Tuesday, January 31, 2006

2005-06 NBA Mid-Season Awards

Could he really do it again?

Most Improved Player

1) David West, New Orleans
04-05: 30 games, 18.4 min, 6.2 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 43.6 FG%
05-06: 43 games, 35.3 min, 16.9 PPG, 7.9 APG, 51.2 FG%

--I’ve been calling for West to get more run for two years now. As a graduate of an A-10 school (St. Joe’s), I saw plenty of the Xavier product up close and personal. Actually, during one game I screamed that Jameer Nelson was a much better candidate for Player of the Year. West looked at me, gave me one of those “haha, oh yeah white boy?” smiles, brought his team back from a double-digit deficit, and single-handedly won it for the Musketeers in overtime. This is why it boggled my mind seeing Byron Scott let him decompose on the bench.

2) Boris Diaw, Phoenix
04-05: 66 games, 18.2 min, 4.8 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 2.3 APG, 42.2 FG%
05-06: 43 games, 33.1 min, 11.9 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 5.9 APG, 50.1 FG%

--Okay, let’s review. Phoenix miserably lost Joe Johnson this summer and had to replace him with some guy named Boris Diaw-Riffiod—which sounds more like a required 18th century author on your 8th grade summer reading list. Well, it turns out this guy can score, rebound, pass, and oh yeah, play all five positions. Not bad considering he’s not even making a $ million while the aforementioned Hawk is sitting in his living room counting bills 50 Cent-style.

3) Mehmet Okur, Utah
04-05: 82 games, 28.1 min, 12.9 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 2.0 APG, 13.9% of offense
05-06: 44 games, 35.6 min, 17.8 PPG, 9.5 RPG, 2.6 APG, 19.8% of offense

--Doesn’t look like much of a basketball player, does he? Actually, he reminds me of that kid in college who always came late to class, had just woken up 13 seconds prior, and always asked for a piece of paper and a pen. But hey, the guy can ball and if Kevin O’Connor stops trying to pull a reverse Texas Western this season, perhaps the Jazz can sneak into the Playoffs.

Just missed: Delonte West (BOS), Smush Parker (LAL)

6th Man of the Year

1) Mike Miller, Memphis –Evidence of how bad this year’s crop of 6th man nominees is: Miller’s FG%, 3-pt FG%, FGA made, and APG are all down from a season ago. I’m dying for someone like Al Jefferson to swoop in and provide some dignity to this race.

2) Mo Williams, Milwaukee –Earlier this season, Williams won two games at the buzzer and has since emerged as a catalyst for this young ball club. Without him, I’m not sure the Bucks hold the 5 seed at this point in the year…

3) Speedy Claxton, New Orleans – Yet another PG who got demoted in favor of a younger player. But like Williams, Speedy has handled the situation with class and kept up his solid play as 6th man for the Hornets.

Just missed: Earl Boykins (DEN), Jamal Crawford (NYK), Donyell Marshall (CLE)

Coach of the Year

1) Flip Saunders, Detroit – 37-5 in his first year as Pistons coach is just unheard of. Obviously it’s nice to inherit a team that reached the Finals their previous season, but that doesn’t take anything away from a .881 winning percentage.

2) Mike D’Antoni, Phoenix – Guiding this team to the 2 seed in the West, after losing Johnson and Q to trades and Amare to injury, is just incredible. If Detroit wasn’t on pace for historical marks, D’Antoni would run away with this honor.

3) Byron Scott, New Orleans – This is where I start to hate the COY award. It’s like the science fair at your elementary school. The relatively poor kid does an above average job with old Coke cans, straws, underwear elastics, Popsicle sticks, etc. But then the spoiled brat whose dad is a stockbroker on Wall Street comes in with like three grand worth of Radio Shack built into his experiment and easily runs away with first prize. We all expected it to happen, but yet we still can’t help but feel bad for the kid left their standing with half a bottle of Elmer’s glue stuck to hands. You see where I’m going with this? Doesn’t the guy who was predicted to have a 14th or 15th seeded team, but now owns the 8th seed in the West, merit any recognition? Probably not…

Just Missed: Nate McMillan (POR), Phil Jackson (LAL), Mike Dunleavy (LAC)

1st Team All-Rookie

Chris Paul, New Orleans – Stephon Marbury-type that actually makes his teammates better and plays defense.

