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And The 2017-18 NBA Award Goes To…..
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And The 2017-18 NBA Award Goes To…..

Raphael Haynes
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The NBA season started this week, and we here at The 3 Point Conversion couldn’t be happier. Along with the games, we’ve been enjoying plenty of NBA conversations and debates between the writers. No NBA conversation is complete without a discussion of the yearly individual awards. So six of our writers have come together to form your award-predicting Voltron. Here are our predictions for the 2017-18 NBA Awards.

 

MVP Award: James Harden-Houston Rockets

After finishing second in MVP voting last year and ninth in 2015-2016, James Harden might be in his best position to finally gain the MVP award. In the past two years, Harden’s numbers increased based on the fact that he was mainly the only scoring option. He was able to take advantage of having free access of doing what he wanted to as a point guard. What will make this year different is the addition of Chris Paul.

He now has another scoring option and someone to help take the pressure off himself. Harden will have more space but also be able to benefit by playing off the ball, which can make him even more dangerous. This has the look of being the year where he breaks the 30-point mark average and still get over nine assists. Most of all, the confidence he has in his teammates can become a great asset as they continue to make shots, which will get him better shots as the season goes on. Raphael Haynes

Other Writers’ Selections:

Ab Stanley: Kawhi Leonard- San Antonio Spurs

Alex Bab: Kawhi Leonard-San Antonio Spurs

Allen Fields: James Harden-Houston Rockets

Damian Adams: Kawhi Leonard-San Antonio Spurs

Yusuf Nakhooda: Kevin Durant- Golden State Warriors

Defensive Player of the Year Award: Kawhi Leonard-San Antonio Spurs

There are several great defenders in the NBA and the competition for the Defensive Player of the Year award will be at an all time high this year. Draymond Green, Kawhi Leonard, Rudy Gobert and DeAndre Jordan will be in the running for the award, among others. Kawhi Leonard will reclaim the award this season. In the past, the big men who were great rim protectors like Rudy Gobert and DeAndre Jordan would have an advantage in the “DPOY” voting because their impact on the defensive end was easier to see. Now with the game being so dependent on perimeter offense, defenders who can shut perimeter players have the same if not more of an impact as rim protectors.

Leonard is the best perimeter defender in the league with his ability to shut down the one through three and stretch-four positions. This season we will become even more appreciative of Leonard’s ability to not only play one-on-one defense but also play the passing lanes. Leonard will be the DPOY because we will see how offenses change strategies because of his great defensive ability. Damian Adams

Other Writer’s Selections:

Ab Stanley- Rudy Gobert- Utah Jazz

Alex Bab- Draymond Green-Golden State Warriors

Allen Fields- Kawhi Leonard- San Antonio Spurs

Raphael Haynes: Anthony Davis- New Orleans Pelicans

Yusuf Nakhooda: Anthony Davis- New Orleans Pelicans

Rookie of the Year Award: Lonzo Ball-Los Angeles Lakers

Ball will win Rookie of the Year, and there are several factors in his favor. The first and most important reason is that he will be starting from day one. He will also have the ball (no pun intended) in his hands a lot as the point guard. Playing major minutes every night will give him plenty of opportunity to build up his numbers/stats. He is the engine that will make the Lakers go. He will make life easier for teammates like Julius Randle, Brook Lopez, Brandon Ingram, Jordan Clarkson and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. His passing is infectious in a good way.

Ball has undeniable talent, mainly his court vision. That aspect of his game is special, far ahead of his years. Dare I say “Magic-esque”(?) He will also have a big say in any success they have. The Lakers only won 26 games last season. Anything over that total will be heavily contributed to Lonzo’s play, fair or not. Lastly, playing in a big market like Los Angeles for an anchor franchise with so much history can’t hurt his chances either.  Allen Fields

Other Writer’s Selections:

Ab Stanley: Jayson Tatum- Boston Celtics

Alex Bab: Ben Simmons-Philadelphia 76ers

Damian Adams: Ben Simmons-Philadelphia 76ers

Raphael Haynes: Ben Simmons-Philadelphia 76ers

Yusuf Nakhooda: Lonzo Ball- Los Angeles Lakers

Sixth Man of the Year Award: Marcus Smart-Boston Celtics

This past summer, as Boston looked to make changes to their roster, the consensus was that they were going to have to lose either Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, or Marcus Smart. While I am a fan of all three of those players, my gut instinct was that Boston had to make sure Smart was the player they did not lose. Ultimately Boston lost both Bradley and Crowder, making Smart’s value even higher. In light of the unfortunate Gordon Hayward injury, Smart will take on an even more important role for this team.

