NBA Awards 2018: Midseason Edition
NBA Midseason Awards 2018
Ben Simmons for Donovan Mitchell? Is there a favorite for Coach of the Year?
Can anyone catch James Harden for MVP?
The 2017-2018 NBA season has reached the halfway mark with the All-Star Break taking place this weekend.
Our Wizards experts are here to provide their look at the best of the best from the first half.
Rookie of the Year: Ben Simmons
Steve Buckhantz: Ben Simmons, 76ers. There's more than one outstanding young player in the game, but Simmons seems to be the most unstoppable had has the greatest upside.
Travis Thomas: Ben Simmons, 76ers. He’s the second best player on a team destined for the playoffs in the Eastern Conference. His combination of size and court vision reminds me of a young Magic Johnson.
Most Improved Player: Victor Oladipo
Nick Ashooh: Victor Oladipo, Pacers. It’s always tough to pick the MOP, because sometimes it’s more about bigger opportunity that showcases the game a player already has.
Chase Hughes: Victor Oladipo, Pacers. Oladipo went from decent to stardom seemingly overnight and has made the Pacers look very smart for trading for him.
Troy Machir: Victor Oladipo, Pacers. We've always known Oladipo has elite athleticism and talent, but the change in scenery meant more opportunities to lead and develop. He's gone from a solid starter to a bona fide perennial All-Star in less than half a season.
Sixth Man of the Year: Lou Williams
Steve Buckhantz: Lou Williams, Clippers. He's making shots of the bench like Jamal Crawford and has had numerous game winners. I also like Terry Rozier of Boston. He's an excellent player with a huge upside.
Chase Hughes: Lou Williams, Clippers. He could have been an All-Star this year, he has been that good off the Clippers' bench. The guy is putting up career numbers and got a well-deserved contract extension along the way.
Travis Thomas: Lou Williams, Clippers. He should be every year. In fact they should rename the award, Lou Williams Of The Year. He’s averaging 23 points a game coming off the bench for a team going nowhere fast.
Coach of the Year: Dwane Casey
Troy Machir: Dwane Casey, Raptors. The Cavs and Celtics are the talk of the East, but the Raptors are the most consistent team this side of the Mississippi River. Casey doesn't get enough credit, which is why I'm writing about him here.
Adam Wise: Dwane Casey, Raptors. Toronto seemed to be an afterthought in the East after everyone got all excited about the new faces in Boston and Cleveland. He's figured out how to use a deeper bench, while also giving ample minutes to his stars in DeRozan & Lowry.
Most Valuable Player: James Harden
Steve Buckhantz: James Harden, Rockets. You can always make a case for the great players and how they elevate the athletes around them, and this is an award that's best suited to someone AFTER the season ends, but right now I'd go with Harden, who continues to play at a high level for his squad. Lebron will be there in the end, as will Steph Curry and Kevin Durant.
Chris Miles: James Harden, Rockets. His 60-point triple-double should say enough. His team is also 26-1 when he has Chris Paul and Clint Capella. They also gave it to the Warriors and are in contention for the top seed in the West. Lebron James is second and could supplant Harden depending on how the season ends.
Travis Thomas: James Harden, Rockets. You could have made the case for him the past three seasons but other guys balled out of control and earned the award. This season it’s undeniable, he’s averaging over 30 ppg and leading one of the best teams in the league.