NBA Awards Predictions; 1st Annual Stoda Awards!!!

So… I’m sitting at CarMax, again. iPod on just playing on random, trying to make the best of being here again by enjoying the free coffee and muffin, lol. But since I’m here let’s get some writing done!

Today is the last day of the NBA Season! That being the case, it’s awards time! But no ordinary awards, but the 1st Annual Stoda Awards. While I award the usual MVP, DPOY, ROY, Most Improved, All-NBA, 6th man, and defensive teams; I also award Stodies for the Utility player of the Year, the Stoda Award Winner, and the All-Stoda teams. So let’s get this show going!

I’m going to start with perhaps the easiest award: MVP

LeBron James (26.8ppg, 8rpg, 7.3apg)- MIA Heat
I think this one is self explanatory but just in case here’s my explanation. Besides the obvious, he has shot a career high 56.4% from the field and 40.6% from the arc. Insanely efficient for any player but especially a teams primary ballhandler. You’d expect fatigue to take hold at some point but it never does with him. In addition to those numbers, he led the Heat to 27 straight wins and the best record in the NBA. He also may be the best 2-way player in the league. More on that later.

Defensive Player of the Year:

LeBron James
Well, this is later. No player in the league plays a more complete game both offensively and defensively in the league. OKC’s Russell Westbrook may be 2nd in this category. LeBron’s ability to guard 1-5 is unmatched, probably ever. We’ve seen the guy in his career guard everyone. He allows Coach Spoelstra such flexibility with his rotations because LeBron anchors the defense, regardless of what position he’s playing.

Rookie of the Year

Damian Lilliard (19ppg, 3.2rpg, 6.5apg)- POR Trailblazers
This one may be more obvious than even MVP. The numbers speak for themselves. Add to those numbers 182 made three pointers, NBA rookie record and Blazers All-Time record. It becomes even more clear no other rookie had more impact. But those of us who watched him going all the way back to last summer in the Vegas Summer League will tell you that while his numbers are impressive, the poise with which he plays is similar to that of a veteran point guard. That’s what’s so impressive about Lilliard, haven’t seen that in Portland since Brandon Roy… Just hope this time is different for Lilliard and the fans in Rip City.

The tightest race of all awards to me: Most Improved

James Harden (25.9ppg, 4.8rpg, 5.9apg)- HOU Rockets
Paul George (17.4ppg, 7.6rpg, 4.1apg)- IND Pacers
This award to me has to be a tie. You had two young NBA Swingmen thrust into a leading role to start this season and none of us knew how they’d perform. Well they performed big time. Both becoming All-Stars, Household Names, and next in line to challenge KD and LeBron for best scorer and most versatile player, respectively. What James Harden has done in Houston is remarkable. Taking a bunch of mismatched pieces and turning them into a playoff team. Raising the level of play of every guy on that roster. He, along with Coach McHale, did a great job leading. Paul George on the other hand, wasn’t necessarily expected to take over. But when Roy Hibbert proved, once again, he is soft and unreliable Indiana had to look to someone else. With his length, athleticism, and ability to finish and shoot George became the Pacers best offensive weapon. He did this while still maintaining his true identity as a defensive standout. George was the Pacers, offensively and defensively. He set the tone every night on both sides of the floor.

6th Man

Jr Smith (18.1ppg, 5.3rpg, 2.7apg)- NY Knicks
If this award was given in December it was clearly Jamal Crawford’s. But since then JR Smith has played at an incredibly high and consistent, for him, level. He’s had arguably his best pro season this year. And of all the other candidates, he has more signature moments that stick out in your mind. Some of that due to the injuries that hit the Knicks, but he seized those moments.

1st Team All-NBA

G: Chris Paul- LA Clippers
G: Kobe Bryant- LA Lakers
F: Kevin Durant- OKC Thunder
F: LeBron James- MIA Heat
C: Tim Duncan- SA Spurs

2nd Team All- NBA

G: Tony Parker- SAS Spurs
G: James Harden- HOU Rockets
F: Carmelo Anthony- NY Knicks
F: David Lee- GS Warriors
C: Dwight Howard- LA Lakers

3rd Team All-NBA

G: Stephan Curry- GS Warriors
G: Russell Westbrook- OKC Thunder
W: Paul George- IND Pacers
F: Josh Smith- ATL Hawks
C: Marc Gasol- MEM Grizzlies

1st Team All-Defense

W: Tony Allen- MEM Grizzlies
W: Paul George- IND Pacers
F: LeBron James- MIA Heat
F: Serge Ibaka- OKC Thunder
C: Larry Sanders- MIL Bucks

2nd Team All-Defense

G: Eric Bledsoe- LA Clippers
G: Russell Westbrook- OKC Thunder
F: Kawhi Leonard- SA Spurs
F: Josh Smith- ATL Hawks
C: Dwight Howard- LA Lakers

Now for the 1st installation of The Stodies!!! I tend to focus more on the players who get less recognition but play major roles on teams as far as a coach is concerned. No numbers here, just how I see them.

The Stodie Award
Awarded to the player who plays the hardest.

Russell Westbrook- OKC Thunder
I’m not sure there is a player who plays the game harder. He may not be the most efficient, he may shoot a little too often for some, he may have a temper. But he plays every moment of every play like it’s his last and that you have to respect. He’s still a little raw in his development as a pg, but I hope he never loses his aggression, motor, and fearlessness. He might be the closest thing to Kobe we’ve yet to see.

Utility Player of the Year

Shane Battier- Miami Heat
I have nothing but respect for a guy like Shane Battier. You look throughout his career; from being a big time scorer at Duke, to being a scoring option early on in Memphis, to now being a role player extraordinaire in Miami, Shane has always done what the team needs. While remaining one of the more respected and well spoken players in the league. Take charges, make 3’s, defend other teams best or second best player. He does what the Heat need and is as important a piece in the Heat run for back-to-back titles as any.

1st Team All-Stoda

G: Jarret Jack- GS Warriors
G: Danny Green- SA Spurs
F: Shane Battier- MIA Heat
F: Reggie Evans- BK Nets
C: Deandre Jordan- LA Clippers

2nd Team All-Stoda
G: Kirk Hinrich- CHI Bulls
G: Corey Brewer- DEN Nuggets
F: Matt Barnes- LA Clippers
F: Taj Gibson- CHI Bulls
C: Omer Asik- HOU Rockets

Thanks for checking out this post. Just another day in the Life of A Basketball Addict. Be sure to look for my upcoming playoff predictions. Appreciate the love and views. Like, follow, subscribe, comment, and share. Thanks every one. ‘Til next time!

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