Thursday, May 12, 2005

Award Season

In this entry I will give my take on the various annual Awards given out by the NBA. All of the votes are done by selected members of the media.

Steve Nash - Most Valuable Player

He would have gotten my vote too. Shaquille O'Neal finished second and there were many voices that he should have won MVP. But you should ask yourself this question: Before the season, after the Shaq-Trade you knew Miami would become better, plus they got Dwyane Wade, who in my opinion carries the team. But would you have expected for Phoenix to go from 17 wins to over 60 with the Nash-acquisition? So Nash deservedly won. BUT if the Suns lose this series against Dallas, expect the media to demand him to give the award back. ;-) Here are the top-three vote getters of the official results:

1. Steve Nash 1066
2. Shaqille O'Neal 1032
3. Dirk Nowitzki 349

Ben Wallace - Defensive Player of the Year

I wasn't happy about this one. I absolutely respect Ben Wallace and admire his game, but I felt Bruce Bowen of the San Antonio Spurs deserved this one! Last year they gave the award to another perimeter defender - Ron Artest - so I knew Bruce's chances were low. Have in mind that Bowen has made the last four All-Defensive teams! Wallace has won three ot of the last four times and he has been the dominating inside defender in this league.

1. Ben Wallace 339
2. Bruce Bowen 247
3. Marcus Camby 168

Emeka Okafor - Rookie of the Year

You could see this one coming, especially after the results of the Sixth Man Award. It was impressive that Okafor put up double-double numbers in the new Charlotte franchise and they got more wins than anyone ever expected! After seeing Okafor at the Olympic tournament, I wasn't really sure if he was ready for the NBA, but he did really well! Ben Gordon has had an sensational year with all those crazy fourth-quarter performances and game-winning shots, but the voters tend to favor the big men. And he won this other award, which I will cover soon...

1. Emeka Okafor 514
2. Ben Gordon 443
3. Dwight Howard 161

Ben Gordon - Sixth Man of the Year

Talking about a closer! He's had so many 20 point fourth-quarter performances, I think he even set a new record! This vote was no doubt! Ricky Davis and Jerry Stackhouse contributed nicely from the bench, but nothing tops Gordons impact. Too bad he disappeared in the playoffs! I would like to see Lil' Earl Boykins win this award one day. You just have to love the little guy (5"10) repeatedly punishing the big dogs out there! I couldn't root for him during the Spurs-Nuggets series, but now I'm back into the Boykins-Supporters club!

1. Ben Gordon 513
2. Ricky Davis 257
3. Earl Boykins 155

Bobby Simmons - Most Improved Player

I can't say too much about this one because I honestly don't know a lot about the Clippers. They are never on TV, nobody talks about them and they never make the playoffs. In fact, I don't think anybody would be disappointed if they just got dismantled. From what I hear, he deserved the award. Of course Dwayne Wades, LeBron James and Amaré Stoudemires stats improved a lot, but don't you expect this from high-drafted rookies & sophomores every year?

1. Bobby Simmons 383
2. Dwyane Wade 129
3. Tayshaun Prince 107

Mike D'Antoni - Coach of the Year

Good choice. He engineered the third largest turnaround in NBA history this season, guiding the Suns to a club record-tying 62 wins, a remarkable 33-game improvement over last season's disappointing 29-53 record. I kinda tended to Rick Carlisle, who's achievements have been just amazing, after losing key players for long stretches.

1. Mike D'Antoni 326
2. Rick Carlisle 241
3. Nate McMillan 234

Alright, I'm getting tired already. Let's bring this to an end...

Eric Snow - J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award

*yawn* The NBA didn't even bother to release an official picture of this historic event.


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