2018-19 NBA Preview: Award Predictions

It’s nearing the end of my NBA Preview series. Over the weekend I released both of my Eastern and Western Conference predictions, and now it’s time for some recognition. Here are my award predictions for the upcoming 2018-19 NBA season.

You can check out the Eastern Conference Preview here

You can check out the Western Conference Preview here


MVP: Kawhi Leonard – Toronto Raptors

Count me all in on the resurgence of Kawhi Leonard as a top 5 player in the league. We all know the story about how he missed all but nine games last year, but this year I see him coming back with a vengeance. He’s heard the noise, and he’s out to show (ahead of free agency) that he’s still the same dominant player he was just two seasons ago. And if the Raptors finish with the #1 seed in the East over the favored Celtics, and leads the Raptors to their first 60-win season in franchise history? He’d be a lock for MVP. 
Runner Ups: Giannis Antetokounmpo, LeBron James, James Harden

Rookie of the Year: Luka Doncic – Dallas Mavericks

All aboard the Doncic hype train. A guy that should’ve been drafted by the Kings at #2, he’s in the perfect situation in Dallas. A dynamic point guard next to him, shooters around him, and Rick Carlisle will put him in all the right places to show off his skills. He’ll spend all year fending off DeAndre Ayton for this award though
Runner Up: DeAndre Ayton, Trae Young

Coach of the Year: Mike Malone – Denver Nuggets

Going into the season, Mike Malone is on the hot seat. The Nuggets have the talent on paper to be a possible top 3 seed in the loaded Western Conference. No excuse of injuries with their full roster being ready for training camp, and young talent all across the board. I did predict them to being the 5th seed in the West, and after missing the playoffs last year, will earn him Coach of the Year honors.
Runner Ups: Nick Nurse, Brad Stevens, Mike Budenholzer

Defensive Player of the Year: Kawhi Leonard – Toronto Raptors

A wing player has only won this award twice since 2000, and Kawhi Leonard was one of those guys. Before the injury, Leonard was the best lockdown wing defender in the league, and I’m doubling down on the comeback season of Kawhi. And in that comeback season, Kawhi becomes the third player in NBA history to win Defensive Player of the Year and MVP in the same season, along with Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon.
Runner Ups: Rudy Gobert, Draymond Green

Sixth Man of the Year: Terry Rozier – Boston Celtics

Kyrie Irving back healthy means Scary Terry is back to bench duty. He ended up being a breakout star last year, especially in the playoffs, and is going into a contract year. He’s improved considerably since he came into the league, and I can see the voters looking for some new blood now that the usual suspects (Jamal Crawford, Manu Ginobili, Lou Williams) are all either done, or won too many for a repeat vote.
Runner Ups: Tyreke Evans, Julius Randle, JJ Redick

Most Improved Player: Josh Richardson – Miami Heat

Count me in on Josh Richardson this year. He’s been the centerpiece of a potential Jimmy Butler trade, but if he ends up staying in Miami, he could end up being the focal point of the offense. He was close to being All-Defense last year, and I think he makes it this year. So far this preseason (yes, preseason), he’s put up big time numbers with two 25 point performances in three games while shooting over 55%.
Runner Ups: Brandon Ingram, Markelle Fultz, Myles Turner

All-NBA Teams

First Team

G: Stephen Curry – Golden State Warriors
James Harden – Houston Rockets
F: Kawhi Leonard – Toronto Raptors
F: Giannis Antetokounmpo – Milwaukee Bucks
C: Anthony Davis – New Orleans Pelicans

Second Team

G: Russell Westbrook – Oklahoma City Thunder
G: Kyrie Irving – Boston Celtics
F: LeBron James – Los Angeles Lakers
F: Kevin Durant – Golden State Warriors
C: Joel Embiid – Philadelphia 76ers

Third Team

G: Chris Paul – Houston Rockets
G: Donovan Mitchell – Utah Jazz
F: Ben Simmons – Philadelphia 76ers
F: Draymond Green – Golden State Warriors
C: Al Horford – Boston Celtics

All-Rookie Teams

First Team

Luka Doncic – Dallas Mavericks
Trae Young – Atlanta Hawks
DeAndre Ayton – Phoenix Suns
Wendell Carter Jr – Chicago Bulls
Miles Bridges – Charlotte Hornets

Second Team

Marvin Bagley III – Sacramento Kings
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander – Los Angeles Clippers
Jaren Jackson Jr – Memphis Grizzlies
Kevin Knox – New York Knicks
Grayson Allen – Utah Jazz

All-Defensive Teams

First Team

Kawhi Leonard – Toronto Raptors
Rudy Gobert – Utah Jazz
Draymond Green – Golden State Warriors
Victor Oladipo – Indiana Pacers
Josh Richardson – Miami Heat

Second Team

Anthony Davis – New Orleans Pelicans
Giannis Antetokounmpo – Milwaukee Bucks
Joel Embiid – Philadelphia 76ers
Paul George – Oklahoma City Thunder
Kyle Lowry – Toronto Raptors

All-Star Teams

Western Conference

Starters (50% Fans, 25% Coaches, 25% Media vote)
G: Stephen Curry – Golden State Warriors
G: James Harden – Houston Rockets
F: LeBron James – Los Angeles Lakers (WESTERN CONFERENCE CAPTAIN)
F: Kevin Durant – Golden State Warriors
F: Anthony Davis – New Orleans Pelicans

Reserves (Coaches Vote)
Russell Westbrook – Oklahoma City Thunder
Donovan Mitchell – Utah Jazz (First time All-Star)
Damian Lillard – Portland Trailblazers
Chris Paul – Houston Rockets
Paul George – Oklahoma City Thunder
Nikola Jokic – Denver Nuggets (First time All-Star)
Draymond Green – Golden State Warriors

SNUBS: LaMarcus Aldridge, Klay Thompson, DeMar DeRozan, Karl-Anthony Towns, Jimmy Butler, Rudy Gobert

Eastern Conference

Starters (50% Fans, 25% Coaches, 25% Media)
G: Kyrie Irving – Boston Celtics
G: John Wall – Washington Wizards
F: Kawhi Leonard – Toronto Raptors
F: Giannis Antetokounmpo – Milwaukee Bucks (EASTERN CONFERENCE CAPTAIN)
F: Joel Embiid – Philadelphia 76ers

Reserves (Coaches Vote)
Kyle Lowry – Toronto Raptors
Victor Oladipo – Indiana Pacers
Bradley Beal – Washington Wizards
Gordon Hayward – Boston Celtics
Ben Simmons – Philadelphia 76ers
Jayson Tatum – Boston Celtics (First time All-Star)
Myles Turner – Indiana Pacers (First time All-Star)

SNUBS: Al Horford, Khris Middleton, Kemba Walker, Blake Griffin


Who do you think will be the big All-Stars and award winners this season? Follow us on Twitter and let’s start a conversation @AFewGoodMics, @thomas_mooney1 

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