Awards Watch

2012-13 NBA Awards Watch

Throughout the 2012-13 season, we’ll be keeping an eye on the individual awards with their current statistics and the top-three candidates to win.

In this initial preseason edition, we’ll list our predictions for who will win these awards when the end of the season comes around. Stats will be listed once the season begins.

Most Improved Player

Predicted Winner: Nikola Pekovic, MIN

Second: Danny Green, SAS

Third: Evan Turner, PHI

The Most Improved Player award goes to the player who has the kind of breakout year that Ryan Anderson had in 2011-12. Nikola Pekovic of the Minnesota Timberwolves is primed for this kind of season, assuming he stays healthy. He’s already one of the best offensive rebounders in the league and will gobble up points in the paint.

Previous Winner: Ryan Anderson, ORL

Sixth Man of the Year

Predicted Winner: James Harden, OKC

Second: Manu Ginobili, SAS

Third: Lou Williams, ATL

The Sixth Man of the Year traditionally goes to players who have a tremendous offensive influence off the bench. A defender could theoretically win the award, but it’s been the offense that has earned the votes. James Harden of the Oklahoma City Thunder is in a perfect position to win, as the spark plug off the bench. He’s trusted to run the offense when Kevin Durant or Russell Westbrook are off the court, and he does it as well as anyone.

Previous Winner: James Harden, OKC

Defensive Player of the Year

Predicted Winner: Dwight Howard, LAL

Second: Serge Ibaka, OKC

Third: Tyson Chandler, NYK

The only thing stopping Dwight Howard from winning the Defensive Player of the Year for the 2011-12 season was his injury. Otherwise, he is the best defensive player in the league hands down, and is one of the only players in the NBA who can truly impact the game from the defensive end. If he’s healthy, he’s the favorite every year.

Previous Winner: Tyson Chandler, NYK

Rookie of the Year

Predicted Winner: Anthony Davis, NOH

Second: Damian Lillard, POR

Third: Dion Waiters, CLE

The Rookie of the Year goes to the rookie who has the greatest impact on his team. It’s rare for a ROY winner to be a bust in subsequent years, as the previous winners are Kyrie Irving, Blake Griffin, Tyreke Evans, Derrick Rose and Kevin Durant. Anthony Davis is in a good spot to win this award because the pressure isn’t on him to carry his team. He can focus on defense and rebounding, while working on his offensive game.

Previous Winner: Kyrie Irving, CLE

Most Valuable Player

Predicted Winner: LeBron James, MIA

Second: Kevin Durant, OKC

Third: Carmelo Anthony, NYK

LeBron James had an all-world season and definitely deserved the MVP award. Although I believe the award is the “best player award” as opposed to the “most valuable to their team” award, it’s still extremely prestigious and is coveted by every NBA superstar. Until James and his Miami Heat team are knocked off the mountaintop, he’s our predicted MVP winner.

Previous Winner: LeBron James, MIA

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Tags: Carmelo Anthony Dwight Howard Kevin Durant Lebron James NBA Nba Awards Nba Mvp

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