NBA half-way awards

The NBA season is half over.  This time next year the season may not yet have begun.  Let’s hope that isn’t the case though!  I thought I’d dish some opinion on the biggest surprises, disappointments, and award winners to this point.


The Spurs are 36-6.  They are on pace to win 70 games!  Definitely did not see that coming, but Ginobli and Parker have taken over and they are more offensive-minded than they have been all decade previous.

The Knicks have lost 4 in a row to drop to 22-19, but they have been a fun and solid team this year.  Amare Stoudamire has played like a big-time all-star and Raymond Felton might even make his first all-star team.  Gallinari and Chandler have both been solid contributers this season.  If they land Carmelo, look out.

The Magic.  I thought they’d rampage their way through the regular season, so not only is their record disappointing, but it was stunning to see them blow up their roster a month into the season.  It appears to have made them better, but didn’t see a shake-up quite like that coming.


The Blazers.  Not because of their 23-20 record that sits them at the 8 seed out west, but because they have already needed 5 knee surgeries in the first 3 months of the season.  A team that has looked to be on the doorstep of challenging LA for a couple seasons now just can’t seem to stay healthy long enough to make it a reality.

The Lakers and Heat.  Combined for 26 losses at this point, and neither is the top seed their conference.  Both have battled injuries and strange lose streaks.

The Heatles.  Worst.  Nickname.  Ever.  Back to the drawing board fellas.


Rookie of the Year: Blake Griffin, and its not even close.  A Clipper has managed to be the most buzz-worthy story out of LA and has stolen front page headlines from the Heat.  He has gotten better and better every week of the season.  He might be the most interesting man in the league right now which says a lot.

Breakout player: Kevin Love.  When you have built-up a 2-rebound-per-game edge on Dwight Howard halfway through the year, you are doing something well.  Not to mention throwing up the first 30-30 game since Mose Malone in 1982.

Coach of the Year: Greg Popovich.  Not much has changed on the Spurs, but they are winning more.

6th Man of the Year: I am not sure there is a clear cut choice right now.  Jason Terry and Jamal Crawford are having down seasons.  Ginobli is starting again.  Lamar Odom is back to the bench, but was putting up his all-star-like numbers while he was starting.  I am going to leave this one blank.

MVP: Derrick Rose.  Here is my arguement for him.  The Bulls are 28-14, the 5th best record in the league.  Chicago has played half of that without Carlos Boozer, and the other half without Joakim Noah.  Rose has improved statistically across the board in every category.  He is both outstanding and valuable.  What helps my argument for him is LeBron and Wade cancel each other out.  As go Kobe and Gasol.  As do Durant and Westbrook.  The Spurs collectively get it done.  And Dwight Howard has been good again, but the Magic have not been any better.  This is not a good year for MVP, but it is a good year for a lot of really good seasons.


2nd half thoughts:

Team that will rise into the playoffs:

I like the Bucks in the East.  Getting a healthy Brandon Jennings back with be huge.  Delfino, Gooden, and Maggette have all battled injuries and their health will be big too.

I like a few teams in the West that could catch Portland.  I think Golden State, Phoenix, and the Clippers all have a shot.  I will take the Rockets though to make the playoffs settling in without Yao Ming and getting Aaron Brooks back in the fold.

The Magic may end up with the best recond in the second half of the season.  Even at 11-5 since the trade, they lost 4 close games (Dallas, OKC, NO, Boston), the last three on the road, and the other was at Atlanta the first game after the new players arrived.  I’d project at least 55 wins for Orlando.

Boston and San Antonio will still end up with the best records in the conferences.  The Heat and Magic will make it much closer I believe.  The Lakers don’t have the youth or desire to catch San Antonio.

Kevin Durant will turn it up in the 2nd half and win the MVP.  From January to the end of last season he averaged over 32ppg and 8reb.  I expect a similar second half for him and they won’t be the 8 seed this year.  They will finish as the #3 seed.