Some Assembly Required – 2023 NBA Award Predictions

  • By Alex Bab
  • October 17, 2022
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Alex Bab

Well, it’s been a while, but we realized it’s time to get back to our NBA fundamentals. For an actual NBA Player, that may mean working on your drop-step or bounce pass. But for us here at The 3 Point Conversion, that means getting back to Voltroning together articles that are greater than the sum of their parts.

Sometimes, you just have to play the early stuff. So join myself, Raphael Haynes, Ab Stanley, Danny Thompson, Allen Fields, Courtlandt Griffin and our own potential Rookie Of The Year Kevin Young as we prognosticate on who will take home the hardware at the end of this NBA Season.

 

Most Improved Player – Jalen Brunson, New York Knicks

Brunson shoots a great percentage from the field for his career and he’s been over 50% the past two seasons. He should see more shots this season and a bunch of those could be wide open with defenses shifting towards other Knicks players.

He will however need to improve on his playmaking numbers. With the ball in his hands more and equipped with a slew of scorers around him, he could (literally) double his assist total.

Brunson is in the perfect position to grab this award at the end of the season. – Ab Stanley

Staff Selections

Alex Bab – Anthony Edwards, Minnesota Timberwolves 

Allen Fields – Ayo Dosunmu, Chicago Bulls

Courtlandt Griffin – Anthony Edwards, Minnesota Timberwolves

Danny Thompson – Anthony Edwards, Minnesota Timberwolves 

Kevin Young – Jalen Brunson, New York Knicks 

Raphael Haynes – Jalen Brunson, New York Knicks 

 

Rookie Of The Year – Paolo Banchero, Orlando Magic

In the history of the Orlando Magic, they have had the number one overall pick three times. All three players – Shaquille O’Neal, Chris Webber and Dwight Howard started their careers as the Rookie of the Year. This year’s top overall selection, Paolo Banchero, will repeat the trend.

He steps into a situation where not only is he the best player but also the most talented on the roster. His ability to score from all three levels allows the Magic to have a player that they can go get a bucket. But his best skill might be his court vision and passing skills as a power forward. Head Coach Jammal Mosley will be able to allow him to play at the high post and use his team full of athletes to create backdoor scoring opportunities.

Do not be surprised if Banchero puts up a stat line of 17 points, 7 rebounds and close to 5 assists per game as a rookie, which should allow the Magic and their fans to celebrate their third rookie of the year selection in franchise history. – Danny Thompson

Staff Selections

Ab Stanley – Bennedict Mathurin, Indiana Pacers 

Alex Bab – Paolo Banchero, Orlando Magic 

Allen Fields – Jabari Smith Jr., Houston Rockets

Courtlandt Griffin – Keegan Murray, Sacramento Kings 

Kevin Young – Paolo Banchero, Orlando Magic

Raphael Haynes – Paolo Banchero, Orlando Magic

 

Sixth Man Of The Year – Malcolm Brogdon, Boston Celtics

Of all the acquisitions of the NBA Offseason, Malcolm Brogdon to the 2022 Finals runner-up Boston Celtics may be the biggest.

The Celtics needed a true offense initiator and someone who added to both sides of the court. The former second Round Pick posted a 19.1 ppg – 5.9 apg – 5.1 reb stat line in just 36 games played. Those numbers would have been good for third on the C’s roster last year. His defense will also be a major plus coming off the bench. His longer arms and heavier frame make him a viable option to guard multiple perimeter positions.

The Celtics best defensive lineup was Marcus Smart, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Al Horford, and Rob Williams last year. Replacing Al Horford with Brogdon would give the Celtics more speed and offense and the ability to guard smaller lineups like they faced against the Golden State Warriors in the Finals.

With all that being said Brogdon should hoist the 2023 Sixth Man of the Year trophy. His impact on both sides and projected statistical performance should be more than enough to put him at the top of the voters poll. – Courtlandt Griffin 

Staff Selections

Ab Stanley – Jordan Clarkson, Utah Jazz

Alex Bab – Christian Wood, Dallas Mavericks 

Allen Fields – Malcolm Brogdon, Boston Celtics

Danny Thompson – Jordan Poole, Golden State Warriors

Kevin Young – Jordan Poole, Golden State Warriors 

Raphael Haynes – Russell Westbrook, Los Angeles Lakers

 

Coach Of The Year – Steve Nash, Brooklyn Nets

This is year three of the Steve Nash coaching era in Brooklyn. To say his first two seasons in Brooklyn were bumpy would be an understatement. Even though Nash was one of the most cerebral players ever to play, there is still a learning curve as a head coach (see Magic Johnson). Now that he has stability and a healthy roster to work with, he can now implement his style of play. He will get the best out of this team.

