As the regular season comes to an end, we are getting ever closer to crowning the best players in the league for their achievements. Every year one standout player captures the MVP, while other dominant players capture the Defensive Player of the Year Award, Sixth Man of the Year Award, and Most Improved Player. For the best performing coach in the league, we crown him as well.
This season will have a ton of close races, in every award category, and the finalists were recently released. 3 players made the cut for each award, and it is time to crown the winner of each one. Here are all the likely award winners for the 2019-2020 season.
Most Valuable Player: Giannis Antetokounmpo
29.8 PPG, 13.7 RPG, 5.7 APG, 1.2 SPG, 1.3 BPG
The MVP race was extremely close up until the halfway mark of the season. James Harden was doing his usual thing, dropping 40 and 50 point games while leading a fantastic Houston Rockets offense. The Rockets started dropping games and fell to the 6th spot while the Bucks held on to the first seed from the jump.
LeBron James then made it incredibly close again, snowing his value to the Lakers by leading the league in assists (10.3 APG) as the only real playmaker on his team. As good as Davis has been, LeBron is the MVP of the team and without him, the Lakers would not be the first seed in a very competitive West.
But Giannis is the best player in the NBA right now because he has no weakness on both ends. He is 3rd in the league in rebounds (13.7 RPG), 3rd in scoring (29.8 PPG), and the undisputed king of the East for the Bucks. His team is the #1 ranked in PPG and #1 in rebounds, so Giannis Antetokounmpo’s consistency from day 1 gives him his back-to-back MVP title.
Rookie of the Year: Ja Morant
17.8 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 7.2 APG, 0.9 SPG, 0.2 BPG
Many will feel that Zion Williamson keeps it close with his numbers (22.5 PPG and 6.3 RPG), but this one is a no-brainer. Morant has been the most consistent and exceptional rookie since the start of the year.
Morant is a truly fantastic playmaker and a gifted athlete who currently has the Grizzlies in the 8th spot in the Wild West! Morant means everything to his team since he runs the show every game and plays with heart and hustle.
Credit goes to Kendrick Nunn for having a spectacular season, and he is a key part of a top-4 Miami Heat team in the East. Zion might have the best numbers, but he simply has not played enough games to warrant a Rookie of the Year Award over Morant.
Defensive Player of the Year: Giannis Antetokounmpo
29.8 PPG, 13.7 RPG, 5.7 APG, 1.2 SPG, 1.3 BPG
Giannis Antetokounmpo is most likely the MVP this year, and he is the most likely winner of the Defensive Player of the Year Award as well. No player has had the impact Giannis had on his team this year, with his scoring and his defensive play. His defensive numbers are solid, but what makes him exceptional is his versatility.
Giannis can legitimately guard five spots on the floor and has the size and defensive awareness to be an impact player.
Gobert has been his usual dominant self, posting 2.0 BPG, while Anthony Davis has been extremely dominant for the Lakers. Davis is posting 2.3 BPG this year, but both players are not the best players on their teams and Giannis has had more impact on his team defensively.
Sixth Man of the Year: Montrezl Harrell
18.6 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 1.7 APG, 0.6 SPG 0.9 BPG
This award is a toss-up between Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell, but Harrell will manage to take this home. Harrell has been a beast all year, as the main paint presence for the Los Angeles Clippers who hold the second seed in the West.
Harrell is having a career year, and his impact has been undeniable. Harrell outplays and outhustles most bigs in the paint, using strength and leaping ability to his advantage.
Lou is probably the best sixth man ever due to his scoring ability, and he is putting up 18.2 PPG this season, but Harrell will take the award home this season.
Most Improved Player: Luka Doncic
29.1 PPG, 9.5 RPG, 8.9 APG, 1.1 SPG, 0.3 BPG
This award is a toss-up between Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic and Miami Heat All-Star Bam Adebayo. Both players deserve this award for their elevated play and it is a shame only one player can win it this year.
Bam Adebayo has shown a tremendous passing ability this season, averaging 5.1 APG while also dominating the defensive end with 1.3 BPG and 10.3 RPG. Adebayo is key to what Miami does, and he is the second-best player on the team that is 4th in the East. But Luka Doncic cannot be denied, putting up video-game numbers. Luka has upped his assists and rebounds, evolving into a triple-double threat every night. Luka cannot be stopped on offense, averaging 29.1 PPG, and does everything for his team.
Bam deserves praise for his season, but Luka has taken his game from an All-Star level to a Superstar level and is one of the top-10 players in the game. Luka’s jump this season cannot be denied and he should win the Most Improved Player Award.
Coach of the Year: Nick Nurse
If this award could be split into three, everyone would be happy. But it simply isn’t possible. Mike Budenholzer is the coach of the best team in the NBA, while Billy Donovan has led the OKC Thunder to a playoff spot as a legitimate contender when they were expected to be in the lottery. Both coaches have been sensational and deserve all the praise.
But Nick Nurse has been the man this year. He has the Raptors in second place in the East, without any real recognizable superstar talent on the squad. Losing a player like Kawhi Leonard should take a team out of the playoffs, but Nurse has regrouped with Pascal Siakam as his best player. Nurse has exceptional rotations, and he has built probably the best chemistry in the league. Nurse will win the Coach of the Year after a terrific season.