Deron Williams, Utah – We were warned that Jerry Sloan would be extremely patient with his young point guard, but to sit this kid in favor of guys like Keith McLeod is just unheard of.

Charlie Villanueva, Toronto – Hey Charlie, way to not give a damn at UConn and then make 95% of sports writers look like idiots with your solid play. I still say he has a better shot at growing hair than becoming an All-Star.

Andrew Bogut, Milwaukee – It makes me ecstatic when a white guy comes in and continues to play with passion even after breaking his nose 12 times this season. Oh well, it’s not like he looks any better without the mask…

Channing Frye, New York – Another example of a player we were all wrong about. I give Isiah three weeks to deal him away for Theo Ratliff.

Just missed: Raymond Felton (CHA), Nate Robinson (NYK), Jose Calderon (TOR)

Rookie of the Year

Chris Paul, New Orleans – This is like that one answer you know for sure on a test you barely studied for. When’s the last time a PG entered the league and had this much impact? You’d have to go back to the 96-97 season when Allen Iverson averaged 23.5 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 7.5 APG, & 2.1 SPG. Oh yeah, and props to the Hawks and Jazz for passing on him—really solid move. I think with Paul (rather than Williams), Utah would be three games up in the Northwest rather than gradually slipping into the Lottery. If the Hornets somehow finagle their way into the postseason, don’t be surprised to see Paul in the top-5 or 6 for MVP voting.

1st Team All-Defense

Bruce Bowen, San Antonio – With Kobe putting the majority of his focus on the offensive end, I’ll leave Bowen in the mix.

Gerald Wallace, Charlotte – No one else in the league averages 2+ steals and blocks. Add 7.0 RPG to the mix and GW could challenge these bigger fellas for DPOY.

Andrei Kirilenko, Utah – Many people might call for Marion in this spot, but the Matrix can’t quite change a game defensively the way AK can. Once he gets in cruise control, expect 2+ steals and 3+ blocks every night…

Ben Wallace, Detroit –I always tend to wonder why more teams don’t try and breed a Big Ben of their own. You’ll hear coaches and analysts say he’s a unique talent that can’t be replicated, but I remain skeptical. You’re telling me if I had an athletic big man go out there and put 100% of his effort towards defense and ONLY defense, he couldn’t do what Wallace does? Really?

Marcus Camby, Denver – Too bad Camby got hurt. Not only has it scarred his magnificent first few months, but it’s also put a damper on his team and his chances to nab DPOY honors. Should come down to the wire if he manages to play 60+ games this season.

Defensive Player of the Year

Ben Wallace, Detroit – Say you went away for five years and had no clue of how the NBA was structured, who was good, who was bad, what styles of play were dominating, etc. And then say I asked you if you thought it was possible for a team to be 37-5 with a 6-9 center? Would you honestly say yes? I sure wouldn’t. But that’s the thing, we haven’t had a big man this athletic and dominant on the boards since Dennis Rodman. The difference is, Wallace has about 50 more pounds of muscle on him to help D-up both 4s and 5s. In addition, he gets his team the most second chance opportunities in the league, blocks almost 2.5 shots per game, and gets his paws on nearly 2 steals every night. Anyone doing that much for his team on one end of the floor deserves this honor each and every year.

1st Team All-NBA

Steve Nash, Phoenix – Doing more with less…

Kobe Bryant, LA Lakers – We haven’t seen someone this dominant offensively since you know who…

LeBron James, Cleveland – Finally rounding into form after struggling early. Should be 30-8-8 by year’s end.

