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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