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My (hypothetical) end of season awards ballot

Apr 28, 2012, 8:01 AM EDT

Miami Heat's LeBron James listens to the national anthem before their NBA basketball game against the Chicago Bulls in Miami, Florida April 19 Reuters

It’s end of season award time and… well, I don’t have an official ballot. But not being official never stopped me before.

So here would be my votes for the winners, plus some people I also would have put on the list.

Note that the one exception is the Most Improved Player category, an award that I despise. Usually it goes to a good player who just gets more minutes and keeps performing at the same level, but aside that I think the entire concept of the award is questionable. So I’m not touching it. But I’ll play along with everything else.

Most Valuable Player:

LeBron James. He has simply had the best statistical year, improving and taking a larger role in the Heat’s offense while also being a key part of their defensive strategy. He’s shooting 53.1 percent, he has a league best PER of 30.7, he’s getting to the line and dishing assists — he has been the best player in the league this season by a long shot. If you want to say, “that doesn’t matter until he wins a ring” go right ahead, he’d agree with you. But the fact is this is a regular season award and he has been the best player in the regular season going away.

2. Kevin Durant; 3. Tony Parker; 4. Chris Paul; 5. Kevin Love.

Defensive Player of the Year:

Tyson Chandler. I’ll admit up front this is a bit of a lifetime achievement award — he has been fantastic for years, was key to Dallas winning a ring last season and now has been at the heart of a turnaround in the Knicks defense. He is the Knicks MVP this season.

2. LeBron James; 3. Kevin Garnett.

Rookie of the Year:

Kyrie Irving. This really isn’t close. Coming out of college (where we didn’t get to see a lot of him) I thought he would be good but at the core of a rebuilding process. He proved me and a lot of people wrong. He averaged 18.5 points and 5.5 assists a game. Cleveland has something there.

2. Ricky Rubio; 3. Kenneth Faried.

Sixth Man of the Year.

James Harden. Easiest choice on the board. Harden not only scores 16.8 points her game he is the best playmaker on the team — Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant can get theirs, but when Harden is running the offense everybody gets a piece. He is the guy they trust to make the right decision at the end of the game. Plus, best beard in the league.

2. Lou Williams; 3. Jason Terry.

Coach of the Year.

Frank Vogel (Indiana). There are some veteran coaches who did fantastic jobs this season, no doubt, but nobody got as much out of the talent he was given and helped a team grown and evolve like Vogel. He has his team playing smart, balanced, team ball at both ends of the floor. He’s made the smart move all year, riding the hot hand and trying different lineups to see what works in what situation. He won’t win it, but he deserves it.

2. Gregg Popovich; 3. Tom Thibodeau.

  1. raidmagic - Apr 28, 2012 at 8:16 AM

    I’ not one to care about individual awards but by not even mentioning D. Howard in your defensive player award killsnyour credibility on this whole thing. He may be a pain in the ss but look at the Magic’s defensive numbers without him.

  2. starks3 - Apr 28, 2012 at 8:44 AM

    Surprised Kobe didn’t make it in top 5 in MVP, I understand he missed some time this season. But to me had a career year when looking at the schedule/age of player. And no i’m not a Laker fan.

  3. zblott - Apr 28, 2012 at 8:53 AM

    Naming Chandler as DPOY isn’t a lifetime achievement award – he joined a Knicks team ranked 23rd in defense last year and now they’re 5th. How is that lifetime achievement? Not to mention that the Knicks D this year actually yielded a lower FG% at the rim and inside of 10 feet than the Howard-lead Magic – that’s extremely impressive and is the reason NY is in the playoffs at all considering their Offense fell from 7th to 17th this past season.

  4. diamondmo33 - Apr 28, 2012 at 9:56 AM

    Vogel for c.o.y. No doubt

  5. albie23 - Apr 28, 2012 at 12:23 PM

    Vogel…(???)…you wish! Timmy T. should and will get this award. He led the Bulls to the best record in the league AGAIN even though they never were 100% healthy. No starting line-up missed more games due to injury than the Bulls starters. D. Rose, Rip & Deng missed over 50 games combined.

    • joephchilik - Apr 29, 2012 at 2:22 PM

      “no starting line-up missed more games due to injury”

      …… So I guess we aren’t counting the Nets?

  6. isujames - Apr 28, 2012 at 12:50 PM

    Besides R Rubio,Kyrie is the only rookies name that has been talked about all year.

  7. davidly - Apr 28, 2012 at 2:19 PM

    Vogel should’ve got it last year. I’m still going with Collins this time around. I don’t care what everyone says about the late season let-down, that team shouldn’t even be in the playoffs.

  8. onlyincleveland0316 - Apr 28, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    Keep swallowing, Curt. I’m sure it tastes good! Doe LeBoob rub the top of your head to? Or just play with your ears?

    • cullenand99 - Apr 28, 2012 at 9:05 PM


  9. jimmymarlinsfan - Apr 28, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    Id be bitter if I was from Cleveland too…

  10. lemfax - Apr 28, 2012 at 11:36 PM

    I don’t like LEbron as much of other great players. But this year he showed great offensive/defensive ability. He really deserves MVP & defensive player award this year.

  11. jhalion - Apr 29, 2012 at 10:19 AM

    Most improved: Jeremy Lin

  12. schaffershokai - Apr 29, 2012 at 10:27 AM

    Lebron should consider this as a second career:

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