Even without Hayward, Boston should still be a top 4 seed in the East, and Smart will be a big reason why. He’s a true combo guard, capable of playing either position. He can score and create. Smart is incredibly strong for his size, and will post up players much taller than him, using his strong lower body to create space. His strength and toughness make him a remarkable defender, capable of guarding multiple positions. Whenever Smart takes the floor, good things happen for Boston. He seems to be at the center of every big play, and the Celtics have a whole different swagger when he’s out there. Smart will finally get recognized as one of the absolute best reserves in the NBA. Alex Bab

Other Writer’s Selections:

Ab Stanley: Eric Gordon-Houston Rockets

Allen Fields: Jamal Crawford-Minnesota Timberwolves

Damian Adams: Eric Gordon-Houston Rockets

Raphael Haynes: Rudy Gay-San Antonio Spurs

Yusuf Nakhooda: Andre Iguodala- Golden State Warriors

Most Improved Player: D’Angelo Russell- Brooklyn Nets

After a tumultuous and maligned start to his career with the Los Angeles Lakers, D’Angelo Russell has found a new home. The Brooklyn Nets provide a place where he can hide in plain sight. He’s a talented combo guard, drafted mostly for his shooting touch. At times in L.A. he would get lost in the mix of young talent. For his career he takes 12.8 shots per game and was hitting 5.2 of them (.409 field goal percentage) for 14.3 points per game. The fact that he will get the lion’s share of the shots in Brooklyn will be a big part of his ascension.

The fact that he can finally feel like the number two pick in the draft as the “man” on a roster might be a bigger part. All the drama associated with being Kobe Bryant’s teammate as a rookie and questions about his maturity are behind him. As a member of the Nets Russell will fulfill those flashes of a dynamic scorer we’ve seen for two years. He should be up over 20 points per game and leading his team in scoring. If the Nets make any improvement this year it will come off  the strength of his play. Something I’m banking on, seeing as how the team can’t get any worse and Russell can get much better. Ab Stanley

Other Writer’s Selections:

Alex Bab: Jaylen Brown-Boston Celtics

Allen Fields: Jaylen Brown-Boston Celtics

Damian Adams: Jonathan Simmons-Orlando Magic

Raphael Haynes: Chris Dunn-Chicago Bulls

Yusuf Nakhooda: Brandon Ingram- Los Angeles Lakers

Coach Of The Year: Scott Brooks-Washington Wizards

The Washington Wizards were an underachieving team last year and yet they made the Eastern Conference semi finals, in large part due to Scott Brooks. He had a great run previously in Oklahoma City where Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook got all of the credit and Brooks was regarded as a caretaker by many.

Last year he proved his mettle by getting John Wall and Bradley Beal to settle their differences and play together as a team. He guided the Wizards to their first division title in almost 38 years. He is always calm under pressure, a great influence in the locker room, and gets all the talent on his team to be on the same page. With a deep playoff run under their belts, Brooks is ready to take Washington to the next level in the East and win Coach of the Year. Yusuf Nakhooda

Other Writer’s Selections:

Ab Stanley: Jason Kidd- Milwaukee Bucks

Alex Bab: Brad Stevens- Boston Celtics

Allen Fields: Brad Stevens- Boston Celtics

Damian Adams: Greg Popovich- San Antonio Spurs

Raphael Haynes: Tom Thibodeau- Minnesota Timberwolves

 

About Raphael Haynes

Atlanta, GA

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