This is week 15 of the 2013-14 regular season edition of HoopsHabit’s NBA Awards Watch. Throughout the season, we cover the potential winners for each award. Make sure to check back every Monday for the up-to-date projections.
Most Valuable Player
In Sunday’s matchup between the Knicks and Thunder, Durant went head to head with Carmelo Anthony. Durant scored 41 points to go along with 10 rebounds and nine assists, while Anthony only scored 15 points on 5-for-19 from the field. Any question as to who the best scorer in the game is? Before tying a season-low with 13 points against the Jazz, James almost had a triple-double in a win over the Clippers. George’s scoring has dipped lately, but he’s still ranked in the top 10 in scoring and the Pacers have a 3 1/2-game lead over the Heat for the best record in the conference.
Most Improved Player
Davis’ scoring continues to improve as he’s shooting 52 percent from the field on the season. He’s also upped his blocks to 3.2 per game. As a 5-foot-9 starting point guard, Thomas has thrived with the Kings, averaging more than 20 points a game for the year. As the Pacers second-leading scorer, Stephenson is one of the biggest All-Star snubs.
Rookie of the Year
In Philadelphia, MCW is currently the Sixers third-leading scorer (first among all rookies) and top assist man as well. Oladipo had a team-high 23 points in Sunday’s win over the Pacers, now averaging 13.8 points per game. Burke had a quiet week, only scoring double digits twice.
Sixth Man of the Year
Both Crawford (18.4 PPG) and Young (16.9 PPG) lead the league in 20-point games off the bench. Waiters (14.2 PPG) was a player on the trade block early on in the season and has settled in as the sixth man. Now, with a new GM in place, the Cavs could look to ship him out of town.
Defensive Player of the Year
At this pace, Davis will finish as the top shot blocker in the league. Scary thing is it is only his second season, and as he grows into his body and gets stronger, he could become dominant on both ends of the floor. Hibbert ranks second in blocks and had four of them against the Magic on Sunday. In Friday’s road loss to the Magic, Ibaka had a strong game with 26 points and five blocks.