2008-09 NBA Awards

Well, with the NBA regular season over, it’s time for me to make my awards picks. I’ve probably watched more NBA action this season than ever before, thanks to the phenomenal League Pass Broadband package. Plus, with my favorite team winning 66 games, it was a good season to watch. Let’s run down the individual awards.

MVP: LeBron James
In my mind, this isn’t even close. LeBron put up one of the best PER ratings (a measure of overall efficiency) of all-time on a 66-win team. This should be the first of many MVP awards for King James.
Runners-up: Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard

Rookie of the Year: Derrick Rose
Point guard is probably the hardest position for a rookie to play, as he’s asked to be his team’s on-court leader and playmaker. Yet Rose took the role and ran with it once given the chance in Chicago.
Runners-up: Brook Lopez, O.J. Mayo

Coach of the Year: Mike Brown
I've given him a lot of grief over the years, but he put together a great system for this team. LeBron gets most of the credit (and deservedly so) for the Cavs success, but Brown found a way to turn a team with one legit superstar into one of the winningest teams in NBA history.
Runners-up: Erik Spolestra, Rick Adelman

Most Improved Player: Kevin Durant
I know players are supposed to make improvements from their first to second year, but Durant doesn't get enough credit for how much he improved (and a lot of that was Scott Brooks playing him at the right position).
Runners-up: Devin Harris, Anderson Varejao

Sixth Man of the Year: Jason Terry
He's instant offense off the Mavs bench (and a standout on my fantasy team).
Runners-up: Nate Robinson, J.R. Smith

Defensive Player of the Year: Dwight Howard
I really want to give this to LeBron too, but Howard is bananas on defense. Still, LeBron should be first-team All-Defense.
Runners-up: LeBron James, Dwyane Wade

All-NBA First Team
G - Kobe Bryant
G - Dwyane Wade
F - LeBron James
F - Dirk Nowitzki
C - Dwight Howard
How can I have CP3 higher than Kobe on my MVP ballot, but put Kobe on All-NBA ahead of him? Well, it comes down to the definitions (in my mind). Paul was more VALUABLE to the Hornets, but Kobe was better.

All-NBA Second Team
G - Chris Paul
G - Brandon Roy
F - Paul Pierce
F - Tim Duncan
C - Yao Ming
Pierce barely cracked the Top 50 in PER this season, but his impact on the Celtics was undeniable. Despite missing Kevin Garnett for nearly 1/3 of the season, Boston still won 60 games.

All-NBA Third Team
G - Chauncey Billups
G - Tony Parker
F - Pau Gasol
F - Carmelo Anthony
C - Shaquille O’Neal
Shaq is the only player on any of my three teams that didn’t make the playoffs. Leading a team to the postseason is what pushed Carmelo over Danny Granger for the last forward spot. Garnett simply missed too much time (and wasn’t his outstanding self from December-February anyway) to qualify.

All-Defense First Team
G - Dwyane Wade
G - Chris Paul
F - LeBron James
F - Shane Battier
C - Dwight Howard

All-Defense Second Team
G - Rajon Rondo
G - Kobe Bryant
F - Ron Artest
F - Tim Duncan
C - Chris Andersen
Yes, The Birdman! He was crazy good on the defensive end this year, for a team that was supposed to fall apart defensively after losing Camby and Najera.