Elton Brand, LA Clippers – With Shaq, Yao, and Camby all nursing injuries, Brand has quietly emerged as the game’s most dominant big man.

Ben Wallace, Detroit – With the aforementioned players all missing 10+ games this season, I have to honor Big Ben.


Those with little/no chance:

Elton Brand, LA Clippers – Brand is like that chubby kid in high school who is so nice to everyone and probably deserves the hottest girl out there, but instead ends up with his mother’s best friend’s daughter. In other words, Brand just isn’t the sexy pick…

Chauncey Billups, Detroit – Honoring Billups is like giving the NFL MVP award to an offense linemen. Without the other four the entire unit snaps, so how can you single out one particular guy?

Gerald Wallace, Charlotte – I love when some no name writer from ESPN the Magazine decides to go out on a limb and say that a guy like Wallace deserves the MVP. Seriously, just because you majored in journalism at Harvard doesn’t make it okay to write ridiculous columns. How can a guy win the MVP when he plays for an 11-35 team?

Those with an outside chance:

Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas – I feel like this happens every year. The Mavs start out hot, stay on pace with San Antonio, and then everyone starts talking about how valuable Dirk really is. Sure, a versatile 7-footer is always going to be a precious commodity, but what matters most is finally securing that 1 seed so that the entire postseason rolls through your backyard. Until he does so, there are still four guys I like more. Odds: 30: 1

Tracy McGrady, Houston – The Rockets are currently in 15th place in the West. They remain 7 games out of the 8 seed with just 38 games to play. Now, say T-Mac puts up some ridiculous numbers like 35, 7, & 6 the rest of the way and somehow guides this team into the postseason? Could we really count him out of the race altogether? I don’t think so. Odds: 20: 1

LeBron James, Cleveland – He single-handedly brought the Cavs back last Sunday to defeat the Suns. Dunks, rebounds, steals, mid-range jumpers, 3-pointers—he did it all. It’s just a matter of time before LBJ doesn’t have anymore mantle space, and that first big one may come sooner than expected. Odds: 10: 1

The odds on favorites:

Kobe Bryant, LA Lakers – First of all, no, I’m not that stupid. I know there’s no way that the majority of writers are going to side with a man who was once accused of sexual assault. Plus, if this did indeed occur, David Stern would have to live with the fact that many of the common fans might stray from the game forever. That’s a chance he cannot and will not take. So why did I even bother to list Kobe here? Well first of all, I still think there’s an outside shot that he could break Wilt’s mark. And if he does that, holds onto the scoring crown, is recognized as a 1st Team All-Defensive player, and the Lakers somehow get a homecourt series in the Playoffs, he almost has to get the award, doesn’t he? This remains a debate I could take either side on and hopefully one that will begin to surface. Odds: 5: 1

Steve Nash, Phoenix – As the leader of arguably the most overachieving team in the NBA, how can we not consider Nash the front-runner? Last year he garnered the award surrounded by perhaps the most talent in the entire league. But this season, sans Amare, Nash has this ballclub playing just as well if not better than a season ago. It’s like giving Jenna Jameson the award for ‘Best Gangbang of the Year’ while working with Peter North, Lex Steele, and Ron Jeremy, and then a year later making an even better film with a cast of Johnny Whitewater, Barry Wang, and Bob Shurtleff. It’s really unheard of… Odds: 2: 1


At 5:43 PM, Blogger Bob Shurtleff said...

I don't know if it's THAT unheard of, Anthony.

Great article. How bout D-Wade? Does he get any MVP consideration if the Heat take the 2 seed in the East?

At 6:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kobe wasnt convicted, he was accused. Big difference, kinda like calling Karl Malone an NBA Champion, when he was in the NBA finals, but did not win.

At 6:57 PM, Anonymous barry wang said...

haha, but im pretty sure any movie with barry wang (porno or not) would be better

At 7:33 PM, Blogger Anthony Peretore said...

