Image by: Matt Slocum/AP
With the NBA’s regular season over, and the playoffs underway, the NBA announced the finalists for its regular season awards. The regular season awards are the awards given to players who excelled at something during the season, whether it was on offense or defense.
The NBA’s most prestigious individual award, which is the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award, will be a tight race. Denver Nuggets center, and two-time MVP Nikola Jokic is one of the candidates, and Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid and fellow two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Bucks are the others. Jokic and Antetokounmpo could add another MVP to their resumes, while Embiid (who is always in the MVP conversations) has a chance to win his first. It will be interesting to see who takes home the trophy.
The Clutch Player award is a newer award but is given to “best comes through for his teammates in the clutch.” This is another surprisingly good race with Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler, Chicago Bulls guard DeMar DeRozan and Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox being the finalists.
The Rookie of the Year award is another prestigious award that has helped young players solidify themselves as stars. This year’s race has some talented players as Orlando Magic forward Paolo Banchero, Utah Jazz center Walker Kessler and Oklahoma City Thunder forward Jalen Williams are the candidates.
This season had some great play from some special, young players. They took their game to another level and now, they are in consideration for Most Improved Player. The Most Improved Player candidates are New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson, Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen.
Defense is key in the NBA, and this year three players were exceptional on the defensive end. The Defensive Player of the Year candidates are Memphis Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr., Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez and Cleveland Cavaliers forward Evan Mobley.
The Coach of the Year race is a race that can go either way. The nominees led their teams to great seasons, and while one of the teams failed to reach the playoffs, they were in the Play-in Tournament. The candidates for Coach of the Year are Sacramento Kings coach Mike Brown, Oklahoma City Thunder coach Mark Daigneault and Boston Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla.
The Sixth Man of the Year goes to the player who brought a spark off the bench for their team. These three players stuck out and helped their teams in the regular season, and could be a factor in the playoffs. The Sixth Man of the Year candidates are Boston Celtics guard Malcolm Brogdon, Milwaukee Bucks forward Bobby Portis Jr., and New York Knicks guard Immanuel Quickley.
The candidates for each award are more than deserving and as the playoffs go on, fans will see who wins.