With the start of the new season, the TWB staff decided to pool our heads together and pool together our early predictions for season-ending awards. Here are the results:
Most Valuable Player:
Bonk: LeBron James. Sorry Durantula, but this is LeBron's to lose. After his last dozen games in the playoffs last year, all of the critics have been silenced. I am very intrigued to see how much and how well LeBron plays as a PF this year. My guess is a lot and phenomenal.
Mike: LeBron James. Durant will come close. But, with the Lakers taking over the title of most hated team, LeBron will quietly become sort-of likeable as people forget about The Decision. He is just a mesmerizing athlete, and with another successful season in Miami, he should take the crown.
Pants: The NBA loves a narrative and the current one around the top players is that LeBron has figured it out and is on a streak of unstoppability. He'll win
Jon S: LeBron James. While I do acknowledge that LeBron is brilliant at media and may just be saying the right things, he seems really driven to win a second championship right now. I still think he's just beginning to tap into what he's capable of as a player.
The TimberTrolls: Kevin Durant!
John G: Kevin Durant. I believe that Lebron will reach new peaks this year and live up to the historic expectations that have been renewed by his recent success. However, I also expect Durant to become a better passer, defender and narrow the gap between his and Lebron’s skillset. Lebron may have all the right in the world to take home the MVP trophy, just as Howard did against Rose years back, but because Durant’s rise will seem more revolutionary and the award is a somewhat of a revolving door I expect coaches and writers alike to to gush over Durant’s play.
College Wolf: Kevin Durant. Epic huge awesome STUD. His stock has been trending up his entire career, and some voters might feel it's "his time." Especially if he has even better stats again this year, and OKC finishes as a top team in the league. Granted, it's definitely Lebron's award to lose though.
Please click "Read More"... to view the rest of the TWolves Blog Staff picks for this upcoming season!
Rookie of the Year:
Bonk: SHVED! ROYCE! But seriously, I'll go with Austin Rivers. Ant Davis is the obvious favorite, and I think MKG is the best player of the bunch, but I am predicting another Eric Gordon injury paving the way for a 16+ PPG season for Rivers.
Mike: Unlike Bonk, I think a lot of people are pulling for Lillard, but I have to go with Anthony Davis. He will have an immediate star impact on both ends of the floor and New Orleans could emerge as the surprise team of the West.
Pants: Lillard in Portland
Jon S: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. I really like his game and think he'll have a solid statistical season in Charlotte.
College Wolf: Anthony Davis. Almost no doubt in my mind. The only other player that might even be close is Lillard.
The TimberTrolls: Pablo Prigioni. Fresh legs for knicks.
John G: Davis almost seems predestined for this award but the fact of the matter is he should be. In the Olympics and Preseason we he has already displayed his wide array of skills from shot blocking all the way to ball handling. Damian Lillard may give him a run for his money as he should fill up the stat sheet on a regular basis. Still, I think with Davis programmed in voter’s minds to win this award along with the fact he will be forced to carry his team and live up to expectations, barring an injury, it’s the Brow’s award for the taking.
Sixth Man of the Year:
Bonk: Ginobili - I almost said Jeff Green, but my answers are already whacky enough. With Harden moving to the Rockets, this category is suddenly wide open. I learned a long time ago to never doubt Emanuel.
Mike: Manu Ginobili. His career is nearly over. But then again that team just won't go away. We said that 5 years ago. With Beard starting in Houston as of the other day, this is anyones' award. Manu should win by default but don't count out Ray Allen.
Pants: Andre Miller.
Jon S: Derrick Williams. Wait for it. Just wait for it.
John G: The direction of this award took a more dramatic turn than a sex change when Harden was traded this weekend. Put simply, he would have been an absolute shoe-in to repeat as Sixth Man of The Year. Now that he will be starting, it’s up grabs and after careful consideration I say the award will go to Eric Bledsoe. I know it’s a bit far out but I this kid is ready to make an impact. He is as athletic as any point guard not named Russell Westbrook and it seems he’s ready to make the statement. His near triple double in preseason was special, something tells me it was just a preview.
College Wolf: How about Kevin Martin? Won't he essentially be the new (but lesser talented overall) Harden in OKC? He should put up the same scoring stats as Harden did last year, give or take.
Defensive Player of the Year:
Bonk: Garnett. Yes I am biased, and yes I think he should win it almost every year. No one player has as much of an impact on his teams overall defensive prowess as KG.
