Let’s take a worst-case, apocalyptic type of scenario here and say that the 2019-2020 NBA season stops today. As with the end of any regular season, awards must be given out to the top performers from around the league that deserve them. Here’s a look at how the NBA superlatives could play out.
Coach of the Year (COTY)
Once again the Milwaukee Bucks have escaped way ahead of the Eastern Conference, clinching the earliest playoff berth in NBA history. If there’s ever an eyebrow raised as to how successful a man is, a repeat at said success should either clear all doubt or raise even more eyebrows…we’re going to go with the former here.
Most Improved Player (MIP)
After being involved in a massive roster reboot in the off-season along with Danilo Gallinari, Russell Westbrook, Paul George, and Chris Paul, SGA has become an extremely exciting and reliable shooting guard for a Western Conference playoff team. Using his shooting and athletic finishing ability, I’d compare the emerging fan favorite to a young PG13 in Indiana. Paul George won this award in 2012-2013. Notable players are Devonte’ Graham and Brandon Ingram.
Defensive Player of the Year (DPOY)
The best defensive player on the best team. Giannis has the highest Defensive Win Share in the entire league (Steph Curry has the lowest). If you’ve watched the Bucks at any point this season, you can see why Giannis passes the eye test as a good defender, as well as filling out the stat sheet. It’s unfortunate that I couldn’t give this one to Anthony Davis, but it’s not all about blocks here.
Rookie of the Year (ROTY)
It’s no easy feat to be a rookie point guard on a Western Conference playoff team. The larger body of work wins out in this one, Morant has played an entire season up to this point with only something like 20 games for Zion Williamson. People jockeying for Williamson here would remind me of Joel Embiid’s complaints about ROTY in 2017 despite only stepping on the court 31 times that year.
Most Valuable Player (MVP)
The best player on the best team. As much as I dislike giving two awards to the Greek Freak this season (especially MVP, and especially with James Harden deserving the award last year), his play along with team success so far has been exceptional and unmatched. I think that the Bucks are at the top of the list as far as well-run organizations go, which could possibly be the reason for a lot of Giannis’ success. Nevertheless, it’s the people of any organization that make it successful. Big ups to the Greek Freak.
Here’s a mix of players that would appear on the All-NBA First Team: Luka Dončić, Damian Lillard, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Pascal Siakam, Anthony Davis, Joel Embiid
For possible solutions on how the NBA could salvage this 2019-2020 season, click here.