Community Shootaround: Midseason Awards

The 2016/17 season has passed the midway point, which means it’s time to hand out midseason awards. Here are my selections:

Sixth Man Of The Year: Eric Gordon

Gordon came to the Rockets in the offseason and he began the season as the team’s starting shooting guard before being moved to the bench. His scoring has helped the team and his efficiency has been key to their success. He second in the league in three-pointers made this season and he’s knocking down 39.2% of his attempts. Lou Williams is having a phenomenal campaign off the bench for the Lakers this season, but I give the edge to Gordon due to his team’s success.

Most Improved Player: Giannis Antetokounmpo

Antetokounpo should be rewarded for taking the leap from rising prospect to star player. He’s improved his scoring output from 16.9 points per game last season to 23.4 points per contest this year and he’s done it without sacrificing efficiency. He’s making 52.7% of his shots from the field, which is a career-high, and he’s dishing out a career-high 5.5 assists per game. His player efficiency rating is up t0 27.4, a massive rise over his 18.8 PER last season.

Rookie Of The Year: Joel Embiid

As I detailed in a recent edition of Fantasy Hoops, Embiid is having a monster season. The knock on Embiid is playing time, as 12 other rookies have played more minutes than him this season. Still, this an easy quality over quantity selection for me.

Coach Of The Year: Gregg Popovich

He’s the best.

Defensive Player Of The Year: Rudy Gobert

The Jazz are slightly behind the Warriors for the league’s best defensive efficiency rating and Gobert has been a major reason why. He leads the league in Defensive Win Share among players who’ve seen at least 300 minutes and he also leads the league in ESPN’s Defensive Real Plus/Minus. He probably should have been an All-Star over DeAndre Jordan because of the way he impacts the game, though both have excellent resumes. As for this award, Draymond Green and Kevin Durant both have cases for it, but Gobert gets the nod for me.

Most Valuable Player: James Harden

Selecting a recipient for this award comes down to what you value. Is it traditional stats? Efficiency? Elevating your team in the win column? Being the best player on a championship contender?

Harden checks all of those boxes for me this season.

LeBron James is certainly an acceptable choice here; He’s the best player in the world and the Cavs fall apart when he’s not on the floor. However, he’s not having a season that’s on par with his previous MVP campaigns.

Russell Westbrook is putting up crazy numbers, but James Harden is putting up equally impressive stats. Westbrook is averaging 31.0 points, 10.2 assists and 10.6 rebounds per game while Harden is averaging 29.1 points, 11.6 assists and 8.3 rebounds per game. Harden has the edge in field goal percentage, three-point percentage, free throw percentage and minutes played. Harden also beats out Westbrook in Win Share (10.0 to 6.9) and his team has won seven more games than Westbrook’s on the season.

Overall, there are a number of impressive candidates (don’t be surprised if Kawhi Leonard makes a second half push to plant himself in this conversation for the year-end awards), but Harden’s dominant and efficient game earns him the first half honors.

Do you agree with the selections above or do you have your own picks for the awards? If so, who would you give the award to in each of the six categories? Let us know in the comment section below. We look forward to what you have to say!

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13 thoughts on “Community Shootaround: Midseason Awards

  1. Formerlyz

    6th man: Eric Gordon 2nd: Tyler Johnson
    Most improved: Giannis Antetokounmpo 2nd: Isaiah Thomas Honorable mentions: Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins, Harrison Barnes, Zach Lavine
    Coach of the year: Quinn Snyder 2nd: Billy Donovan 3rd: David Fizdale
    Defensive POTY: Gobert 2nd: Draymond (as of now)
    MVP: Currently have Westbrook, and will likely hold that if OKC stays in the 6th seed or higher, and he continues what he has done. 2nd: Kawhi Leonard 3rd: LeBron James 4th: Kevin Durant 5th: Kyle Lowry 6th: James Harden 7th: Isaiah Thomas

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    • @CW_Crouse

      Kawhi definitely doesn’t get enough credit. He’s having an excellent season.

      Quinn Snyder is a strong candidate for coach of the year. It’s hard to take the next steps from a promising team to a playoff caliber team and Snyder has done just that for Utah.

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      • Formerlyz

        Also, the injuries Utah has had and where they still are influenced it…also, even though it’s a good thing to have, he has done a good job figuring out how to utilize his depth on the roster

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      • Formerlyz

        Well, I have James Harden 6th, and I dont think it’s even close

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  2. I agree with everything here except coach of the year. I think mike dantoni should be coach of the year

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  3. acarneglia

    Steve Clifford from Charlotte should also get consideration. He does a lot with a lot less. He doesn’t have Kawhi-Pau-Lamarcus or Steph-KD-Dray-Klay or Harden-Gordon-Anderson or Lebron-Love-Kyrie. His top three are Kemba-Batum-Cody Zeller. Which isn’t nearly as good as any of those other combos but he still keeps his team consistent and in the middle of the pack for the playoffs

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  4. Brett brown coach of the year?seriously what he has done for this team,we are pushing for playoffs and Simmons hasn’t played a minute yet.

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    • The team is 5 games back from the 8th seed. How does that warrant coach of the year consideration as of right now? Look I’m a huge fan of Brown, I think its crazy that some 76ers fans are calling for him to be fired considering the complete lack of talent he has had to work with up until this year, but winning a couple more games as compared to the last few years, when the team was historically bad, should not mean a CoY. If the 76ers by some miracle make the playoffs, then sure, heavy consideration is deserved. But as of right now, with 4 other teams ahead of the 76ers (not counting the 8th seed Hornets) and 9 out of the 15 teams in the East under .500, there are at least half a dozen coaches that deserve more consideration.

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  5. Devyn Ensign

    Gober for DPOY hands down – not even close. Lowest opponent fg% at the rim by 3% over anyone else, and faces 4+ fga’s more than anyone else per game too. #1 in blocks and defensive rating

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