The NBA, in their attempt to keep year-round intrigue, moved the regular season awards from during the playoffs to the week between the NBA Draft and free agency. The league also turned it into an actual ceremony, so that players can truly celebrate their victories.
This year’s awards took place at Barker Hangar and there was little intrigue in regards to the winners, most notably Houston Rockets guard James Harden finally winning MVP.
Harden took home the biggest award of the night in a landslide. He averaged 30.4 points, 8.8 assists, and 5.4 rebounds while leading the Rockets to an NBA best 65-17 record.
Rudy Gobert took home Defensive Player of the Year after helping the Utah Jazz get a fifth seed in the playoffs. Victor Oladipo received Most Improved Player after doing the same with his new team, the Indiana Pacers. Lou Williams got the Sixth Man of the Year award after leading the league’s bench players with 22.6 points per game for the Los Angeles Clippers.
Daryl Morey received the Executive of the Year award, likely for his pairing of Harden and Chris Paul, who lost just three regular season games when they both played.
Perhaps the only surprise was the Coach of the Year award, which was awkwardly won by former Toronto Raptors head coach Dwane Casey. Casey was fired by the Raptors after their second round exit and was then hired by the Detroit Pistons.
On the Los Angeles Lakers side, it was a rather dry night. Julius Randle was fifth in the Most Improved Player voting while Kyle Kuzma was fourth in Rookie of the Year. Kuzma also was a nominee for the Best Style fan vote award, a trophy that was eventually taken home by last year’s MVP, Russell Westbrook.
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