NBA MID-SEASON AWARDS (2016-17)



Welcome to our NBA Mid-Season Awards (2016-17). It has been quite the first half of the regular season. We have seen outstanding individual performances as well as dominance by a few teams. We have seen players and teams disappoint while others have surprised.

For our Mid-Season Awards, there will be 6 categories. We will have an in-depth synopsis for each category winner. We will also list players who we highly considered to win an award but just missed out. Click on each individual player’s name or team to read a previously written article on them. We now present to you our NBA Mid-Season Awards (2016-17)


MVP

JAMES HARDEN– HOUSTON ROCKETS

2016-17 STATS: 28.6pts, 11.8ast, 8.3reb

JAMES HARDEN DRIBBLING

SYNOPSIS: This was by far the toughest category to pick a winner. We believe it was a 2 man race through the first half of the season. James Harden or Russell Westbrook? Westbrook or Harden? We give the nod ever so slightly to the Rockets star. While Westbrook has been sensational in averaging a triple-double, Harden has his team playing at a shockingly high level.

“The Beard” was always a shooting guard in his career. New head coach Mike D’Antoni made perhaps the best move by any coach this year. He made Harden the Rockets point guard and the results have been stupendous. Harden has mightily improved his overall play and is currently leading the NBA in assists. The former Arizona State star is the leader for the surprising Rockets team, who are off to a 31-10 start.

Considered by many, including us to be a 1 dimensional player (scoring), Harden has proven everybody wrong as he can do it all on the basketball court. Even his defense has improved a little. The Rockets are averaging 114.6ppg. However, it is Harden and the team’s overall performance that gives him the slight nod over the electric Russell Westbrook. It will be fascinating to watch these 2 battle it out for the NBA MVP award over the next 41 regular season games.

 

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS: RUSSELL WESTBROOK, LeBRON JAMES, ANTHONY DAVIS, KAWHI LEONARDKEVIN DURANT

 


ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

JOEL EMBIID- PHILADELPHIA 76ERS

2016-17 STATS: 19.4pts, 7.5reb, 2ast, 2blk (averages 25-28 minutes per night)

SYNOPSIS: It took 2 years for NBA fans to watch Joel Embiid play on an NBA court. From what we have seen through the first half of the regular season, it was well worth the wait. The 3rd year player from Kansas is considered a rookie because he never played in his first 2 years due to injuries.

Playing on a minute count (25-28 per game) to combat against fatigue and injury, the 22-year old from Cameroon has showed off all the skills that made him the 3rd overall pick from the 2014 NBA Draft. He has already won Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month 3 times. The 7’0″, 250-pound center shows amazing grace on the court. He is a tremendous athlete for his size. However, it is his skill that has him earning rave reviews from fans and players.

He is a defensive menace as he is already one of the NBA’s best rim protectors. We have been extremely impressed with his offensive repertoire. Embiid can shoot it from mid-range, has nice low-post moves, and finishes with authority. As well as he has played thus far, he is only scratching the surface of his enormous potential. The center started playing basketball late in his teens and the improvements he has made in such a short time has been staggering. His play has put the 76ers 2015 2nd overall pick, Jahlil Okafor, on the bench.

In what has turned out to be a disappointing rookie class in terms of performance, Joel Embiid has made up for it himself. Once he starts to play more minutes and if he can stay injury free, we just might be looking at the next great center in the NBA. His play has actually made the 76ers a team to watch in the future. 

 

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS: MALCOLM BROGDON,  DARIO SARIC,  BUDDY HIELD

 


MOST IMPROVED PLAYER

GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO- MILWAUKEE BUCKS

2016-17 STATS: 23.2pts, 8.7reb, 5.6ast, 1.8stl, 2.0blk

Giannis Antetokounmpo driving the lane

SYNOPSIS: There are some players in the NBA when you watch them that make you go “WOW”. Giannis “The Greek Freak” Antetokounmpo is one of them. He has played so well that a case could be made for him to be in the running for Eastern Conference Player of the Year. For our NBA Mid-Season Awards, he settles for Most Improved Player, beating out his teammate, Jabari Parker.

