The 2010-2011 season was a special year for NBA fans who were lucky enough to witness it. That was the year where iconic moments were made that may have altered the NBA forever. From a historical MVP season to arguably the biggest upset in Finals history, 2011 ended on the perfect note.
It is time to relive the greatest moments from the 2010-2011 season and remember how it was a season for the ages.
Lamar Odom Proves His Worth Off The Bench
Lamar Odom is one of the biggest fan favorites in Los Angeles. A 6’8″ power forward, Odom had a varied skill set including the ability to pass the ball and also beat his man off the dribble. His skills earned him the 6th Man of the Year Award with the Los Angeles Lakers, and he truly deserved it.
Odom averaged 14.4 PPG, 8.7 RPG, and 3.0 APG while shooting 53.0% from the field. Odom tried his best to help Kobe Bryant and company win their third straight NBA title, but luck did not fall in the team’s favor that year.
Kevin Love Wins Most Improved Player Award
Kevin Love took his jump from a promising young player to a star in 2011. Love averaged 20.2 PPG and 15.2 RPG, absurd numbers for a power forward at that time, and he also shot the ball from three at 41.7%. Love’s skillset was extremely unique for a player who had a strong post game, and he was a great shooter from the field as well (47.0%).
Love carried Minnesota at times and he ran away with this award the same year he made his first All-Star Team. Kevin Love would go on to continue with 3 more seasons with Minnesota, making 2 All-Star Teams before getting traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Blake Griffin Captures Rookie of the Year
Blake Griffin was so good as a rookie. He averaged 22.5 PPG, 12.1 RPG, and 3.8 APG while dominating the highlight reels with his athletic plays around the rim. Griffin had the makings of a franchise player and the Los Angeles Clippers knew that.
Griffin ended up running away with the Rookie of the Year Award because he showed he was a smart NBA player with a grown man’s body. Griffin wasn’t only a dunker, he was an excellent passer and scorer who deserved his award in 2011.
Dwight Howard Is The Best Big Man In The NBA
People forget how dominant Dwight Howard was in his prime. Howard was by far the best center in the NBA, and no player dominated the paint like him. Howard was only one year removed from making the NBA Finals, and he followed it up with a Defensive Player of the Year Award.
Howard averaged 14.1 RPG and 2.4 BPG while spearheading one of the best interior defenses in the league. Dwight impacted the game better than any other center in the world, and he managed to capture his 3rd straight Defensive Player of the Year Award.
Kevin Durant Wins The Scoring Title
The incredible scoring prowess of Kevin Durant was evident in 2011. Despite playing in the same league with the likes of Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, and LeBron James; Durant won the scoring title by averaging 27.7 PPG over 78 total games.
Durant was beginning to solidify himself as one of the top-5 players in the world, and only one year later, he would be in the Finals. But Durant was on another level in 2011, scoring at will and beating out LeBron James (26.7 PPG) and Carmelo Anthony (25.6 PPG) for the scoring title.
Derrick Rose Makes History As The Youngest MVP Ever
When remembering the 2010-2011 season, Derrick Rose immediately comes to mind. Rose was the most athletic point guard we had ever seen, exploding to the rim and destroying defenses with his speed and skill. Rose averaged 25.0 PPG and 7.7 APG for the Chicago Bulls, who had found their next franchise player since Michael Jordan.
Rose was only in his 3rd NBA season, and at 22 years of age, he won the MVP Award making him the youngest in history to do so. Rose would suffer a career-altering injury the following season, which would end his status as the league’s best point guard, but his great season will remain in our hearts forever.
Dirk Nowitzki Completes One Of The Greatest Playoff Runs In NBA History
By far the most iconic moment of 2011 was the dominance of Dirk Nowitzki, one of the greatest power forwards to have ever lived. Dirk was a man on a mission, hungry to fight for the chance at the NBA Finals again after his disappointing loss in 2006. And he avenged himself against the very same opponent: the Dwyane Wade-led Miami Heat.
Except for this time, the Heat had more help in the form of LeBron James and Chris Bosh. The Mavericks were the massive undergods going into the Finals, as that was the first year the Heat Big Three came together. But Dirk Nowitzki was on fire all Playoffs long, and he carried it into the Finals to defeat the Heat 4-2. Dirk won Finals MVP by averaging 26.0 PPG and 9.7 RPG to complete his all-time great season.