2017-18 NBA END OF SEASON AWARDS

Ahead of my MVP post I wanted to compile a complete list of each award for the NBA season. After this is published I will post my full and complete thoughts on the MVP award. Also not included are the all defensive and rookie teams. This post includes no commentary for any award.

Coach of the Year

  1. Dwane Casey
  2. Brad Stevens
  3. Mike D’antoni
  4. Quin Snyder
  5. Greg Popovich

Defensive Player of the Year

  1. Rudy Gobert
  2. Joel Embiid
  3. Anthony Davis
  4. Dejounte Murray
  5. Jimmy Butler

Rookie of the Year

  1. Ben Simmons
  2. Donovan Mitchell
  3. Jayson Tatum
  4. Luari Markkanen
  5. Kyle Kuzma

6th Man of the Year

  1. Lou Williams
  2. Eric Gordon
  3. Jordan Clarkson

Most Improved Player

  1. Victor Oladipo
  2. Aaron Gordon
  3. Spencer Dinwiddie

All NBA 1st Team

  • G James Harden
  • G Damian Lillard
  • F LeBron James
  • F Kevin Durant
  • C Anthony Davis

All NBA 2nd Team

  • G Stephen Curry
  • G Victor Oladipo
  • F Giannis Antetokounmpo
  • F Lamarcus Aldridge
  • C Joel Embiid

All NBA 3rd Team

  • G Russell Westbrook
  • G Kyle Lowry
  • F Paul George
  • F Karl Anthony-Towns
  • C Nikola Jokic

 

SEASON RECAP: PART 2 – “BREAKING” NEWS

If you had told the Boston Celtics that they would be holding the 2 seed with over 50 wins this season after losing Gordon Hayward on the first game of the season they may have had you checked for a concussion. The buzz around the the Celtics this off season once they landed Kyrie and Gordon would have had you thinking they changed their name to the “Hornets”.

I remember clearly on October 17 rushing through my work day so I could get home and prepare for the season opener. Not only was this the first time we as basketball fans would get to see Gordon Hayward reunited with his college coach Brad Stevens. We would also see Kyrie in Cleveland against the team he just abandoned. Whoever was in charge of making this season’s NBA schedule needed a huuuuge raise.

The beginning of this game felt like I was falling in love with the NBA all over again. The drama. The skill. Everything that makes the NBA great could be found in this game. With just under 8 minutes Jaylen Brown made his opening statement for why we need to pay close attention to how good he was going to be. All was right. My mouth was watering and it wasn’t because of the food I could smell my wife cooking. This season was going to be the best of my life.

And then.. with about 6 minutes and 52 seconds left in the first quarter. Kyrie had a beautiful lob set up for Hayward. This play was going to be a spark. It would ignite a bond and a union between 2 players that were destined to be perfect fits in a perfect system led by a perfect coach. This would be the play that brings everything together. Lebron’s reign in the east was being challenged. Or so we thought.

As Kyrie lobs a pass to the rim. Gordon makes a quick fake one way and heads to grab the ball just thrown in the air by Kyrie. If you watch the replay you can actually see Lebron prepared to disrupt this play before Kyrie has even geared up to make the pass. His instincts are remarkable. Unfortunately, in the process of breaking up this play Gordon comes down awkwardly on his foot.

As soon as Hayward came down the announcer knew what had happened. You could hear the shock in his voice as he claimed that “Hayward broke his leg”. Instead of this alley-oop being the play that claimed the throne, it was the one that potentially destroyed it. The game was so hyped and now it just felt as if no one wanted to even be there. The  picture after the incident posted above captures well the mood for that evening.

Despite this tragic event the Celtics knew they still had 81 games left to play. It wouldn’t be easy. The next night was their home opener against Milwaukee. Giannis Antetokounmpo came to town and didn’t share many condolences. The Greek Freak posted 37 points and began his MVP campaign.

The season started much worse than they ever expected. The C’s have obviously come quite a ways since then. After starting 0-2 they went on a 16 game winning streak. Since then we have learned that Jayson Tatum definitely was Ainge’s top pick in this year’s draft and rightfully so. Jaylen Brown also had much more room to spread his wings.

Now, the Celtics are entering the first round not only without Hayward but also without Kyrie. Is it doom and gloom all over again? Should we really count this team out? It seems that they take punch after punch but somehow manage to put things together and pull out a W. If anyone knows how to win it’s the Boston Celtics.

 

 

NBA SEASON RECAP: PART 1 – LEAST GETS LEASTER

IS THE LEASTERN CONFERENCE GETTING LEASTER??

Four eastern conference teams have above a .500 winning percentage against Western conference teams this season. Four! When you look out west they have 9 teams that have above a .500 winning percentage against Eastern conference teams.

At the beginning of this season Paul Millsap made the decision to leave the Hawks and sign with the Nuggets. The Hawks are clearly tanking, and although Millsap did miss time with the Nuggets, they do have him back and are fighting for a spot in the Western conference playoffs.

Paul wasn’t the only big name to leave the East. Paul George and Jimmy Butler both were traded from their respective teams. The Bulls were left in shambles and a glimmer of hope with some young talent. The Pacers on the other hand have found a potential franchise star in Victor Oladipo.

Even when a big name in Gordon Hayward left the Jazz in the West for the Celtics in the East this summer, the Jazz still drafted a franchise player of their own in Donovan Mitchell. It really seems like the East can’t catch a break. You could easily argue that 7 of the 10 best players in the league are all playing for Western conference squads.

With the playoffs coming up everyone will be suspecting whoever wins the West to be the team to win the championship. Between lack of talent and injury plagued teams the East won’t stand a chance against the favored representatives out West. Or so we think..

