Feb 23, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat small forward LeBron James congratulates point guard Mario Chalmers (15) in the second half of a game against the Chicago Bulls at American Airlines Arena.The Heat won 93-79. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Awards Watch: Week 17

This is week 17 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

1. Kevin Durant
2. LeBron James
3. Paul George

Let us state the obvious: this award is not one based off the results of one game. Durant has had a spectacular season but James reminded everybody he is a back-to-back champion who has already won the award four times with his performance against Oklahoma City Thursday night. In terms of the most meaningful statistics, Durant still has the edge over James in points and has been a slightly better rebounder this season as well. The Thunder have the league’s best record, where Miami is the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference, trailing George’s Pacers by a game and a half. George is ranked ninth in scoring and is coming off back to back 30-plus games.

Most Improved Player

1. Anthony Davis
2. Isaiah Thomas
3. Lance Stephenson

Davis has played like a future MVP in this league all season long and he’s become a 20 and 10 guy for the Pelicans. The 5-foot-9 Thomas continues to showcase his scoring ability, scoring 33 points on Sunday in a win against Denver. He’s averaging almost eight more points that last season. Stephenson helped the Pacers beat the Bucks on Saturday with 24 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.

Rookie of the Year

1. Michael Carter-Williams
2. Victor Oladipo
3. Trey Burke

With about two months left in the season, MCW is the likely favorite to win the ROY, as his overall stats compared to all the other rookies is just that much better. Oladipo is a distant second, but if he was more consistent with his scoring, he’d have a close shot at overtaking MCW. Burke is coming off 21 and 16 point outings the past two games.

Defensive Player of the Year

1. Anthony Davis
2. Paul George
3. Serge Ibaka

Davis, the league’s top shot blocker, had a total of nine blocks in three games last week. George is one of the games best two-way players, currently ranked eighth in steals. For the Thunder, Ibaka plays a crucial role as the team’s third-leading scorer and versatile defender who can defend both stretch 4s and centers. He trails only Davis in blocks per game.

Sixth Man of the Year

1. Jamal Crawford
2. Nick Young
3. Dion Waiters

Crawford has slid back into the starting lineup with the injury to J.J. Redick, as his scoring has jumped to 18.8 PPG. With the amount of injuries to the Lakers roster, Young is having one of his best seasons as a pro, averaging 16.9 PPG having only started in nine games. Waiters remains the Cavaliers third leading scorer at 14.3 PPG.

Tags: Awards Watch Defensive Player Of The Year Most Improved Player Most Valuable Player Rookie Of The Year Sixth Man Of The Year

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