I dunno about D-Wade, since he has Shaq. Hard to give anyone the MVP when they have the Diesel down low.

Sorry about that Kobe error, I do that a lot. Guess it's good I decided against law school.

Bob and Barry, whatever the case may be, let's hope we never see either of you in an adult movie.

At 7:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is so wrong! u give bad analyst. chancuey is the strongest point guard in the NBA right now. Rasheed might be a starting Forward! Tayshaun was drafted 23rd in the pick and he swatted Legend Reggie Miller's shot in the NBA Finals! Richard hamilton's nickname speaks for his shots! the Pistons rule!

At 8:11 PM, Blogger ET said...

Allen Iverson should at least get an outside chance for the MVP ... the man at 30 is still putting up monster stats. So his team is 23-21, big deal; they're half a game from the 3rd seed in the East.

In any case, he's got more of a shot than Gerald Wallace, that's for sure. Heck, Chris Bosh probably has more of a chance than Gerald Wallace.

At 8:29 PM, Blogger Anthony Peretore said...

Wow, you're right man, I gotta give Tayshaun Defensive Player of the Year for swatting Legend Reggie Miller's shot a year ago! And forget Steve Nash, stupid reigning MVP-Chauncey's the man! And of course, Richard Hamilton's name does speak for his ass. Jesus man, what was I thinking, you take over this site, ok?

At 9:51 PM, Blogger Will Shu said...

dude anonymous shut up. WOW! Tayshaun blocked Reggie's shot! holy crap. i think thats a record for blocks! I guarantee you that there have been a long list of players who blocked Reggie. And as you said "Rasheed might be a starting Forward!" Yeah! the guy that always manages to be one of the leagues leaders in Techs is sure gonna get the starting position at forward for hell knows which team your talking about. Cuz who cares and KG and Tim Duncan. You're a retard.

At 12:28 AM, Anonymous Davey said...

for coach, i think avery johnson should get some recognition of some sort

At 2:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey ant wtf is with the sports source? please jusr focus on basketball, no one comes to this site for anything else

At 8:57 AM, Blogger Anthony Peretore said...

Jeez dude, no need to get angry about it. Well, here's my case for leaving it the way it is. Without Paul here to help, it's very difficult for me to keep a steady flow of content. That said, I think it will be tough to keep people coming to the site in the offseason. And obviously my main goal is to get as many people here as possible. Plus, I'm really interested in starting to write about other sports in addition to basketball. I dunno, you guys help me decide via the poll on the sidebar, thanks

At 8:57 AM, Anonymous Conflict said...

Maybe Fred Jones for 6th man of the year, anyone??

Greetz from the Netherlands

At 11:04 AM, Blogger Anthony Peretore said...

Conflict, throwing down a nasty dunk every other game doesn't justify him for 6th Man of the Year, sorry. If there was an award for player who should be 10 times better than he actually is, he'd certainly get my vote.

At 12:31 PM, Anonymous CHia(Singapore) said...

What about iverson???? every one assume that his production will drop with webber in the mix but instead he increase his scoring and his turnovers went down!! but iverson is seriously running out of time for a championship!! give the guy some help!!UGH!!

At 6:39 PM, Blogger Will Shu said...

personally i come here only for NBA basketball news and i dont see very many others commenting on football or baseball. But i guess your logic is good so i think you should keep it as sports source. but if i were a baseball fan or something, i would go to a site devoted to baseball with many articles, not a site that puts up mostly basketball news and an occasional baseball input.

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At 9:49 PM, Blogger Anthony Peretore said...

KG for MVP? There are much better candidates this year...Although I agree, he should always be in that conversation.

At 8:26 AM, Blogger larry bird said...

I think Billups has got a chance for MVP. Does anyone remember how many MVP votes he got last year? I agree with your 1st team prediction but maybe Billups will sneak in.

Looks like Duncan might finally miss out on a 1st team selection unless something happens to Brand and or the Clippers.

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