The Clarion

Way too early, and bold, NBA award predictions

Tomaz Farina Escosteguy, Staff Writer

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Yep, the NBA Season just started so, why shouldn’t we predict – and probably miss – who is going to win each of the NBA Awards?

Sixth Man of the Year

3. Dennis Schroder – Oklahoma City Thunder.

2. Kyle Kuzma – Los Angeles Lakers.

1. Lou Williams – Los Angeles Clippers.

Lou Williams, Sweet Lou, whatever you want to call him. The creator of the “effortless scoring” movement won it last year and I don’t see why he would not win it again this season.

Of course, Sweet Lou’s last season was one of a kind for a player that started on the bench, leading the Clippers’ offense and the first and second unit when on the court. But, if no injuries come his way, he is my No. 1 pick for the Sixth  Man Award once again.

Most Improved Player of the Year

3. Markell Fultz – Philidelpha 76ers.

2. Myles Turner – Indiana Pacers.

1. Nikola Jokic – Denver Nuggets.

You may think that I do not know what I’m doing by putting a man that was almost an All-Star last year, that is arguably the best playmaking big man in the league and that is known – by die hard NBA fans – as one of the potential future superstars, in the MIP list.

I would agree with that, if most NBA fans really knew how good Jokic is. BUT, they do not; when people think about the top 20 or 30 NBA players, Jokic’s name is not even in the conversation and, after next season, I am sure that it will be.

My prediction for Nikola Jokic is an almost MVP caliber season, that will make even casual NBA fans remember his name, as well as the Denver Nuggets’ one, after they secure a place on the playoffs this year – yep, a lot of predictions.

Defensive Player of the Year

3. Rudy Gobert – Utah Jazz.

2. Victor Oladipo – Indiana Pacers.

1. Joel Embiid – Philadelphia 76ers.

The process seems to be completed. With only one year of the Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid duo, they have already been ranked a top three team in the East and one strong contender to the Conference Championship.

With the development that Embiid has shown in his time on the league, I do believe that he is going to be a finalist for the Defensive Player of the Year Award. We know how much JoJo likes to play defense and how he is never scared of anyone who comes to the paint. This year, I’m sure that will only improve.

Rookie of the Year

3. Luka Doncic – Dallas Mavericks played for Real Madrid.

2. Marvin Bagley III – Sacramento Kings played for Duke University.

1. Collin Sexton- Cleveland Cavaliers played for University of Alabama.

The Cleveland Cavaliers’ rookie is their bet for the future. In his college career, he has shown considerable glimpses of greatness. Sexton has shown high level athleticism and ability to drive and finish at the rim, throughout contact or not.

He still has to develop his jump shot a little, but he will have lots of time to start doing it this season, with only Kevin Love predicted to have the ball more than him on that squad. Sexton has the potential and the space to make his case for the Rookie of the Year Award, so I am picking him.

Most Valuable Player

3. Anthony Davis – New Orleans Pelicans

2. Giannis Antetokounmpo – Milwaukee Bucks

1. LeBron James – Los Angeles Lakers

Do I have to say anything?

Coach of the Year

3. Michael Malone – Denver Nuggets.

2. Gregg Popovich – San Antonio Spurs.

1. Brad Stevens – Boston Celtics.

Many have said that Brad Stevens has been the best coach on the league for a few seasons, but no one can explain why he hasn’t won a single award that reflects it.

After the huge success that he and his Boston Celtics achieved without their two most important players, he is probably going to go even further in the league and in the competition for the award, with the Celtics being stacked the way that they are right now.

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Way too early, and bold, NBA award predictions