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Categorized | NBA

2017-18 NBA Picks and Predictions: Midseason Award Winners

2017-18 NBA Picks and Predictions – Midseason Award Winners: Believe it or not the 2017-18 season is already hitting its halfway point, and a few teams have already played more than half of their games. Although it’s far too early to declare any player a lock for one of the major awards, that doesn’t mean frontrunners haven’t emerged. The big games leading up to the playoffs could go a long way to tipping the scales in favor of one player or another, but in the meantime, here are my midseason picks for all of the major NBA awards.

2017-18 NBA Picks and Predictions: Midseason Award Winners

Most Valuable Player: LeBron James, F, Cleveland Cavaliers

Considering the four-time MVP is having arguably the best season of his career, this pick is easily justifiable from a statistical standpoint. Normally, I would expect LeBron fatigue to cause votes to gravitate to someone else, but that someone was going to be James Harden, and now he is going to be on the shelf for a few weeks. Missing chunks of time isn’t a death sentence when it comes to NBA awards, but for now, I think Harden’s absence puts James in the top spot.

Runner-Up: James Harden, SG, Houston Rockets

Defensive Player of the Year: Draymond Green, F, Golden State Warriors

Green is the defending winner of this award, and since Rudy Gobert and Kawhi Leonard have been battling injuries all year, he is the frontrunner once again. He ranks seventh in defensive real plus-minus, and he ranks second among players who see more than 30 minutes of action and haven’t missed stretches with injuries. Green’s versatility makes him one of the few players who can defend any position on the court, and he is the main reason why the Warriors rank first in the Western Conference and second in the NBA in opponent field goal percentage.

Runner-Up: Anthony Davis, PF, New Orleans Pelicans

Sixth Man of the Year: Lou Williams, SG, Los Angeles Clippers

Williams has been instant offense off the bench for the injury plagued Clippers, and the 2015 Sixth Man of the Year is having his most efficient, prolific season. He is averaging 22.2 points per game on 44.4 percent shooting, and he is hitting 2.8 3-pointers per game at a 40.7 percent clip. Williams has a half dozen 30-plus-point performances off the bench this year, and he is scoring his way to Sixth Man honors once again.

Runner-Up: Dwyane Wade, SG, Cleveland Cavaliers

Most Improved Player: Victor Oladipo, SG, Indiana Pacers

It took another change of scenery, but Oladipo looks like a new player this season. Not only is he averaging a career-high 24.5 points per game, but his 49.2 shooting percentage is by far the best of his career, 50 points better than his previous high. He is also averaging career highs in rebounds, assists, blocks, steals and 3-pointers, and his PER is good enough for 11th in the entire NBA.

Runner-Up: Giannis Antetokounmpo, F, Milwaukee Bucks 

Coach of the Year: Brad Stevens, Boston Celtics

Yes, he is benefitting from an influx in talent, but Stevens has guided the suddenly loaded Celtics straight to the top of the Eastern Conference despite Gordon Hayward being lost to a devastating leg injury in the first game. He has done an excellent job incorporating young players with veterans, and he has the Celtics buying in on the defensive end. Boston is allowing the fewest points per game in the entire NBA, and Stevens deservers plenty of credit.

Runner-Up: Tom Thibodeau, Minnesota Timberwolves

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