PistonPowered’s NBA awards voting

The TrueHoop Network made its choices for NBA awards, and Patrick and I explain our voting:

Most Valuable Player

Dan Feldman

1. LeBron James

I don’t care how he left Cleveland or what he did in previous years. This season, no NBA player has produced as positive results.

2. Dwight Howard

He’s an excellent defender, and he’s become very good offensively, too.

3. Derrick Rose

He had a great year, but it’s a shame he’s been anointed MVP before he actually deserves it.

4. Chris Paul

I nearly had Paul ahead of Rose, but Paul faded down the stretch.

5. Dwyane Wade

He’s learning how to impact the game without the ball in his hands, and considering he can still play with the ball, he’s that much more effective.

Patrick Hayes

1. Dwight Howard

I’m biased towards big men, Orlando’s roster is collectively not good and Howard simply controls games from the defensive end. Dominant bigs are often overlooked in MVP races (as evidenced by Shaquille O’Neal only winning it once in his career.

2. Derrick Rose

Love Derrick Rose, hate Derrick Rose fans. He’s a fantastic teammate and leader, he worked harder to make himself a MVP candidate in the offseason than just about anyone, but it’s really annoying to listen to shrill Chicago fans insist that Rose is the only option in this year’s race.

3. LeBron James

It will be hard for LeBron to win this award again simply because of the ‘Decision’ backlash, but he’s as great as ever. He’s the best player in the game.

4. Chris Paul

Perennially under-appreciated, a healthy Paul has the Hornets back in the playoffs again. There is no point guard I’d rather have running my offense than Paul.

5. Dirk Nowitzki

Dallas, much like Orlando, doesn’t have that impressive a roster around Dirk and would be nowhere near the top of the standings if Nowitzki weren’t still a MVP-caliber performer.

Rookie of the Year

Dan Feldman

1. Blake Griffin

He’s had the best rookie season by a big man since Tim Duncan.

2. John Wall

Some of his efficiency numbers are down, but that’s only because he was asked to do so much in Washington.

3. Greg Monroe

He could challenge Wall for second place, but Monroe has had the luxury of playing within himself. The Pistons haven’t asked him to do anything he wasn’t ready to do at the time.

Patrick Hayes

1. Blake Griffin

No contest, Griffin was the most NBA-ready rookie since LeBron (granted, it certainly didn’t hurt Blake that he got a year to sit out after he was injured all of last season).

2. Greg Monroe

Wall is the better player in the longrun, but it’s much more difficult for bigs to make an impact in the league immediately than guards who have Wall’s tools. Monroe has been the most consistent rookie not named Blake Griffin.

3. John Wall

Wall is fantastic, and once Washington removes some of the knuckleheads from that team, I’m really excited to see a Wall/Jordan Crawford backcourt.

Defensive Player of the Year

Dan Feldman

1. Dwight Howard

He’s in a league of his own, defensively.

2. Kevin Garnett

Garnett is a fairly weak defender for the second-best defender in the league. Otherwise, he’s great.

3. LeBron James

I went back and forth between LeBron and Andre Iguodala, but LeBron has a big advantage: he never has to guard LeBron.

Patrick Hayes

1. Dwight Howard

No one impacts a game defensively like Dwight.

2. Andre Iguodala

Rose gets a lot of hype for his summer at the World Championships turning into a great season, but Iggy has re-established himself as a key component on a fun, tough Philly team after his Worlds experience as well.

3. Tyson Chandler

Chandler’s presence helped transform the Mavs into one of the best defensive teams in the league.

Sixth Man of the Year

Dan Feldman

1. Lamar Odom

Offensively and defensively, he’s close to an ideal bench player.

2. Thaddeus Young

Young has one of the NBA’s top adjusted plus-minuses, because he does all the little things necessary to make an impact.

3. Jason Terry

He doesn’t do much more than score, but the Mavericks don’t ask him to do much more than that, and he does it so well.

Patrick Hayes

1. Lamar Odom

He does anything the Lakers need him to. Perfect Phil Jackson type of player.

2. Thaddeus Young

Thad is one of my favorites to watch run the floor, he makes hustle plays and he’s an impact player whenever he steps on the court for Philly.

3. Jason Terry

There’s no bench player in the league I’d trust more to take a big shot than Terry.

