Coast to Coast is my bi-weekly column here at Fansided. Each week I’ll be taking a look at an interesting topic in the NBA, and giving my own spin on it. Feel free to disagree, because you most likely will anyways.
Every year, the NBA hands out awards to the players and a coach who may or may not deserve it. There are 7 awards given out, and things can change throughout the 82 game season. The season is about to begin, so you will see previews for everything regarding the Association, and this is no exception. I will attempt to take a stab at the season awards for 2013-14:
- Teammate of the Year: Ryan Anderson-
The NBA created this award in honor of Jack Twyman and Maurice Stokes who share an amazing story. Stokes fell during a game, and had a traumatic head injury. Twyman paid for his medical costs, and became his legal guardian when Stokes’ parents weren’t able to take care of him anymore. The award is voted on by the players instead of the media. Chauncey Billups won last year, and that was a good choice. I think Ryan Anderson will take the award home this year, because he has been put in a difficult situation off the court. Anderson’s girlfriend died of an apparent suicide this past summer, and he has been dealing with it admirably. Anderson will be relying on his teammates and basketball to help him get through this, and his teammates will be inspired by him. It will cause the team to rally together, and he has the respect of the players across the league, which will lead to votes.
- Rookie of the Year: Victor Oladipo-
Victor Oladipo was drafted 5th overall by the Orlando Magic out of Indiana. He is a guard who has athletic ability and a decent jump shot. The Magic are going to try him at point guard as well as shooting guard, which means he will have the ball in his hands a lot. The Magic have a young core who won’t be very good, so he will see a lot of playing time, and could put up decent numbers. Expect him to have a year that puts him on the map.
- Most Improved Player: Anthony Davis-
Anthony Davis had a good rookie year last season, but he didn’t get a lot of publicity. He was hurt for some of the season, and he wasn’t used much because of it. Davis had some issues in pick and roll offense, and he was still trying to find his footing in the NBA, but he is poised to have a big season. Usually people who win this award had a higher usage rate than they did before, and their stats rise as a result. Davis has shined in preseason, and with better teammates, he should have a big enough year to win the award. The only thing that may hold him back is the fact that this is only his second year.
- Sixth Man of the Year: Tyreke Evans-
Evans was part of the sign and trade that brought him to New Orleans from Sacramento. He has dropped off since his rookie year when he won the Rookie of the Year. Sacramento was a mess, and with a fresh start, he could revitalize his career. He has said that he will come off the bench, which is what coach Monty Williams wants. Playing with Eric Gordon, Jrue Holiday, and Anthony Davis, he won’t have any pressure and will be able to see more single coverage on offense. He will most likely play over 30 minutes a game, and finish games.
- Defensive Player of the Year: Andrew Bogut-
Typically, to win the Defensive Player of the Year, your team has to be good on defense as a whole. Marc Gasol won the award last season, and he was part of a good defense. Dwight Howard will probably be out of it because the rest of the Rockets aren’t very good on that side of the ball. Andrew Bogut is finally healthy in Golden State, and that might loom large for him. With the addition of Andre Iguodala, Bogut will have a guy who can take the toughest defensive assignment, and allow him to rotate better and take more chances. He is already a good defender, and the numbers will show that they are better with him on the court on defense.
- Coach of the Year: Doc Rivers-
Doc Rivers was traded from the Celtics to the Clippers this summer. His impact will take this team over the hump. Not only should he help on the defensive end, but he should also help in their half court offense. They were stagnant last season, and they would stand around and watch Chris Paul do his thing. They should have more screens and movements under Rivers. They also added J.J. Redick and Jared Dudley. He has given confidence to DeAndre Jordan, and they may have found their defensive anchor. All of their stats should rise, and he should help them improve.
- Most Valuable Player: Kobe Bryant-
Kobe Bryant has been MVP-deprived throughout his career. Due to situations, he has never really been considered a front runner. The Most Valuable Player Award should be renamed to the Most Outstanding Player Award. You could argue that Lebron wasn’t the most valuable player to his team last season, but Stephen Curry and Carmelo Anthony meant more to their teams. Nonetheless, Kobe Bryant will probably return from his achilles injury in November, and I believe he will be a great player. If Kobe comes back and averages 25 points per game, and this Lakers team makes the playoffs, the media will eat up this race. If the media begins to get behind a player during the season, it typically sways the other media members who vote. This is based on whether Kobe can come back as effective, and if he does, he would be the most valuable player on this Lakers team with no expectations.
These could come back to haunt me after the season, but these guys seem poised to win the awards. The season is long, and things can change, but that’s why they play the games.