, with no real weakness since he can move his feet while defending guards and blocking any shots that come within his vicinity.
Davis is the key cog for the Lakers on both ends of the floor, but his impact defensively has been simply superb. It is expected that Davis will capture the Defensive Player of the Year Award since he has the numbers and production to back it up.
Most Valuable Player: Giannis Antetokounmpo
30.0 PPG, 12.9 RPG, 5.6 APG, 1.1 SPG, 1.0 BPG
Once again, Giannis Antetokounmpo will be crowned the MVP by the end of the season. The Bucks have the best record in the league, and Giannis has been the best and most consistent player on both ends of the floor. It might be time to crown him as the best player in the world since his impact is undeniable.
The Bucks are a good team without him, but Giannis carries them on a nightly basis with his exceptional scoring prowess and dominates defense. Giannis is the main playmaker and scorer for his team, so he will likely be awarded the MVP for his second straight season. Considering how inconsistent the Rockets have been so far, I don’t think anyone will argue against Giannis taking the award over James Harden.