NBA Mid-Season Awards
by Robert Ferringo and Nolan Sinclair - 02/17/2009
We're a little over halfway through the NBA season and I thought it was time to break out some fictional mid-season hardware. So with that in mind, here is a look at my selections for the NBA mid-season awards:
First Team All-NBA:
PG: Chris Paul - CP3 has continued his dominance over his NBA foes as he puts up 21 points, 11 assists, and five rebounds per game. Along with that he gets almost three steals each time he steps on the floor. I can just see the Atlanta Hawks brass kicking itself for not taking Chris when they had the chance. Even with David West and Tyson Chandler missing time CP3 has kept the Hornets afloat and sitting comfortably in the sixth spot in the West at 30-20.
SG: Dwayne Wade - Apologies to Kobe Bryant as he is having an outstanding year but D-Wade is on absolute fire! Wade has better numbers than Kobe in both scoring and assists and is only 0.6 rebounds per game behind Bryant. Kobe is definitely still absolutely abusing the NBA but at the halfway point in the season and only one shooting guard on this team I am taking Wade.
SF: LeBron James - His NBA nickname is the King and every team in the league is trying to figure out how to sign this guy in 2010. Enough said.
PF: Tim Duncan - No way can I put anyone else here. I don't care if there is another power forward that has better numbers, Tim Duncan kept his team alive without Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili and now the Spurs are the No. 2 team in the West at 35-16. Timmy is still averaging over 20 points and 10 rebounds a game even though he is double teamed every time he touches the ball. Mr. Duncan is like a fine wine. He just gets better with age.
C: Dwight Howard - Superman is having a career year for the Magic. Dwight is averaging 20 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks a game for Orlando. He is also leading the NBA in dunks, which means no one can stop this man-child from getting to the rim. As he gets older, stronger, and quicker the NBA gets more and more nervous. If Dwight develops a 15-foot jump shot he could go down in history as one of the best centers the NBA has ever seen. Did you see how easily he dunked on the 12-foot hoop at the All-Star Game? He might be able to hammer one home on a 14-foot basket.
PG: Devin Harris, Chauncey Billups
SG: Kobe Bryant, Ray Allen, Joe Johnson
SF: Kevin Durant
PF: Dirk Nowitzki, Amare Stoudemire, Chris Bosh
C: Al Jefferson
MVP: Dwyane Wade
Plain and simple, no one can stop him. I know that we say the same thing about LeBron James but D-Wade is doing it with much less talent surrounding him. Wade is on a mission this season as people said he was looking straight into the face of the downside of his career prior to the Olympics. Since then he has been nothing short of dominant.
Now, I just want to point out that Howard, Kobe or LeBron will end up taking down the real hardware. But for the sake of my mid-season awards I'm going with Wade.
Rookie of the Year: Eric Gordon
The only reason Gordon isn't the leading rookie scorer in the NBA is because he didn't get solid minutes until December. October and November found Gordon sitting on the bench more than playing on the floor for the Clippers. Since Dec. 1 Eric has scored over 24 points eight times including three 30-point games and one 40-point effort.
Defensive Player of the Year: Dwight Howard
Dwight Howard is averaging 10 defensive rebounds, three blocks and one steal a game thus far this season. He is a force on the defensive e end and in many of their wins he has been a game changer. When one looks at the box score you don't see all the balls that he knocked away or times that he forced the opposing player to adjust their shot.
Coach of the Year: Gregg Popovich
This man is a basketball genius. I would like to see Pop and Phil Jackson both coach a junior varsity basketball team stocked with the same talent on each. My money is on Pop's team. He has had to deal with numerous injuries that forced him to start the likes of Fabricio Umberto and George Hill. Oh yeah did I mention the Spurs are 35-16 and in the second spot in the Western Conference?
Gambling MVP: Tie between Mo Williams and Jameer Nelson
These two gentlemen are the lower-level stars for their respective teams. Players like LeBron and Dwight steal all the thunder but both Nelson and Williams were representatives for the Eastern Conference at the All-Star Game. Both players are averaging over 17 points and have lead their teams to ATS records that are a combined 31 games over .500 thus far. The Cavs were good without Williams and now they are great, NBA Championship worthy and the Magic are in the same category now that Nelson has reached toward his full potential. We will see just how valuable Nelson is to the Magic now that he may be out for the rest of the year.