Giannis is a special athlete who is just scratching the surface of the player that he will become in the future, which is scary. After having a solid 3rd year in 2015-16 (16.9pts, 7.7reb, 4.3ast), he has taken his game to another level this year. At only 22-years old, the 15th pick in the 2013 NBA Draft leads the young and talented Bucks in every major statistical category. What makes the “Greek Freak” special is his ability to play multiple positions.

At 6’11”, he has the unique size and skill to play PG, SG, SF, and PF. He plays the game with amazing grace. The 220-pound SF has a huge wing-span, which is one reason why he should be among the league’s top defenders for years to come. The one negative in his game that we see is his jump-shot. Once he becomes a more consistent shooter, he will unstoppable at the offensive end of the court.

The Bucks just locked up Antetokounmpo to a long-term contract extension, which ensures his stay in Milwaukee for the future. Along with Jabari Parker, head coach Jason Kidd has perhaps the most talented and young forward combination in the NBA. While Parker is proving to be a very good player, it is the “Greek Freak” who should be among the NBA elite for years to come. We see multiple All-Star game appearances and possible NBA MVP awards in his future. He has perhaps the highest ceiling of any young player in the NBA.

 

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS: GORDON HAYWARD, MYLES TURNER, JABARI PARKER, D’ANGELO RUSSELL

 


BEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER

RUDY GOBERT- UTAH JAZZ

2016-17 STATS: 12.3pts, 12.4reb, 0.9ast, 2.5blk

RUDY GOBERT PLAYING FOR FRANCE NATIONAL TEAM

SYNOPSIS: The 7’1″ center from France has emerged as not only one of the better defensive players in the NBA but one of the top overall. The 27th pick in the 2013 NBA Draft was selected by Denver. He was traded on draft night to Utah and it has turned out to be a steal for the very young and talented Jazz.

Gobert is our NBA Mid-Season top defensive player because he is a force in the middle. In an era where centers are becoming more scarce, Gobert is a menace down in the paint. He is a shot blocker extraordinaire and rebounding machine. He shows impeccable timing when blocking shots, which only a handful of players have.

He has also improved his offensive game. The 24-year old is just scratching the surface of his enormous potential and is a main reason why Utah is 27-16 and looking like a playoff-bound team.

Utah management did the smart move and gave Gobert a contract extension this past October. He received a 4-year, $102 million dollar contract extension. We are a big fan of Gobert and his best days are clearly ahead of him. Don’t be surprised to see Gobert be an eventual multiple time All-Star. His outstanding defensive play has the Utah Jazz playing among the best teams in the Western Conference. We expect him to continue playing at an extremely high level. 

 

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS: DRAYMOND GREEN, KAWHI LEONARD, LeBRON JAMES, ANTHONY DAVIS

 


BEST COACH

MIKE D’ANTONI- HOUSTON ROCKETS

SYNOPSIS: We will be the first to admit that we didn’t like the hire that Houston general manager Daryl Morey made when he named D’Antoni head coach. The 65-year old D’Antoni had great success in the early 2000’s with the Phoenix Suns. He played a fun, fast paced style of play led by Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire. While those Phoenix teams never made the NBA finals, they were among the NBA’s best teams for around a 4-5 year stretch.

He eventually ended up signing a lucrative contract with the New York Knicks, which ended up a disaster. D’Antoni found another head coaching job with the Los Angeles Lakers from 2012-14, which again was a bitter disappointment as those teams lost often while playing terrible defense. This is why we were very negative when he was hired as Houston’s head coach this season.

We are the first to admit that we were wrong. The Rockets have been the surprise team of the NBA with a current record of 32-11. Perhaps the best move by any coach in the last few seasons has been D’Antoni switching All-Star James Harden from SG to PG. The results have been staggering as Harden is playing as well as anyone in the league and the Rockets are currently sitting in 3rd place in the Western Conference standings.

D’Antoni has always been known as a very good offensive coach whose teams played mediocre defense. While the team’s overall defense has improved slightly, the offense has improved from averaging 105.5 in 2015-16 to 112.6 through the first half of this season. He has gotten very good play from the regular rotation and Harden deserves a lot of credit in making the move to PG.

