OAKLAND, CA - MAY 30: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors reacts in the third quarter of Game Seven of the Western Conference Finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at ORACLE Arena on May 30, 2016 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

NBA Awards Preview

Rookie of the Year

Nominees: Malcolm Brogdon, Joel Embiid, Dario Saric

Prediction: Malcolm Brogdon

If Joel Embiid played the entire year, he would have this award in the bag. However, he only appeared in 31 games in 2016/17 and thus ROY is up for grabs. Saric did have an impressive year, however Brogdon should claim this one. Started at the point for a large chunk of the year for Milwaukee, a team that played post-season basketball. He showed maturity beyond his years and was arguably the steal of the draft at pick 36.

Sixth Man of the Year

Nominees: Eric Gordon, Andre Iguodala, Lou Williams

Prediction: Lou Williams

Eric Gordon, and Andre Iguodala both had exceptional years, there is no doubting that. However, Lou Williams ability to provide instant offence off the bench, and completely turn games around should mean he is named sixth man of the year. Playing for both the Lakers and the Rockets, he averaged 17.5ppg, shooting the ball extremely well. Credit to Lou-Will who continues to provide after over 10 years in the league

Most Improved Player

Nominees: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Rudy Gobert, Nikola Jokic

Prediction: Giannia Antetokounmpo

The Most Improved Player field has an international flavour, with all nominees coming from countries other than the USA. Rudy Gobert was very good in a good side, while Jokic looks to be the next revolutionary big, but Giannis trumps them all as he firmed as the next big (and long) name in the league. The Greek Freak upped his points per game by six, and his assists and rebounds per game by one. He took control of the Bucks and led them to the playoffs.

Coach of the Year

Nominees: Mike D’Antoni, Gregg Popovich, Erik Spoelstra

Prediction: Erik Spoelstra

This prediction is a slight roughie, with D’Antoni warming as the favourite. His new style of play that he brought to Houston made them an even better team, thus why many thing he should take the award. However, Erik Spoelstra almost took a side who lost their staple pieces in Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, to the playoffs. He turned Dion Waiters into the player many thought he should be before he started his NBA career, and made a Heat side which few rated to be very good.

Defensive Player of the Year

Nominees: Rudy Gobert, Draymond Green, Kawhi Leonard

Prediction: Kawhi Leonard

Gobert, and Green are both fantastic defenders, there is little doubt about that, however Kawhi led the Spurs to be one of the best defences in the league. If you think of Golden State there are a number of other excellent defenders across their roster, however the Spurs don’t really have that. Yet they ranked 2nd in points against, Kawhi was the reason.

MVP

Nominees: James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Kawhi Leonard

Prediction: Russell Westbrook

Westbrook became only the second player to ever average a triple-double over a season, that alone is enough to lock him as the MVP. If you took the other two out of their own teams, they would take hit but they would still be solid. If you removed Westbrook from the Thunder they would fall apart, and would likely bottom-out

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