NBA Reg. Season Awards and Playoff Predictions
Since we couldn’t get together to record a podcast this week, we wanted to make sure our opinions were shoved down your throat.
Heat over Bucks in 4. This may go to 5 games if Spo decides to rest his starters in one of the games.
Knicks over Celtics in 6. Melo is on a tear as of late, and he will take his team out of the 1st round for the 2nd time in 10 seasons.
Pacers over Hawks in 6. The Hawks are so terrible to watch that I hope that it ends in 4 or 5.
Bulls over Nets in 7. So many good match-ups in this series but I think the depth of the Bulls bench holds on for the oft-injured and fatigued team.
Thunder over Rockets in 5: Rockets are fun to watch but the Thunder are too strong for them.
Spurs over Lakers in 6: No Kobe, no real shot. Only thing on the Laker’s side is the Spurs’ age and injuries.
Nuggets over Warriors in 6: Propensity to be a really fun series was high before Galinari and Faried got injured.
Grizzlies over Clippers in 7: This series is a toss-up and I give the Grizzlies the edge because Lob City will be harder to come by in the playoffs. Also free throw shooting.
MVP: The question here is who is the runner up and I give that to Durant who has his team on top of the Western Conference despite losing the 6th Man of the Year.
DPOY: Noah was the clear winner midway through the season, but injuries and an increased level of play results in Marc Gasol winning this award.
6th Man: J.R. Smith is a talent that can expedite your loss as quickly as he can accelerate your win totals. He has done more of the latter this season for an injured Knicks team.
COY: We all know Popovich is the best Coach in the league, but they tend to get bored coronating the same guy. It physically hurts to type this but I think Spoelstra wins it.
ROY: I am embarrassed to admit that I had Thomas Robinson winning this before the season. You can’t make the argument that anyone besides Damian Lillard should win this.
Most Improved Player: Paul George. Without Granger for 95% of the season and Hibbert underplaying his max contract, George put this team on his back.
Heat over Buck in 5. Bucks have no shot!
Celtics over Knicks in 7. This one is setting up to be one of the most competitive series and I think the Celtics experience will push the Knicks to the edge. Boom!
Pacers over Hawks in 6. ATL is a sneaky tough team but ultimately I think the Pacers will pull through.
Bulls over Nets in 7. BKN seems to be peaking at the right time but Chicago is a very tough out with their lock down D.
Thunder over Rockets in 5. Houston will lose but this should be an entertaining series with Harden coming back to town. Look for Harden to have at least two games that will make OKC fans shake their heads regretting what could have been.
Spurs over Lakers in 6. The Lakers got the draw that they wanted and will do better than people expect, but Popovich has shown many a times that he is better than Mike D’Antoni.
Clippers over Grizzlies in 7. I think this will be a very competitive series but unless Z-Bo reverts back to his play from two playoffs ago they will ultimately lose.
Nuggets over Warriors in 7. Should be a highly entertaining series that will now be much closer due to the Gallinari injury. This will come down to GSW not having home court (best home crowd in the NBA).
MVP: LBJ. Best player on the planet by a wide margin. For what it’s worth Durant had a historical season as well (90%, 50% and 40%) but it was still not even close to LBJ. If you are curious I would put CP3 third.
Coach: In my opinion this was the hardest category to pick this year. It is a three way race between George Karl, Gregg Popovich and Mike Woodson. George Karl put together one of the most entertaining and athletic teams in the West while not having a true number one star. Mike Woodson took a team full of volatile personalities with possibly the most selfish player in the NBA, Melo, and turned them into the number two seed in the East. Finally, Greg Popovich had to manage a ton of injuries, older players, and constant lineup changes. In the end I have to go with Popovich for putting one of the most consistent teams out there in the NBA despite all the inconsistencies with his roster.
Most Improved: Paul George. Possibly a little biased but he went from a good prospect to a star this year. For a non-homer pick I would go with James Harden. I think we all knew he could be a top 15 player in the NBA and he went out and proved it this year.
Rookie: Damian Lillard. Guy was so good that you forgot he was a rookie. I do feel bad for him though because it’s only a matter of time before some terrible injury happens to him…
6th Man: JR Smith. Was able to cut down on just enough of the crazy to provide scoring and stability to the second unit for the Knicks and the periods of time that Melo was hurt. Helped a surprising Knicks team hold onto the 2nd seed in the East. Jamal Crawford would be my second choice.
DPOY: Like the COTY this award is also wide open. This race can be separated into big guys, of Marc Gasol and Joakim Noah. Ultimately I think Marc wins out for being more consistent all year ( 80 games to 64 games). Among perimeter players, it is between Tony Allen and LBJ. Tony Allen is a hell of a defender, but keep in my mind LBJ is the better all-around force defensively. LBJ would also edge out Marc for the overall best defensive player of the year. His ability to guard multiple positions at a high level is unheard of and when he decides to shut someone down I don’t think there is a better person out there.