Mike D’Antoni is our Mid-Season Coach of the Year. There is another half of NBA regular season games to be played. Can he get his team to play at least average defense the rest of the way? We all know his team will score. However, to win in the playoffs, defense has to be played. While those are questions that we have to wait and see to be answered, one thing is certain to us. Mike D’Antoni has been the best coach in the NBA so far and has surprised many people, with us being the most stunned.

 

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS: TYRONN LUE, BILLY DONOVAN, STEVE KERR, GREGG POPOVICH, QUIN SNYDER

 


BEST 6TH MAN

ERIC GORDON- HOUSTON ROCKETS

2016-17 STATS: 17.9pts, 2.7reb, 2.9ast, (30.6min per game)

SYNOPSIS: Expectations were extremely high for Gordon when he left Indiana after his freshmen year. The 7th overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft was selected by the Los Angeles Clippers. The 6’4″ SG had a very solid first 3 seasons in the NBA. Unfortunately, the injury bug hit the 28-year old hard soon after. Fractured wrist, surgeries on both knees, and a torn labrum in his left shoulder are 3 of the major ailments that have dampened a player who was considered one of the NBA’s rising stars.

However, Gordon has persevered and looks like he has found a home for the foreseeable future with the Houston Rockets. The former high school all-american has found his niche as the 6th man for the most surprising team in the NBA during the season’s first half. While the injuries have taken away some of the explosiveness that made him such a highly touted prospect, Gordon could always put the ball in the hoop. He has thrived in Mike D’Antoni’s system this season.

Gordon is pouring in close to 18 points per game in 30 minutes of playing time per night. He is instant offense off the bench. Eric Gordon is a perfect example of a player who has overcome multiple injuries but never gave up. While being the 6th man for Houston, he is one of their most important and best players.

 

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS: LOU WILLIAMS, JAMAL CRAWFORD

 


QUESTIONS FOR THE READER:

What do you think of our Award winners?

What players would you have winning instead of our picks?

Please leave all comments in the section below.

NOTE: To read our 2016-17 NBA Pre-Season Awards, VIEW HERE.


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12 thoughts on “NBA MID-SEASON AWARDS (2016-17)”

  1. Turtle Dove says:

    Basketball is one of my favorite sports, in love the game and the logistics of the sport. this article is great it talks about the players and the awards that they have achieved. This article is good for people who are huge sports fanatics andd know what the season is going to be.

    1. Rob Giannotti says:

      Hello,

      Thank you for your review and comments. I am glad that you liked the article. We felt that this article would be good for fans of the NBA. That is why we wrote an in-depth synopsis of each player. This way, people can learn more about the player, coach, or team. We also published a Pre-Season award article and will be publishing an overall NBA End of the Year Award post. That will be coming in a few months.

  2. Mark says:

    Hi!
    This is a great informative page loaded with fun and interesting things to read.
    It is refreshing to see sites about things other than money, violence and crime.
    Basketball is a super sport loaded with interesting skill and ability.
    THank You for this site and I will refer back to it for more info as needed

    1. Rob Giannotti says:

      Hello,

      I am glad that you enjoyed viewing the website. I like your point about how a lot of sites and in the news, which are always speaking about money, violence, and crime. Our website strives to give the viewer precise information regarding high school, college, and NBA basketball. Even if the viewer can come away with a little bit of knowledge, it is worth it to us. We will be having a lot of March Madness coverage coming soon. If you like college basketball, I would recommend you visit our site in March as we will have extensive coverage of the NCAA tournament. Plus a lot more.

      -Rob

  3. Robert Junk says:

    Very good in-depth midseason analysis. It’s hard to believe that we are almost to the all-star break and half way through the season. It has flown by. It would be hard for me or anyone to not think that Harden or Westbrook were the front runners. Personally I think Westbrook as less supporting casts and gets the nod but I wouldn’t be surprised either way.

