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Postseason awards ballot: Durant for MVP

Published April 17, 2014 8:55 am
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At this point, I think most writers make their postseason award votes known publicly anyway. But this year, in the name of transparency, ballots will be released. Here's mine. After last night's season finale had wrapped up, I double-checked my first awards ballot and sent it in. Already, I'm wrestling with some of the decisions. I don't doubt you'll disagree with some, too.

MVP1. Kevin Durant2. LeBron James3. Joakim Noah4. Blake Griffin5. Al Jefferson

This is KD's year. He's played without Russell Westbrook for long stretches of the season. His numbers are better (32 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 5.5 apt to James' 27.1, 6.9, 6.4. And OKC finished with five more wins than Miami.

Most Improved1. Gerald Green, Phoenix Suns2. Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans3. Lance Stephenson, Indiana PacersI could have gone with a bunch of people here. It felt like most of Phoenix's roster was deserving. So was OKC's Reggie Jackson. Am I missing anyone else? Just everyone? OK. Goran Dragic will probably be the winner, and no doubt he made a leap this year. But for me, Dragic had shown he could play at a high level and Green's jump was too large to ignore.

Defensive Player of the Year1. Joakim Noah2. Roy Hibbert3. Andre IguodalaEach of the league's top three defenses is represented here. Ultimately, I settled on Noah because of his ability to do it all and because he did it even after losing a solid wing defender in Luol Deng.

Sixth Man1. Jamal Crawford2. Taj Gibson3. Manu GinobiliGibson has been key in Chicago's success, and probably earned a starting role over Carlos Boozer. And Ginobili could have this award named after him. But Crawford's scoring (18.6 ppg) for the 57-win Clippers is huge.

Rookie of the Year1. Michael Carter-Williams2. Trey Burke3. Victor OladipoCarter-Williams' numbers might be inflated because he's on an awful team, but they're still pretty impressive. And, for this award, I don't think being on an awful team is a deal breaker. However, wins and losses did play a part in my choice of Burke over Oladipo. Maybe this is simply the bias of having seen Burke all season. But while Oladipo's numbers (scoring, shooting percentage and rebounds) are better, Burke has meant too much to this Jazz team.

Coach of the Year1. Gregg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs2. Jeff Hornacek, Phoenix Suns3. Steve Clifford, Charlotte BobcatsIf the Suns had made the playoffs maybe I reconsider this. Maybe. But what the Spurs do each year is just unbelievable. Sixty-two wins? A 19-game winning streak? And doing it while resting an aging lineup? This one belongs to Pop.

All-Rookie First TeamMichael Carter-Williams, PhiladelphiaVictor Oladipo, Orlando MagicTrey Burke, Utah JazzMason Plumlee, Brooklyn NetsTim Hardaway Jr., New York Knicks

All-Rookie Second TeamGiannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee BucksNate Wolters, Milwaukee BucksPero Antic, Atlanta HawksKelly Olynyk, Boston CelticsSteven Adams, Oklahoma City Thunder

All-Defensive First TeamPaul George, Indiana PacersAnthony Davis, New Orleans PelicansJoakim Noah, Chicago BullsPatrick Beverly, Houston RocketsAndre Iguodala, Golden State Warriors

All-Defensive Second TeamKawhi Leonard, San Antonio SpursSerge Ibaka, Oklahoma City ThunderRoy Hibbert, Indiana PacersJimmy Butler, Chicago BullsTony Allen, Memphis Grizzlies

All-NBA First TeamKevin Durant, Oklahoma City ThunderLeBron James, Miami HeatJoakim Noah, Chicago BullsJames Harden, Houston RocketsStephen Curry, Golden State Warriors

All-NBA Second TeamBlake Griffin, Los Angeles ClippersPaul George, Indiana PacersAl Jefferson, Charlotte BobcatsChris Paul, Los Angeles ClippersDeMar DeRozan, Toronto Raptors

All-NBA Third TeamLaMarcus Aldridge, Portland Trail BlazersKevin Love, Minnesota TimberwolvesDwight Howard, Houston RocketsTony Parker, San Antonio SpursKyle Lowry, Toronto RaptorsFeel free to let me know where I screwed up.— Aaron Falk




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