The 2018 NBA season has finally came to an end. To cap the season off, the NBA issued out their annual awards which were given to five players and a coach throughout the NBA. The awards that were given are as followed: Most Valuable Player, Rookie of the Year, Most Improved Player, Defensive player of the year, Sixth Man Award, and Coach of the Year.
James Harden (Houston Rockets) – MVP
2018 Regular Season Stats: PPG: 30.4 | FG%: 44.6 | 3P%: 36.7 | REB: 5.4 |AST: 8.8 | STL 1.8 | BLK: 0.7
2018 Playoff Stats: PPG: 28.6 | FG% 41.0 | 3P%: 29.9 | REB: 5.2 | AST: 6.8 | STL: 2.2 |BLK: 0.6
James Harden had an impressive season in 2018. Harden led the league in scoring (30.4 PPG), Three pointers made (265), 50-point games (4) and also led his team to a franchise record of 65 wins. Impressively, Harden led his team to the Western Conference Finals in which they lost 4-3 to the Golden State Warriors. James Harden proved to be a dominant force in the NBA and in the years to come.
Ben Simmons (Philadelphia 76ers) – ROY
2018 Regular Season Stats: PPG: 15.8 | FG%: 54.5 | 3P%: 0.0 |REB: 8.1 | AST: 8.2 | STL: 1.7 | BLK: 0.9
2018 Playoff Stats: PPG: 16.3 | FG%: 48.8 | 3P%: 0.0 |REB: 9.4 | AST: 7.7 | STL: 1.7 | BLK: 0.8
Ben Simmons had an incredible rookie season. Simmons led his 76ers to a regular season record of 52-30. Simmons and his 76ers were able to flip their win-loss record around, from which they had the previous season (28-54). Many feel Simmons should have not won rookie of the year award because of the class he was drafted in (2016). Simmons missed what would have been his rookie season with a foot injury. Although Simmons technically was not in last years rookie draft class, he showed how ready he was to play and tremendous promise in Philadelphia’s future.
Victor Oladipo (Indiana Pacers) – MIP
2018 Regular Season Stats: PPG: 23.1 |FG%: 47.7 | 3P%: 37.1 | REB: 5.2 | AST: 4.3 | STL: 2.4 | BLK: 0.8
2018 Playoff Stats: PPG: 22.7 |FG%: 41.7 | 3P%: 40.4 | REB: 8.3 | AST: 6.0 | STL: 2.4 | BLK: 0.4
Victor Oladipo showed just why he earned this award. Oladipo set career highs in five different categories, Points per game (23.1), Field goal percentage (47.7), Rebounds (5.2), Assists (4.3), and steals (2.4). Oladipo led his Utah Jazz to a first-round win over his old team (Oklahoma City Thunder) and into the Western-Conference Semifinals, in which they lost to the Houston Rockets 4-1. Oladipo was able to prove to the world why the Utah Jazz will be a force to be reckoned with.
Rudy Gobert (Utah Jazz) – DOPY
2018 Regular Season Stats: PPG: 13.5 | FG%: 62.2 | DREB: 7.8 | REB: 10.7 | STL: 0.8 | BLK: 2.3
2018 Playoff Stats: PPG: 13.2 | FG%: 65.5 | DREB: 6.8 | REB: 10.7 | STL: 0.9 | BLK: 2.3
Rudy Gobert was a key piece how well the Utah Jazz’s season went. The Utah Jazz were able to lead the NBA with the best defensive rating (97.5), in the final 38 games after Gobert returned from a knee injury. Despite missing 26 games, Gobert ranked 4th in blocking (129). Gobert and Oladipo together show how much of a promising future the Utah Jazz have.
Lou Williams (Los-Angeles Clippers)- 6MA
2018 Regular Season Stats: PPG: 22.6| FG%: 43.5 | 3P%: 35.9 | REB: 2.5 | AST: 5.3 | STL: 1.1 | BLK: 0.2
2018 Playoff Stats: (N/A)
Lou Williams proved how dominant of a player he is this season. He started 19 games due to injuries the Clippers had, but remained the better half of the year as a 6th man. He was able to set a new career high in points per game (22.6). Williams had a breakout game against 2018’s NBA champions the Golden State Warriors in which he scored 50 points. This is Lou Williams second 6th man of the year award. Doesn’t seem like Lou will be a 6th man for much longer.
Dwane Casey (Toronto Raptors) – COY
Dwane Casey won Coach of the year award under his time as the head coach of the Toronto Raptors. Sounds a little weird, but reason in me saying this is because he is now the Detroit Pistons head coach. Casey was fired after the Cleveland Cavaliers swept him and the Raptors in the first round of the NBA Eastern Conference Playoffs. Although they were swept, Casey helped engineer a franchise record of 59 wins during the 2018 season. He showed his prominence as a coach, and hopes to bring that same energy to Detroit.