Tuck: 2013 NBA Awards

Before the individual awards, here are some other season thoughts:

The Lakers are clearly the most disappointing team.  This season will be remembered short-term for the LA drama, but long term I believe the Miami Heat’s winning streak may stand out.  It’s odd to have three mega-streaks like the Heat, Clippers, and Nuggets all had.  I’d also list the Cavs and Jazz as disappointments as well.  The Wolves fan-base is bummed out, but it’s understandable they didn’t fair as well as they could have because of the number of injuries they suffered to their team.  I’d say the biggest surprise was probably the Bulls or Knicks.  Both did better than I would have imagined.  I wasn’t surprised by the Warriors, but many would list them.  Before Kobe went down, the saddest story-line this year had to be Derrick Rose not returning.  It was good season, but not a great one.  Too much separation from the top to the middle to the bottom with little exciting outside of the LA circus.

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR – Very weak class, but Lillard would be in the conversation for ROY in any year with the season he had.

G Damian Lillard, Portland


G Damian Lillard, Portland

G Brad Beal, Washington

G Dion Waiters, Cleveland

F Anthony Davis, New Orleans

C Andre Drummond, Detroit

COACH OF THE YEAR- All these gentlemen did outstanding jobs this season.  Whether it was surpassing expectations, molding new players into the team concept, or overcoming injuries, they all earned their keep this year.  

1. George Karl, Denver

2. Tom Thibodeau, Chicago

3. Mark Jackson, Golden State

4. Gregg Popovich, San Antonio

5. Mike Woodson, New York

6TH MAN OF THE YEAR- Very strong group of candidates this year, but I go with the leadership that Jack brought to the Warriors that helped make them a playoff team this year, in addition to his defensive versatility.  

1. Jarrett Jack, Golden State

2. JR Smith, New York

3. Jamal Crawford, LA Clippers

4. Taj Gibson, Chicago

5. Vince Carter, Dallas

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR– There are plenty of really good defensive players in the NBA, many not even on this list below, so in a year where there is no obvious choice, let’s agree to give it to the best player in the league, someone who gives Miami the ability to switch screens and play a variety of wild lineups because LeBron can guard just about any position on the floor, and should be honored for that at some point.

1. LeBron James, Miami

2. Roy Hibbert, Indiana

3. Marc Gasol, Memphis

4. Tim Duncan, San Antonio

5. Luol Deng, Chicago

MOST IMPROVED PLAYER- Very good list of guys here, all of whom made a leap because of a great opportunity.  They all succeeded wildly when given more responsibility.  

1. Paul George, Indiana

2. Jrue Holiday, Philadelphia

3. Kemba Walker, Charlotte

4. Nik Vucevic, Orlando

5. James Harden, Oklahoma City

1ST TEAM ALL-NBA                    2ND TEAM ALL-NBA

G Chris Paul, LA Clippers              G Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City

G Kobe Bryant, LA Lakers             G James Harden, Houston

F LeBron James, Miami                  F Paul George, Indiana

F Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City     F Carmelo Anthony, New York

C Tim Duncan, San Antonio          C Marc Gasol, Memphis

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER- It would be very difficult to argue anyone else over LeBron James.  And for what it’s worth, it would be equally challenging to place anyone 2nd ahead of Kevin Durant.  The league is in great shape with those two players and we look headed for another Finals collision course.  

1. LeBron James, Miami

2. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City

3. Tim Duncan, San Antonio

4. Kobe Bryant, LA Lakers

5. Chris Paul, LA Clippers