The battle for every individual regular-season trophy is over, according to the NBA. This concludes the races for the NBA MVP, Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Most Improved Player, Sixth Man of the Year, and Coach of the Year.
The league informed teams that none of the seeding games happening in Orlando will be taken into consideration for any postseason award, and they will only consider games played prior to the league’s coronavirus hiatus. The voting for the honors will be completed before the July 30 restart of the season.
In a memo sent to teams on Friday, the NBA wrote, “The decision to exclude seeding games from awards voting ensures a fair process in which players and coaches from all 30 teams will have the same opportunity to be honored as top performers for the regular season.”
LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo are the two main candidates for the 2020 NBA MVP. Both of the superstars had an incredible season and led each team to the top of their conference.
At the age of 30, LeBron James showed the world something that has never been done before. In his 17th season in the NBA, he averaged 25.7 points, 7.9 rebounds and 10.6 assists per game. He is the oldest player in NBA history to finish a season averaging at least 25 points and 10 assists. Despite the historic and incredible season by James, the MVP award is leaning towards Antetokounmpo.
When asked if he was disappointed that the MVP race concluded early, he said “I’ve shown what I’m capable of doing, not only individually but from a team perspective…to be able to have our team at the top of the Western Conference and playing the way that we were playing at that time and the way I was playing, that’s definitely a good feeling.”
Averaging 29.6 points and 13.7 rebounds per game, Antetokounmpo will most likely win the MVP award. He led his team to 53 wins and only lost 12 games before the coronavirus hiatus. He is doing even better than last year when he won his first MVP award after averaging 27.7 points and 12.5 rebounds.
The Greek Freak improved his shooting from behind the arc after he was criticized for it in the past. He is still praised for his athleticism, despite being 6’11”. He showed that he was unstoppable on offense, as well as on defense this season. Along with the MVP Award, he is most likely to win the Defensive Player of the Year, too.
Rookie of the Year
Ja Morant and Zion Williamson put up impressive numbers and made plays that shocked basketball fans, players, coaches, and analysts. However, there is a clear winner in this category as Williamson only played 19 games due to his early injury during the Summer League.
The second overall pick from Murray State has been explosive since his arrival in Memphis. He is averaging 17.6 points and 6.9 assists per game and is praised for possessing fundamentals of an elite point guard. His ball-handling, passing, and athleticism have drawn comparisons to Russell Westbrook.
He is without a doubt the Rookie of the Year, and it is not an overstatement to say that he is already the best player on his team, the Grizzlies. He is only a rookie and people are excited to see what he can bring to the floor in the coming years.
Williamson’s presence and expectations were sky-high since he was in college, and the New Orleans Pelicans did not think twice as they picked him first overall in the 2019 NBA Draft. However, he missed the first 45 games of the regular season due to a knee injury.
Despite only playing 19 games in the regular season, Williamson made some crazy highlights and put up exceptional numbers that amazed NBA fans. He was so good and impactful that he was mentioned in the Rookie of the Year race even after missing 45 games.