2010-2011 NBA MID-SEASON REPORT CARD
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR – BLAKE GRIFFIN, PF – CLIPPERS
There is NO other rookie in the league playing on Blake’s level, nobody. Since Tip-Off Blake’s name has never been left out of any analysts mouth, and Griffin has been leaving jaw dropping dunks game after game. I call him modern day Michael Jordan because people would pay to see Griffin play just because its just about a lock that he’ll do some kind of crazy dunk; sorry Gallinari. Blake’s an undersized Power Forward but his quickness and leaping ability and explosiveness gets him by; and although doesn’t get much respect from the league, his teammates got his back, right Baron? Griffin currently has a 22.5 ppg and 12.8 rpg averages no other rookie is as close. By season’s end he’ll end up having one of the best rookie seasons the league’s ever seen; Griffin has definitely been worth the wait and if I lived in Los Angeles I’d be going to Clippers games not Lakers games.
MOST IMPROVED PLAYER – KEVIN LOVE, PF – T’WOLVES
Love maybe has Jefferson’s departure to thank but even if he wasn’t traded, t’wolves couldn’t ignore Love’s talent; you at home shouldn’t ignore Love’s talents. Far and away the best offensive rebounder in the game (4.9) he’s 1st in rebounds (15.6) 1st in double/doubles (39) had a handful of 20/20 games and an amazing 30/30 game. Increased his 3pt shooting from 33% to 44% and believe it or not he’s 1st in player efficiency (29.23) not so bad for a player who everyone thought was slow but I think Love is just as fundamental, maybe even better than Tim Duncan and hasn’t even scratched the ceiling yet; Love could be averaging 20ppg 20rpg real soon.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR – DWIGHT HOWARD, C – MAGIC
This is the first time in several years Dwight is not leading the league in rebounds or blocks yet he’s the games prolific defender. Teams change their offensive scheme to get around Howard instead of going after him because he’ll protect the paint better than anybody. With the trades that Orlando made; Howard is more important than ever because it got them smaller up front and lack there of from everyone else in the front court. Magic can’t afford to have him in foul trouble, which is one of the reason’s why he’s only averaging 2.2 blocks per game. With a lack of defense alongside him in the starting lineup Orlando still remains one of the better defensive teams in the league and it’ll look like Dwight will win this for the 3rd straight year.
SIXTH MAN OF THE YEAR – GLEN “BIG BABY” DAVIS, PF – CELTICS
Crawford and Terry and a few others are scoring more than Davis (12.6ppg) but put that aside and look at his hustle, his energy he brings to a vet savvy squad in Boston. Davis plays defense, leads the league in charges taken (didn’t even know this was a stat category) and most importantly plays a big role for the injury-plagued frontcourt in Boston.
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER – DWIGHT HOWARD, C – MAGIC
I know you’re probably thinking I’m crazy because Derrick Rose, LeBron James, Manu Ginobili, Dirk Nowitzki, Kobe Bryant all deserve recognition but how often do we overlook Dwight Howard as a serious candidate? The Orlando Magic need this guy on the court for nearly the entire game because nobody protects the paint better than Howard; and when he’s out with foul trouble this team struggles defensively. Howard may not average 25+ points per game, he struggles with his free throws although he’ll have a 17-20 kind of night at times. When I pick this award I go by exactly what it means, who is the most VALUABLE to their team; take away Dwight then Orlando is just another sub par .500 team with a lot of talent on offense only. Dwight keeps Orlando in contention for the title, adjusts thousands of shots taken at the rim and one of the very few players in the league where the opposing team has to change their offensive scheme when playing against Dwight. It is true though, this award is wide open this year but if I had a vote today, it will be without hesitation Dwight Howard.