By: Chinmay Vaidya, KCOU Sports
The 2014-15 NBA season has reached its midpoint and the conversation for several awards is heating up. Here are my midseason winners for the league’s biggest honors.
Most Valuable Player: Stephen Curry
It’s a two-man race between Curry and James Harden, with LeBron James coming into the picture as the Cavaliers surge toward the top of the Central Division. Curry is averaging 22.8 points, 8.7 assists and 4.7 rebounds per game. He is shooting 49 percent from the field and 39 percent from behind the arc. In other words, Curry is just missing the 50-40-90 club, all while leading the Warriors to the top of the Western Conference. Curry has also improved defensively and is averaging 2.1 steals per game to prove it. Harden and James have solid numbers, but at this moment the award has to go to the sharpshooter from the Bay.
Defensive Player of the Year: Anthony Davis
It’s close between Davis and Tim Duncan. The latter has the Spurs in the top-10 defensively and is averaging 2.0 blocks per game. However, Davis is averaging almost three blocks per game. Rebounding numbers are similar for both players. I wouldn’t mind seeing Duncan get the award, but Davis gets the nod from me.
Rookie of the Year: Andrew Wiggins
Injuries have ruined this race. Julius Randle got hurt in the opening game of the season. Jabari Parker went down after 25 games. Wiggins is everything Minnesota hoped he would be, averaging 15.2 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. Wiggins is averaging almost 20 points per game in January and has significantly improved since the opening month of the season.
Most Improved Player: Jimmy Butler
I personally think that Klay Thompson should be considered for this award. Thompson was a solid player last year, but he took another leap forward and improved in almost every statistical category. However, the most obvious improvement has come from Jimmy ‘Buckets’ Butler. The guy couldn’t hit a jump shot to save his life last year. This year, it’s a totally different story. Butler is averaging 20.1 points and 6.0 rebounds per game while shooting 46 percent from the field. He also hasn’t dropped off defensively.
Coach of the Year: Mike Budenholzer
Steve Kerr has had unprecedented success coming out of the broadcast booth, but the Warriors were already a solid team. Atlanta has risen from a fringe playoff team to Eastern Conference leader. Granted, Al Horford’s resurgence and Kyle Korver’s transformation have been major factors in Atlanta’s success, but it all goes back to the man who put them in a position to succeed. Budenholzer is taking his San Antonio experiences and making the Hawks legitimate title contenders.
Five Questions for the second half of the season
- Will the Lakers keep their 2015 draft pick(top-5 protected, otherwise it goes to Phoenix)?
- Will Cleveland surge to the top of the Eastern Conference after a series of transactions?
- Can San Antonio regroup after some injuries to make a push to a division title?
- How many more games will the Warriors lose than the 1995-96 Bulls?
- Will the Oklahoma City Thunder make the playoffs now that its dynamic duo of Durant and Westbrook is back?