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Who Will Win NBA Awards This Season?

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As the NBA season comes to a close, 14 of the league’s 30 teams are seeing their season come to an end, and the remaining 16 are headed to the playoffs. Before these teams turn their attention to the postseason, a few individuals will be recognized for their outstanding regular season performances.

Out of the 30 NBA coaches who led their teams through a grueling 82-game schedule, Brad Stevens of the Boston Celtics is the most likely recipient of the Coach of the Year award. Stevens has led the Celtics to a 54 win season and the second seed in the Eastern Conference. While that can be considered an impressive feat on its own, it becomes even more so after examining the adversity the team went through.

After an offseason that saw only four players returning from the previous season, the Celtics have had to deal with a gauntlet of injuries. Five minutes into the first game of the year, their newly-signed forward Gordon Hayward suffered a compound fracture in his ankle and was lost for the year. As the year progressed, injuries to perineal All-Star Kyrie Irving, who was limited to 60 games this year, had a significant impact on the every aspect of the Celtics. Marcus Smart, Irving’s backup who played just 54 games, fell victim to multiple injuries and will not play another game this year.

Having three key players miss significant time would be crippling for most teams, but Brad Stevens was able to coach a roster that had six rookies on the team to an extremely successful season. Other candidates, such as Dwayne Casey or Quin Snyder, have legitimate cases for the award; however, Stevens’ ability to lead his team through adversity will likely win him this award.

The Rookie of the Year race has been narrowed down to two fantastic young players. One of which is Donovan Mitchell, an explosive guard for the Utah Jazz. After falling to the 13th pick in the NBA draft, Mitchell has burst onto the scene as a dynamic scorer for a team in need of an offensive weapon. He averaged over 20 points per game and was top-20 in the league in field goal attempts, total points, and usage rate. Furthermore, Mitchell was able to do this on a Jazz team that won 48 games.. However, he faces some stiff competition for this award.

“Donovan Mitchell should win Rookie of the Year because he’s actually a rookie. Ben Simmons has had a year of practice with an NBA team,” said Andy Via, junior.

Ben Simmons, the 76ers’ 6’10” point guard, sat out last season due to injury and therefore is eligible to win the award this season. Over 80 games Simmons has been phenomenal; he has averaged 16 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists. These numbers are basically unheard of for a rookie, and only Oscar Robertson has had comparable numbers in these categories. Like Mitchell, Simmons has also been one of the best players on a playoff team. Because of the statistics he has posted while leading his teams to wins, he will likely take home this award.

“Ben Simmons should win because he has lifted the struggling 76ers to the third seed,” said Jayme Hollmion, junior.  

When most think of regular season NBA awards, the one that immediately comes to mind is usually the Most Valuable Player Award. This award usually has two or three candidates that are more or less equally deserving of the trophy. However, this year it seems like there is one clear winner. James Harden, the superstar on a Houston Rockets team that has the best record in the NBA, has dominated all season, and leads the league in scoring and three-point field goals.

While his superstar teammate Chris Paul is traditionally known as one of the best distributors in the league, Harden also leads his team in assists and is third in the NBA overall in that category. Two other players who have arguments for this award are LeBron James and Anthony Davis, who have both stood out this year, but Harden’s team success and stats are unparalleled.

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Who Will Win NBA Awards This Season?