Who Will Win In Each Category

It’s time to vote (non-existent) for the NBA Awards. The NBA Awards feature a mix of obvious winners and heated discussion. Categories like MVP and Most Improved Player are almost complete. On the flip side, the All-NBA discussion is heating up quickly as the ballots are due next week.

Here is my ballot.


  1. Nikola Jokic
  2. Joel Embiid
  3. Giannis Antetokounmpo
  4. Julius Randle
  5. Chris Paul

Once the dust settles, Nikola Jokic will win the MVP. He’s almost at the top of all offensive statistical categories, including the top five in assists. The 7 foot is on average 8.4 assists per game, which is ridiculous for a center. Plus, he does all of this without Jamal Murray. The Joker deserves this MVP, make no mistake about it.

Defensive player of the year

  1. Rudy Gobert
  2. Ben simmons
  3. Bam Adebayo

What Rudy Gobert does for Jazz is irreplaceable. Five thirty-eight posted an article on how Gobert’s season is one of the best ever. The Jazz is 11.9 points per 100 possessions better when Gobert is on the ground, which is the best in the NBA. Take Gobert off Jazz and all their makeup changes.

Most Improved Player

  1. Julius Randle
  2. Jerami grant
  3. Christian wood

I wrote and tweeted about Randle’s improvement to satiety. His jump from a good talent to an All-NBA player is remarkable. Randle is the heart of the Knicks and one of the main reasons for their turnaround. With career highs in almost every offensive category, Randle is a runaway winner.

Rookie of the year

  1. LaMelo Ball
  2. Anthony edwards
  3. Tyrese Haliburton

If LaMelo Ball doesn’t fracture his wrist on March 20 and runs out of time, he wins this award in a landslide. Ball is averaging 15.6 ppg, 6.0 rpg and 6.2 apg and one of the main reasons the Hornets will make the play-in tournament. However, it’s hard to ignore Anthony Edwards’ offensive explosion throughout the second half of the season. It is a walking bucket, enhanced by its 40 points game in early May. Are you rewarding the best all-around player who missed more than 30% of the year with injury or the electric scorer who played every game and came out strong in the second half? Because he came back from an injury and is on a playoff team, Ball gets my vote.

Coach of the Year

  1. Tom thibodeau
  2. Monty williams
  3. Quin Snyder

I’m sure some of you will accuse me of being a circuit with that choice. You are not wrong because I am a diehard Knicks fan. However, ask yourself this question: Before the start of the season, did you have the Suns or Knicks in the playoffs? If you follow the NBA then you would have selected the Suns, not the Knicks, to make the playoffs. Monty Williams did a masterful job, moving the Suns from a marginal playoff team to a potential seed.

The Suns were heading in the right direction with an 8-0 record in the bubble. The Knicks didn’t even bubble. No one predicted Thibs would turn this team so quickly. I love the Knicks with all my heart and had them as 10 seeds in the year. Tom Thibodeau changed the culture of this organization in one season. He took a bunch of forgotten players, convinced them to play defense, and molded them into one of the top six teams in the East. He’s the coach of the year.

Sixth man of the year

  1. Jordan clarkson
  2. Derrick Rose
  3. Joe ingles

With all due respect (although I’m on the verge of being disrespectful) the Sixth Man category isn’t as strong as it has been in years past. There is no Montrez Harrell, Dennis Schröder, Lou Williams or Jamal Crawford on the ballot. This award will go to either Jordan Clarkson and Joe Ingles, both of whom have had good seasons. Clarkson is second on the Jazz in points with 18.2 in just under 27 minutes per game. Ingles aka Jingles is the glue of Jazz. He’s a sniper from the depths (45.6 3P%), a strong pick-and-roll creator, and guard the opposing team’s top wing every night. I’ll go with Clarkson, but my heart really thinks it should be Derrick Rose, who is in the midst of a career rebirth.


First team

  • G: Stephen Curry
  • G: Damian Lillard
  • F: Giannis Antetokounmpo
  • F: Luka Dončić
  • C: Nikola Jokic

Second team

  • G: Jimmy Butler
  • G: Chris Paul
  • F: Julius Randle
  • F: Kawhi Leonard
  • C: Joël Embiid

Third team

  • G: Kyrie Irving
  • G: Bradley Beal
  • F: LeBron James
  • F: Zion Williamson
  • C: Rudy Gobert

Determining the 15 players to make All-NBA is like choosing your favorite Taylor Swift album. You change your mind every two seconds. There are over 20 guys who can legitimately claim any of the 15 spots. In a typical year, 13 of the 15 available places are solidified and only one to two selections require debate. This year, the entire third team is up for grabs. That’s how competitive it has been in a year where many stars have missed a lot of time due to injury.

Job eligibility is the most important factor in determining each team. Embiid is a real cross but can be voted on as a striker. Doncic is the point guard but can be voted as a striker. It is category fraud that reflects the best acting races at the Oscars.

My biggest riddle concerns Embiid and Doncic. If I move Embiid forward, Doncic takes second guard, and Damian Lillard moves to second team. If I vote for Doncic as a striker, Dame goes to the first team and Emiid to the second team. Should Embiid be demoted to the second team when he goes to finish second in the MVP vote? All-NBA is a broken system. If I could change the ballot, I would make two guards, two forwards and a post that could be a guard, a forward or a center. With the current rules in place, I put Luka forward, I put Embiid in the second team, and I move Dame to the first team.

Quick hitters

  • I couldn’t leave a Nets the team player. If Harden doesn’t get hurt, he’s part of the squad. Since he missed too much time, Kyrie succeeds. (Kyrie was spectacular, by the way.)
  • Zion finished in the top 10 of the two score and goal percentage on the field.
  • LeBron has missed too many games to be on the first or second team.
  • It’s hard to deny the greatness of Chris Paul, which isn’t reflected in the stats sheet.

What does your ballot look like? Leave your selections in the comments or tweet me, @danny_giro.

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