The Nets should finally meet their lofty expectations and reach their potential we’ve been waiting for since Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving’s arrival. Nash should get the best out of Ben Simmons, which would greatly impact team play and make them vastly better. He has to take what he has learned and put his stamp on this roster. The talent is there to win a title, he needs to connect the dots to make it all work. No excuses. – Allen Fields

Staff Selections 

Ab Stanley – Jason Kidd, Dallas Mavericks 

Alex Bab – Nick Nurse, Toronto Raptors

Courtlandt Griffin – Jason Kidd, Dallas Mavericks

Danny Thompson – Nick Nurse, Toronto Raptors

Kevin Young – J.B. Bickerstaff, Cleveland Cavaliers

Raphael Haynes – Jason Kidd, Dallas Mavericks

 

Defensive Player Of The Year – Ben Simmons, Brooklyn Nets

Last season, the league had its first point guard since 1996 to win the Defensive Player of the Year award in Marcus Smart. While the league has great defensive enforcers in the league such as Rudy Gobert, Jaren Jackson and Kawhi Leonard, a returning Ben Simmons may be someone to look out for as a candidate for the 2022-23 DPOY award.

At 6’10, Simmons is a true 1-5 defender and has no issues with guarding the smallest or the biggest guy on the court. Giannis Antetokounmpo even showed frustration earlier this preseason when guarded by Simmons. You can say whatever you want about Simmons not being able to shoot, but there is no question that he will get the job done on the defensive end. Also, let’s not forget he has made the NBA All-Defensive First Team twice and also was second in the Defensive Player of the Year voting in 2021.

Simmons seems ready to go this season for the Brooklyn Nets and he appeared to show some glimpses of the player he is known to be. As long as he continues to play his style of basketball, including being a facilitator and a defender, there’s no question that he would be able to take home DPOY. – Kevin Young

Staff Selections

Ab Stanley – Jarrett Allen, Cleveland Cavaliers

Alex Bab – Bam Adebayo, Miami Heat 

Allen Fields – Ben Simmons, Brooklyn Nets

Courtlandt Griffin – Bam Adebayo, Miami Heat

Danny Thompson – Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks

Raphael Haynes – Clint Capela, Atlanta Hawks

 

Most Valuable Player –Luka Dončić, Dallas Mavericks

We saw Luka Luka Dončić do something last year that we haven’t witnessed before…get past the first round. He didn’t only advance to the second round but he got his team to the Western Conference Finals.

Now that Dončić had a taste of success in the playoffs, it will be hard to deny him from postseason success from here on out. Let’s be frank here, Dončić had the numbers to win the MVP the last three years but it was more of the team’s lack of success in the regular season and injuries that held him back. It seems like both of those problems have been addressed.

They’ve lost Jalen Brunson to free agency (New York Knicks) but they’ve added forward Christian Wood, who provides instant scoring and rebounding, and center JaVale McGee, who is athletic and will control the paint defensively. Let’s not forget that Tim Hardaway Jr. will come back from missing 62 games last year. As far as injury, Dončić has gained more muscle while slimming down. With more experience, a better team, confidence and in better shape, why wouldn’t he win MVP? – Raphael Haynes

Staff Selections

Ab Stanley – Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks

Alex Bab – Luka Dončić, Dallas Mavericks

Allen Fields – Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers

Courtlandt Griffin – Luka Dončić, Dallas Mavericks

Danny Thompson – Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets

Kevin Young – Luka Dončić, Dallas Mavericks 

 

NBA Champion – Milwaukee Bucks

Last season we saw the Boston Celtics go on a great run to get to the NBA Finals, but there was an implied if under-discussed caveat: they probably don’t get past the Milwaukee Bucks if Khris Middleton wasn’t injured.

Middleton is the perfect Robin to Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Batman. Let there be no mistake: Antetokounmpo is the best player on the planet right now. He can dominate on both ends and has proven he has the work ethic to constantly improve his game. He can carry this team wire-to-wire all the way until June.

Mix in the clutch shot making from Middleton in the closing moments, plus Jrue Holiday’s penchant for the big defensive stop when they need it most, and this Bucks team becomes very difficult to bet against. Injuries derailed their chance at defending their 2021 Title but this season they’ll be on a mission to remind us all to Fear The Deer. – Alex Bab

Staff Selections

Ab Stanley – Milwaukee Bucks

Allen Fields – Golden State Warriors

Courtlandt Griffin – Boston Celtics

Danny Thompson – Milwaukee Bucks

Kevin Young – Brooklyn Nets

Raphael Haynes – Los Angeles Clippers

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