    1. Rob Giannotti says:

      Hello,

      You make some good points. I really went back and forth with Harden and Westbrook. You can make a case both both players and nobody would really complain. I gave it to Harden because he made the switch from shooting guard to point guard and has been excellent at the position. Both players are just having unbelievable seasons so far. It will definitely be fascinating to see how the 2nd half of the season ends up.

      -Rob

  4. Hunter says:

    I think you have done a good job in assessing the NBA mid-season awards. Harden has definitely had a heck of a first half to the season and I’m sure he will be just as good if not better in the second half. And Mike D’Antoni is certainly doing a great job with that team and would certainly agree with him being the best coach so far. Great article!

    1. Rob Giannotti says:

      Hello,

      James Harden has had an unbelievable year. It was either him or Westbrook for the MVP award. We gave the award to Harden because he made the switch from shooting guard to point guard. D’Antoni has done a great job after having done a sub-par coaching job with the Knicks and Lakers. The question now is can the Rockets keep up their excellent play in the 2nd half of the regular season.

      -Rob

  5. William says:

    This is great. I play a lot of fantasy sports. So I naturally have to keep up with a lot of sports news such as this. I can say that this is very accurate and just what I need. Thank you and continue to make post like this one. I will bookmark your site and make sure I check it daily.

    1. Rob Giannotti says:

      Hello,

      I am glad that you liked the article. We try and write articles that go in-depth as much as possible to give the viewers the most knowledgeable content that we can. In regards to fantasy sports, we are thinking about writing some articles on the topic. We are possibly going to write on NBA fantasy. If we do, we will promote it on our website so that you will know when it will be published.

      -Rob

  6. JeffWA says:

    Hi Rob,
    Regarding some of these rewards, the call for the first half MVP to James Harden is a tough one, especially over Russell Westbrook.

    There is always two sides to the coin as to what defines the term MVP. Could it mean the overall best player in the league? Or does a candidate deserve such an award even if his team is not that good?

    Westbrook with all of his Triple-Doubles has had a fantastic season overall this year but is his team truly in the upper echelon of great teams? How can you be an MVP is your team is not even close to being considered championship material as no way do I believe Oklahoma can compete against Golden State should they meet in the playoffs.

    In addition Westbrook is more a volume player who has to have the ball in his hands. This has led to statistically this season his shooting % being down down plus he has a LOT of turnovers.

    Harden on the other hand has become indispensable to a Houston team that going into the season no one thought would be any good. Plus he’s playing much better all-around ball versus in the past when he loved to just jack up the ball instead of feeding his teammates.

    As for rookie of the league I’m glad to see that Joel Embid at last has gotten a chance to show off his playing skills as he was injured for two seasons after coming out of Kansas. They say that Embid if he can stay healthy can be part of a revival in Philly with the team having a lot of other young talent.

    The kid from Milwaukee with his height and ballhandling skills can reinvent what we think of point guards in the mold of Earvin Magic Johnson, although being a long-time 40+ year Lakers’ fan I still hold off judgement in comparing ANY current player to one of the greatest players in NBA history.

    What do you think about Cleveland’s latest slump with Lebron being upset at the owner for not going out and getting better players? As if the Cavaliers don’t have enough talent on their roster!
    Great article,
    Jeff

    1. Rob Giannotti says:

      Hello JeffWA,

      Once again, you have wrote an outstanding comment and make a bunch of great points. It is a toss-up with Harden and Westbrook being the best player in the NBA at this point in time. Both have been outstanding. It is great to see Joel Embiid come back from being injured the past 2 seasons. He is playing at an unbelievable level as his potential is through the roof. Let’s hope he stays healthy as he has made Philadelphia a fun team to watch. The player from Milwaukee is Giannis Antetokounmpo. He is under 24-years old and was just named an NBA All-Star. At 6’11”, he can play all 5 positions on the court. He should be a top 5 player in the league for years to come, although the comparison to Magic Johnson is not fair to him. There is and will be only one Magic Johnson. While Cleveland has struggled lately, they are still the best team in the Eastern Conference. Everybody knows that James has a major influence of the teams roster. He will always try and get his way and the owner and general manager will do everything they can to make him happy. Once again, your comment never seems to disappoint as you are excellent at writing questions.

      -Rob

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