NBA: 2013-14 Preseason Award Predictions
NBA: 2013-14 Award Predictions
Every season we come across a few players who demonstrate the ability to distinguish themselves from the rest. These players are recognized with NBA Rookie of the Year, Sixth Man of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Most Improved Player and of course, Most Valuable Player.
These awards are something that most players in the league will never covet, as there are 480 players in the NBA and only five of these players receive an award at the end of the season.
As this season is set to begin in October, we take a look forward at all of these promising young players who have the ability to hoist up one of these trophies at the end of this season.
We begin with the Rookie of the Year. This year's draft class was full of stars ranging from Victor Oladipo to Norlens Noel, we were once again blessed with a terrific class of athletes. But when it comes to winning the Rookie of the Year, there is a lot to take into consideration, such as playing time, Summer League play, depth of roster, and coach's opinion.
As we move forward to the Sixth Man of the Year, we take a look at who can provide that spark off the bench. Previous winners such as J.R. Smith, Jamal Crawford and Jason Terry all provided an incredible boost to their team's production which helped them take home this distinguished award.
The Defensive Player of the Year is probably one of the most difficult awards to garner, as you must display the ability to dominate your opponent and get inside their mind in order to interpret what their next move will be.
Last year's Most Improved Player award went to Paul George who was very deserving of the honors as he improved his points, assists, and rebounds. This takes a lot of willpower and determination, because most of this takes place when no one is watching but you.
The most prestigious of all our awards is of course the Most Valuable Player. LeBron James has won back-to-back regular season MVPs and has to be the frontrunner for next year's award. However, he will have a lot of competition, as there are a multitude of players who are equally deserving of this award come season's end.
Rookie of the Year-Kelly Olynyk
This seven footer out of Gonzaga showed some real promise in the NBA Summer League, boasting 18 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists in five starts. He also posted a game-high 25 points to accompany seven rebounds and two steals in his very first Summer League game. Only having one other true center on the Boston Celtics roster in Vitor Faverani, I expect this rookie to start over his teammate from Brazil. Olynyk averaged 17.8 points, 7.3 rebounds and one block in his final season with the Bulldogs while also leading them to the number one overall spot in the NCAA Tournament.
Sixth Man of the Year-Mo Williams
Coming fresh off a trade from the Utah Jazz, Mo Williams will be coming off the bench behind last season's Rookie of the Year, Damian Lilliard. Being a starter for the majority of his career, this will be an interesting transition for this 11-year-vet out of Alabama. But I feel that this sharp shooter will come in strong off the bench for the Portland Trail Blazers and his career averages of 13.8 points, five rebounds and 2.2 rebounds will show to be true in his new home in Portland.
Defensive Player of the Year-Dwight Howard
A former three-time winner of this award in 2009, 2010 and 2011, respectively, Dwight Howard has all the attributes to win this award for a fourth time. Now that Superman has found a new home with the Houston Rockets, my feeling is that his numbers will rise, as well as his production. He seems to be a happy camper down in Houston with his new pals James Harden and Jeremy Lin. Now if he can only boast numbers close to or higher than his career averages of 18.3 points, 12.9 rebounds, 2.2 blocks and a steal, he'll be hoisting up Defensive Player of the Year at the end of next season for sure.
Most Improved Player-Derrick Rose
After taking a year off to rest his ailing knee, it's time for D-Rose to return to action. In his last season before his injury, Rose averaged 21.8 points, 7.9 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game. If he is able to return to full health, I have no doubt in my mind that he will win the Most Improved Player. His best is amongst the best in the league.
Most Valuable Player-LeBron James
Now I'm sure some people are sick of hearing about LeBron James, but being the best player in the world, you receive a lot of attention. There are a lot of players who could challenge Bron Bron for his place at the top, but my prediction is he will continue his reign as King and will lead the Heat to a third consecutive championship to accompany his third successive MVP.