It’s that time of the year again when the players of the NBA are recognized for their skill over the past season. The main awards of the season are the Most Valuable Player, Sixth Man of the Year, and finally the Defensive Player of the Year. The credentials for winning the award rely heavily on individual statistics, but also overall team record makes a major contribution into 1st place votes.
Most Valuable Player: Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
The MVP of this season in a tight contest was guard Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors. Curry lead his team to the best record in the league (67-15), broke his own single season record for most 3-pointers, and averaged 23.8 PPG and 7.7 assists. The point guard ran away with the voting, getting four times as many first place votes as second place finisher, guard James Harden of the Houston Rockets.
6th Man: Lou Williams, Toronto Raptors
The race for the 6th man award was a tight contest all season long. Raptors guard Lou Williams and Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas were in constant competition for the award, but in the end the voters felt Lou Williams deserved the title. Williams averaged 15.5 points and 2.1 assists a game for the Raptors this season, leading his team to the 4-seed in the competitive Eastern Conference. Thomas averaged 16.7 points and 4.2 assists for the Kings and Celtics this season; however, the Celtics 7th seed in the playoffs could have been a negative factor for his bid for the award.
Defensive Player of the Year: Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs
Another close race was for the Defensive Player of the Year, which was heated between three high caliber defenders of the league. Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard, Warriors forward Draymond Green, and Grizzlies guard/forward Tony Allen all showed their worth for the award, leaving a sizable mark on the defensive size of the court. Towards the end of the season, many believed that Green would be taking home the award with his impressive rebounding and his mobility on the court. In the end, Leonard’s unbelievable shot blocking and high motor allowed him to take home the award.