We’re past the halfway point in the NBA season. Every team has at least played 41 games already and the unfolding of this season has been very telling. There have been some surprises this season and some disappointments. Players have been traded, cut, resigned, and suspended and all the real hoop fans know the NBA season is just getting started. Here’s my list of this season’s mid-year awards for the NBA.
MVP: James Harden
At the start of the season Harden wasn’t even in the conversations, in fact nobody in media really picked him to be in the race again this year. During last summer’s NBA awards when Harden received his MVP trophy, in his acceptance speech he said he’ll be back again next year. Well everybody should’ve believed him. Since Chris Paul got hurt against the Miami Heat back on December 20th, James Harden has been on a tear. He’s led the Rockets to an 11-5 record while averaging 44 points per game over this stretch!!! The Rockets were at the bottom of the West’s standings nearly two months ago now they’re a game back from the 4th seed. This speaks to Harden value because for one most of his points are in iso situation and two without him the Rockets literally could be the worst team in the NBA.
COTY: Mike Budenholzer
I was going to pick Mike Malone because the job he’s doing with Denver is incredible, but he’s been there for a couple years now. This is Budenholzer’s first year with the Bucks and he has his guys looking elite. Budenholzer is really getting a lot out of the Bucks players right now. Milwaukee is 2nd in the NBA in points per game, 5th in assists per game, 1st in rebounding, and 7th in opponents points per game. This team can seriously contend for a championship and it’s all thanks to Mike’s X’s and O’s.
ROTY: Luka Doncic
Of course, Luka is the midseason rookie of the year he’s been sensational against the top talent in the league. His step-back shot is a beautiful thing to watch and he’s just producing for the Mavs this year. Out of all the rookies he’s the only one to really get the keys to the franchise and it wasn’t given to him, he went out on the court and earned it. He’s averaging nearly 20 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists a game as a rookie, stop paying!
MIP: De’aaron Fox
I believe that Swipa the Fox is big time he’s a shifty lefty and a very good playmaker. De’aaron is leading the Kings to a winning record right now, I can’t even remember the last time Sacramento has had a winning record it’s been that long. He’s currently averaging 17 points and 7.5 assists per game this season so far. His rookie year he averaged 11.6 points and 4.4 assists per game. His improvement puts De’aaron at the forefront for the NBA’s most improved player race this year.
6th Man: Derrick Rose
I’m going to state this form the jump I am bias towards Derrick Rose, but I think we all should be. His comeback has been nothing short of inspiring and heartfelt. Now let’s get to basketball the man is averaging 19 points and 5 assists per game this season and let’s not stop there. D. Rose is shooting 42% from three this year and this is the best he’s shot it his entire career. To add with that he’s boasting his second most efficient year from the field with 48% per game this year.
DPOY: Paul George
George very well could finish in the top 5 voting for MVP as well as he’s been lighting defenses up all year. However, on the defensive end George must guard the best players in the game on a nightly basis whether it’s Kawhi, Jimmy, LeBron, KD, etc. He’s been top two in steals for most of the year and his defense just gets his team going. The Thunder are top three team in defensive rating and George is mostly responsible. It’s time to give the award back to actual defenders and not just rim protectors.