2015-16 NBA END OF YEAR AWARDS
This is the first ever www.inthegymrange.com NBA END OF THE YEAR AWARDS. There are 7 categories as well as our picks for ALL-NBA 1st and 2nd teams. Click on each individual players name who are hyperlinked for a previous article on them.
STEPHEN CURRY– GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS (29.9PTS, 5.5REB, 6.7AST)
SYNOPSIS: It is hard to imagine but Curry has had a better season then his MVP award winning one in 2014-15. His play-making and unbelievable shooting ability makes him the back-to-back MVP in the NBA. The Warriors beat the 1995-96 regular season wins record (73) set by the Chicago Bulls and Curry led the way.
Steph Curry is changing the game of basketball. The NBA markets players who are athletic marvels like LeBron James and Michael Jordan. Curry is fast becoming the most popular player in the world because he is the complete opposite. He looks like an ordinary person as fans and kids gravitate towards that. On the court he is an assassin and completely deserving of this award. The only thing left to do this year is win another NBA World Championship.
OTHER CONSIDERATIONS: Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, LeBron James
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
KARL-ANTHONY TOWNS– MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES
(AVG. 18.3PTS, 10.3REB, 1.8AST)
SYNOPSIS: The number 1 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft out of Kentucky has lived up to the hype. The 20-year old New Jersey native has teamed with 2014 number 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins to bring hope and promise to the Timberwolves franchise and fan-base.
Towns is a 7-footer with nice range on his jump-shot and has been excellent on the defensive end. Playing the PF/C position in the NBA every night is a tough job, especially for a rookie. However, Towns has done an excellent job. Look for Towns to be a future All-Star and along with Wiggins, Zach Levine, and a top 5 pick in the upcoming NBA Draft to soon make a run towards a playoff spot in the near future. Karl Anthony-Towns is just tapping the surface of his enormous potential.
OTHER CONSIDERATIONS: Kristaps Porzingis, Jahlil Okafor, Devin Booker
COMEBACK PLAYER OF THE YEAR
PAUL GEORGE- INDIANA PACERS (AVG: 23.4PTS, 7REB, 4.1AST)
SYNOPSIS: This is a no-contest. George has comeback from an horrific leg injury and has been outstanding all season long. George was also our mid-season pick for Comeback Player of the Year. Rajon Rondo and Jeremy Lin have had nice bounce-back years, however they don’t match up to what the former Fresno State University star has done and what he means to the Pacer’s franchise. George is the main reason that the Pacers have bounced back to make the playoffs. In a weak Eastern Conference, George has the ability to make a first round match-up very competitive.
OTHER CONSIDERATIONS: Rajon Rondo, Jeremy Lin
COACH OF THE YEAR
GREGG POPOVICH- SAN ANTONIO SPURS
SYNOPSIS: While the head coaching combination of Steve Kerr/ Luke Walton have led the Golden State Warriors to an NBA record for wins (73), we chose to go with the future Hall of Fame coach in Popovich for coach of the year. Arguably the best coach in the world, Popovich has an aging roster and is a master of protecting his players in minutes played while getting younger players their fair share of playing time. Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, David West, and Boris Diaw are all in the latter stages of their respective careers and Popovich has mastered the art of using his whole roster in regards to playing time.
They are the second best team in the NBA right behind the much younger and energetic Warriors. The 67-year old Popovich is a 5-time NBA world champion coach who is looking for his 6th ring. It will be fascinating to watch a projected Western Conference finals against the younger Golden State team led by Steve Kerr. While the Warriors are a better team never count out Gregg Popovich when it comes to the NBA Playoffs.
OTHER CONSIDERATIONS: Steve Kerr/Luke Walton, Rick Carlisle
MOST IMPROVED PLAYER
C.J. McCOLLUM– DETROIT PISTONS (20.7PTS, 3.3REB, 4.2AST)
SYNOPSIS: Andre Drummond took home our mid-season Most Improved Player award. However, the second half play of the Trailblazers combo guard along with his overall season performance gives him the slight edge over the Pistons All-Star Center.
The 3rd year player from Lehigh has teamed with All-Star Point Guard Damian Lillard to form a dynamic duo for the surprising Portland team. While he was snubbed of an All-Star appearance this year, the potential is there for him to make it in the near future. He did get to participate in the 3-point contest during this year’s All-Star festivities.
C.J. McCollum has quickly risen into the upper echelon of guards in the NBA. His ability to play both the PG and SG positions make him such a valued commodity. If he was playing on the East Coast you would hear his name more. However, in the upcoming years you will hear his name based clearly on his fantastic play.
OTHER CONSIDERATIONS: Andre Drummond, Reggie Jackson, Zaza Pachulia
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
DRAYMOND GREEN– GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS (14PTS, 9.5REB, 7.4AST)
SYNOPSIS: This award came down to Green and Spurs star Kawhi Leonard. Green gets the nod because of his ability to guard 4 positions. On many nights Green guards Centers and he does it well despite being only 6’6″. Steph Curry is the MVP of the NBA, however Green is the engine that makes the Warriors go. His ability to do everything on the basketball court is amazing. His tenacity on the defensive end gives the sweet-shooting Warriors an edge. He is the heart and soul for the defending world champions who are looking to repeat.
OTHER CONSIDERATIONS: Kawhi Leonard, DeAndre Jordan
6TH MAN OF THE YEAR
JEREMY LIN- CHARLOTTE HORNETS (11.7PTS, 3.2REB, 3.0AST)
SYNOPSIS: Many people might be surprised by this selection. However, Lin has played very solid basketball for an under the radar team. Andre Iguodala is a better overall player than Lin, but we believe the former Harvard star means more to his team than any other 6th man in the NBA. “Linsanity” was born under the bright lights of New York a few years ago, however he has shown bright while playing in relative obscurity in Charlotte.
While PG Kemba Walker has emerged as an excellent player, Lin has been very good playing both the PG and SG positions. Averaging 26 minutes per game, he gives the Hornets a solid play-maker and shooter off the bench. The Hornets are playoff bound and Jeremy Lin is a major reason why. He has shown that “Linsanity” was not a fluke. He is a very solid basketball player and deserving of this award.
OTHER CONSIDERATIONS: Andre Iguodala, Will Barton, Victor Oladipo
OUR ALL NBA TEAMS
Our 2 All-NBA teams are comprised of 2 guards, 2 forwards, and 1 center.
ALL NBA 1ST TEAM
G- STEPH CURRY
G- RUSSELL WESTBROOK
F- KAWHI LEONARD
F- LeBRON JAMES
ALL NBA 2ND TEAM
G- CHRIS PAUL
F- DRAYMOND GREEN
F- KEVIN DURANT
C- DeANDRE JORDAN
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE AWARD WINNERS?
PLEASE LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS IN THE SECTION BELOW.