We play the games for a reason. The East still has Lebron James. These 2 arguments for the Eastern conference having a shot may be considered by some as a cop out. But, even if the East doesn’t stand a chance this year I still wouldn’t count them out for years to come.

Even if Lebron were to head out west in the off-season I would still argue that the Eastern conference has a bright future. The West has plenty of talent. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not sure if the East can compete with the talent for quite some time if they lose Lebron. But what the West doesn’t have is the Celtics and the 76ers.

Between Boston and Philadelphia it is really difficult to imagine the East continuing to be called names such as “the leastern conference”. Boston somehow manages to grab a top 10 pick almost every year. They have rising stars in Jaylen Brown & Jayson Tatum. Even the C’s current stars, Kyrie (26) and Hayward (28),  still have a few years before they’ll start a downward trend. Don’t even get me started on what this team could look like if they were able to steal Anthony Davis from New Orleans.

It doesn’t seem possible to be in a much better position than Boston. Philadelphia isn’t afraid to take the challenge. A core of Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, and Markelle Fultz may be the beginning of the new kings of the east. We haven’t seen much from Markelle Fultz this season. Without Fultz the 76ers are still in safe hands with Simmons lobbing the ball to Embiid. Embiid is age 24 and Simmons on 21.

The 76ers and Celtics were both able to manage a winning percentage against Western foes this year. If these teams are able to stay healthy (especially the sixers) then we may be looking at a new Eastern look. Pay attention these playoffs and see what some of these young guys can do. With both teams missing a star or two for some or all of the playoffs we’ll get to see even more of how valuable these guys have been all season long.

 

NBA Season Recap – 2017-2018

This NBA season has given me a sensory overload. So much has happened on the court that has led me to experience different reactions. Jaw Dropping plays. Eye-opening talent. I haven’t experienced an NBA season quite like this one. Over the next few days I’ll be running short posts to catch you up on everything that’s been going on. If you’ve missed a large portion of the season and are wanting to jump in for the playoffs then stay tuned! If you want to reminisce on a spectacular year then please join me! The topics will include…

LEASTERN GETS… LEASTER?

I live in the midwest. I live where basketball grows. Here in the cornfields of Indiana we live for basketball. Outside of California and Texas I would venture to say NBA talent is grown largely from eastern states. Even with how much my state gives to the NBA the Western conference snatches it all. This season was the final straw.. I’m not sure what that means, but I won’t take it any longer. SOMETHING HAS TO BE DONE. From Jimmy Butler to Paul George. The west must be trying to resemble the Wild West because they have no regard for us eastern conference fans.

“BREAKING” NEWS ON THE FIRST DAY!

If you haven’t heard about this story you must not be paying much attention. Anyway, I’ll dive deep into how tragic it was for the Celtics to lose Gordon Hayward on day freaking one. But as you probably know there were plenty of positives that resulted from a devastating and unfortunate injury.

SUPER ROOKIES

In the 2003 draft we saw guys like LeBron, Melo, and D-Wade begin dominant careers. The 2017 draft could have possibly been the best thing since that. Only time will tell.. but of course we won’t wait for time. Lonzo Ball, Jayson Tatum, and Donovan Mitchell have all made their mark and I am not afraid to make some bold predictions about where these dudes are headed. Oh.. right and apparently Ben Simmons will be discussed here since he’s technically a rookie.

VICTOR OLADIPO HAS ARRIVED

“The Paul George trade may be the worst trade in NBA history” – “We dominated that Paul George trade” I’m sure these sentences have been shared by plenty of Pacer fans out there. I’ve loved Dipo ever since he was at IU. After a slow start in the league I never had expected him to make a jump like this so quickly. It’s been said that Victor is breaking all kinds of metrics for how a player is supposed to progress from season to season. He has taken leaps and bounds this season and I love it!

THE NBA IS OFFICIALLY A SOAP OPERA

One thing that makes the NBA stand out from all other sports is the drama that comes with it. Sometimes I feel as if I am watching a soap opera. Damn, I love this game.

(Don’t get me wrong though, I HATE soap operas)

RETURN OF THE NBA ALL STAR GAME

Adam Silver mixed things up with the All Star game this year. It went nicely to say the least. Granted, there were some stretches of going through the motions. The last minute of this game was potentially the best final minute of a game I have seen all season. Seeing the top 10 players in the league go all out is a true spectacle.

DOES LEBRON JAMES AGE?

I take a quick glance around the league and see Dirk Nowitzki (39) almost dying on the court. D-Wade (36) is happy with coming off the bench. Carmelo Anthony (33) is barely the third option and a major defensive liability on a decent western conference squad. LeBron James (33)? He’s having the best year of his life. Maybe that is an exaggeration. Even if it is this dude is clearly a top 5 MVP candidate and looks like he’ll be leading the Cav’s in his 9th straight finals appearance. What. The. Hell. Shouldn’t he at least be moving away from his prime years by now??

A NEW CHALLENGER IS BORN

After Golden State won the championship in 2015 they have been heavy favorites to repeat each year. The only other team we thought could compete was the Clevel.. err… I mean LeBron James. After last year’s performance and now without Kyrie I’m not sure if even Cleveland has any glimmer of hope of beating the Warriors. Enter the Houston Rockets. Could it be true? Is there a challenger? Is this real life?? We’ll find out.

MVP CONVERSATIONS

Some people will tell you no single snowflake is exactly the same as any other. Well I’m here to inform you that no person on this planet has a definition of MVP that perfectly mirrors another. Luckily for you, I’m here to tell you what the best definition is and what you need to believe about this season’s MVP race.