Mike: Rajon Rondo. With less and less star power on the Boston roster, Rondo will further cement himself as the best PG due to his dominance on both ends of the floor.
Pants: Howard has been whining about it. I think the voters take that personally and vote Omer Asik.
Jon S: I'd say Ricky Rubio if he wasn't missing time, so let's go with Dwight Howard.
College Wolf: Awwwwww hell, KG.
John G: This award should be more exciting for so many reasons. The award often garners less sensation and appreciation compared to others, mainly because it is almost exclusively reserved for centers, which means the competition pool, is not nearly as deep or interesting. For that reason it is Howard’s to lose. He is simply stronger, more athletic and a better rebounder and shot blocker than his peers. If James fails to earn MVP honors, critics will cry out for him to take this award but Howard should do well enough this season to not make this a tight race.
Most Improved Player:
Bonk: John Wall. I still think this guy has Top 10 NBA talent. He is starting the season injured, but I could see him coming on when healthy and just taking the league by storm. Wait, is Randy DimWittman still their coach? What am I doing?
Mike: Nikola Pekovic. Have to make at least one homer pick, and Pek is ready to eat the league whole and dowse it down with a tall, cool Budweiser. With Love out, he has a chance to put up 20 and 10 early on.
Pants: Eric Bledsoe
Jon S: James Harden. As "the guy" in Houston, I expect some pretty awesome things from him.
John G: It’s no myth any longer, the Boogie man does exist and he’s going scare a lot of opponents this year. Demarcus ‘Boogie’ Cousins will show a new brand of maturity this year after having taken last year to build a healthy relationship with Keith Smart. As a more mature player he will also increase his basketball IQ and ability to lead. As an incredibly talented Center by nature and still young enough to be considered for this award, I feel confident his game will turn even more heads this year.
College Wolf: Pekovic got hosed last year, so like some awards getting awarded to players "a year late", I think The Peksecutioner takes it this year. Although, I could also see Harden winning it because he's going to score more points (in more minutes, obviously) on Houston... which is just absurd. But some of those writers...
Coach of the Year:
Bonk: Tom Thibby - Even though on paper they should have a down year with a hobbled Rose and Asik leaving, Double T is too intense, smart, and defensively genius to let his team drop below 50 wins.
Mike: Monty Williams. I really see New Orleans as the biggest sleeper team in the league. The could even oust the Wolves for the 8th seed if the basketball Gods make a few more anti-Wolves decisions. Monty is a coaching mainstay in the making.
Pants: Mark Jackson, GS is a surprise team.
Jon S: Rick Adelman, because our puppies are winning 50!
John G: This might be the toughest prediction to make. On one hand, someone like Spoelstra could win the award as doubters of him, Lebron and the Heat will quickly turn to believers. Yet this award does give credit to coaches who take teams from nothing to something. Thus, I would say the chances are between Spoelstra and our beloved Adelman. If the Wolves can weather both injuries and claim a decent playoff spot (5-7) people will praise Adelman’s use of lineups and his overall leadership. However, if the Heat end up winning over 62 games, this award will be Spoelstra’s without a second thought. Because I believe the Heat will accomplish this feat I will say it goes to Filipino.
College Wolf: Probably Spoelstra since the Heat will finish with the best record in the league.
GM of the Year:
Mike: Mitch Kupchak. Pains me to say it, because I hate the Lakers. Kahn had a shot until Mitch, ya know, sort of re-shaped his roster. This one is out of the question, and anyone who makes a pick to the contrary is a weirdo just trying to be different for the sake of doing so.
Pants: Kupchak. There are only a handful of teams in the running. MN, OKC, Houston, Lakers, Brooklyn, Dallas and maybe the C's.... OKC didn't get better, Houston isn't good enough to make the playoffs, Deron Williams seems like he might be nursing injury all year, Dallas got worse, C's changes weren't dramatic enough and nothing ever goes right for the Wolves. That leaves me with the Lakers front office taking the award.
Jon S: David Kahn, cause our puppies are winning 50!
John G: Kupchak. I don’t need to explain why…….although one could easily make the case Comcast really deserves it over the pesky and unreachable Mitch.
College Wolf: It pains me to say this, but Mitch Cupcake. Ughhhhhhh (barfs in mouth.)
Dreamy STUD of the Year:
Bonk: Ricky Rubio - Obviously.