Most Improved Player

Dan Feldman

1. Kevin Love

He’s played so well, even the mismanaged Timberwolves have had to do the smart thing and play him big minutes.

2. Derrick Rose

The move from very good to great might be the most difficult, but Rose made it.

3. Kyle Lowry

Maybe I overrated LaMarcus Aldridge and underrated Lowry last year, but I never suspected Lowry would play as well as he did this season. I thought Aldridge could.

Patrick Hayes

1. Derrick Rose

The most underrated aspect of Rose’s game? The way he totally and fully bought into Tom Thibodeau’s defense-first system. Not many superstars, particularly young ones, would do that so willingly.

2. Russell Westbrook

Westbrook has steadily progressed every year in the league. Not sure he can make the great to superstar jump Rose did, but he’s very close.

3. LaMarcus Aldridge

After injuries once again could’ve devastated the Blazers, Aldridge made the leap into go-to scorer that Portland had been hoping for the last few seasons.

Coach of the Year

Dan Feldman

1. Tom Thibodeau

He’s teaching the Bulls to play smarter, and because that’s led to positive results, they’re playing hard for him.

2. George Karl

Karl installed a system that’s effective enough to give the Nuggets the NBA’s No. 1 offense and an above-average defense and adaptable enough to work with two different rosters.

3. Gregg Popovich

I’m still not entirely sure how the Spurs won so many games this season, but Popovich’s system just works year-in and year-out.

Patrick Hayes

1. Tom Thibodeau

No one has impacted the culture of a team the way Thibs has this season.

2. Nate McMillan

McMillan has managed potentially catastropic injuries virtually his entire tenure in Portland and he keeps producing hard-nosed, playoff caliber teams nonetheless.

3. Lionel Hollins

Hollins has made the Grizzlies one of the scarier potential playoff opponents in the West.

Executive of the Year

Dan Feldman

1. Gar Forman

The Bulls have wisely created a hard-working and gritty culture and added talented players who are capable of playing that way. Plus, they hired the Coach of the Year.

2. Pat Riley

His big moves – signing LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh – were great and outweigh everything else. But the Heat dumped productive role players like Dorell Wright, Michael Beasley and Daequan Cook and replaced them with a poor supporting cast that might be the difference between a title and failure.

3. Sam Presti

Presti accurately recognized that most contenders have significant flaws – too old (Lakers, Celtics, Spurs, Mavericks), too inexperienced (Bulls) or to incohesive (Heat) – making this a great year to go all in. Presti did most of his key work in past seasons, but nabbing Kendrick Perkins made the Thunder darkhorse title contenders.

Plus, you have to love a GM who can find a way to pay Nick Collison more than $13 million this year – in a wise deal.

Patrick Hayes

1. Pat Riley

Like it or not, Riley simply pulled off a historic coup by signing three franchise players in one offseason.

2. Rich Cho

Loved the Wes Matthews signing. Loved the Gerald Wallace trade. Love the entire Portland team.

3. Sam Presti

No one manages his organizational model in as disciplined a way as Presti.

Sportsmanship Award

Dan Feldman

1. LaMarcus Aldridge

He always seems more concerned with his game than any other nonsense happening around him, the mark of a true professional.

2. Luol Deng

Deng always plays hard, and he’s made a real effort to play smarter this year.

3. D.J. Augustin

See video.

4. Stephen Curry

Curry might be a little more immature than most of the other guys on this list, but that’s more a nod to them than a knock on Curry.

5. George Hill

Nothing against Hill, but what made him stand out enough to get nominated for this award?

6. Deron Williams

I’m not voting for someone who may have helped force Jerry Sloan out of Utah.

Patrick Hayes

1. Luol Deng

Deng is one of the quietest, toughest players on the perimeter in the league.

2. Stephen Curry

He’s young, but he made peace with the sometimes difficult Monta Ellis, which is something I guess.

3. Deron Williams

The Sloan thing was ugly, but Deron was a good soldier in Utah for a long time as the organization failed to upgrade key positions. He’s still a good guy.

4. LaMarcus Aldridge

Aldridge calmly held the pieces together in Portland after the Roy/Oden injuries and led by example.

5. D.J. Augustin

I respect anyone who can deal with the Larry Brown abuse and still emerge with confidence intact.

6. George Hill

No idea … quite a recovery to make this list after Hill’s, ahem, unfortunate pubulicty in the past.

Citizenship Award

Dan Feldman

1. Ron Artest

Artest deserves a lot of credit for diving head first into an area – mental health – that doesn’t receive much attention. Celebrities like Artest attracting attention to the issue will be a huge way to erase the taboos of discussing it.

Patrick Hayes

1. Ron Artest

Artest is one of the most interesting players in the league, and not only his charity work with mental health organizations, but his willingness to discuss his own battles, are worthy of tremendous respect.

All-NBA

Dan Feldman

First team

  • G- Derrick Rose
  • G- Chris Paul
  • F- LeBron James
  • F- Dirk Nowitzki
  • C- Dwight Howard

Nowitzki earned the slightest edge over Kevin Durant.

Second team

  • G- Dwyane Wade
  • G- Kobe Bryant
  • F- Kevin Durant
  • F- Zach Randolph
  • C- Pau Gasol

I’m still unsure whether Randolph or Kevin Love deserved the final forward spot. They’ve both produced at a similar level, but I gave Randolph the edge because he’s played in more meaningful games.

Third team

  • G- Russell Westbrook
  • G- Rajon Rondo
  • F- Kevin Love
  • F- Carmelo Anthony
  • C- Amar’e Stoudemire

Westbrook is having a heck of a season, but he still ends up on the third team in a year stacked with guards.

Patrick Hayes

First team

  • G- Derrick Rose
  • G- Dwyane Wade
  • F- Kevin Durant
  • F- LeBron James
  • C- Dwight Howard

Wade might be forgotten some because of sharing the spotlight with LeBron, but he’s still having a better season than Kobe Bryant.

Second team

  • G- Chris Paul
  • G- Russell Westbrook
  • F- Kobe Bryant
  • F- Dirk Nowitzki
  • C- Pau Gasol

Yeah, Bryant’s not technically a forward, but he, Westbrook and Paul all deserve to be no worse than on the second team.

Third team

  • G- Rajon Rondo
  • G- Manu Ginobili
  • F- Zach Randolph
  • F- Amar’e Stoudemire
  • C- Al Horford

Horford might be a bit of a surprise pick, but he’s been a rock for Atlanta virtually his entire career and he’s the Hawks’ most important player.

All-Rookie

Dan Feldman

First team

  • John Wall
  • Landry Fields
  • Blake Griffin
  • Greg Monroe
  • DeMarcus Cousins

If Blake Griffin had played last year, It’d be a tough call whether Ed Davis or Derrick Favors deserved the final first-team spot. In reality, this was fairly automatic.

Second team

  • Gary Neal
  • Ed Davis
  • Patrick Patterson
  • Derrick Favors
  • Omer Asik

I tried my best to count only what a player actually did, not his per-36 minute projections. But when quality players got sparse, Asik may have gotten a slight bump.

Patrick Hayes

First team

  • John Wall
  • Ed Davis
  • Blake Griffin
  • Greg Monroe
  • DeMarcus Cousins

No postional constraints with the All-Rookie team, so I gave Davis the slight edge over Fields. I like Fields, but I’m a firm believer in the Mike D’Antoni offense bump.

Second team

  • Gary Neal
  • Landry Fields
  • Paul George
  • Derrick Favors
  • Omer Asik

Paul George was one of my favorite players in last year’s draft. He’s erratic, but will be really fun to watch for Indiana.

All-Defensive

Dan Feldman

First team

  • Andre Iguodala
  • LeBron James
  • Kevin Garnett
  • Andrew Bogut
  • Dwight Howard

After Howard, Garnett, James and Iguodala, there are several players who are near-equal. On a different day, I might go with someone other than Bogut.

Second team

  • Chris Paul
  • Rajon Rondo
  • Kyle Lowry
  • Tony Allen
  • Tyson Chandler

Allen has probably played the best defense of Bogut and these five. But he didn’t play a ton of minutes, lowering the amount of positive defense he provided his team.

Patrick Hayes

First team

  • LeBron James
  • Kevin Garnett
  • Andrew Bogut
  • Andre Iguodala
  • Dwight Howard

My big man bias shows once again – I wavered on Bogut because of his injuries, but he’s so good when healthy.

Second team

  • Chris Paul
  • Kyle Lowry
  • Rajon Rondo
  • Tony Allen
  • Tyson Chandler

I considered Rondo and Lowry for first team, but I think both had a few lulls during the season.

Tags: Greg Monroe