Monday, May 9, 2011
L.A., Minnesota, Orlando, Chicago.
By TIM DAVID HARVEY
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER-DERRICK ROSE: Not just this years best player but arguably the best Point Guard in the league right now...not to mention top 5 of all players...at least. With his all-round game Derrick evened the score with Rajon Rondo and showed that the league wasn't just about Chris Paul and Deron Williams or Kobe Bryant and LeBron James for that matter. Without him sure the impressive Chicago Bulls could make a charge at the playoffs, but with him dishing, dunking and duking it out they could stampede the whole thing. His value could be weighed in gold...championship gold. That's how much he's worth. Chicago's first MVP since Mike and the NBA's youngest ever. You best believe history is being made.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR-BLAKE GRIFFIN: From the YouTube's to the playgrounds Blake Griffin owned the dunk psyche of every fan in the world. Part Vince, part Shaq, part Kemp, part 'Chocolate Thunder' this mans air diesel, sweet dunks reigned supreme. Still re-defining the dunk and excitement wasn't the only reason B.G. was the L's greatest rook, (with all due respect to the concrete tough John Wall). Blake's all-round game took as good a shape as his chiseled physique, besides those lay-ups are just as nice as those dunks...depending on how old school you are. Right now this Griffin is a monster, but when the rest of his game develops that's when he'll be really scary. This is why unquestionably and unanimously Blake is your Rookie of the Year.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR-DWIGHT HOWARD: The third times the charm and Dwight Howard became thrice as nice for his third straight defensive honor. The NBA's new Ben Wallace (with an offensive set) you would never know that the dude is such a take no prisoners beast with that award-winning, family-friendly smile. Dwight isn't just one of the associations best players he's also a no fly zone shot swatting machine able to change the tempo of the game with one hit. Big in Florida like Rick Ross this Magic man is a boss in his kingdom. They may call his team a Mickey Mouse one but next to our hip-hop generations, Bill Russell everyone else looks Minnie. Sure this defence didn't help much in their Eastern postseason assault by Atlanta but still at least Dwight kept one title on guard.
SIXTH MAN OF THE YEAR-LAMAR ODOM: If you really look at this award and the talent it rewards it really epitomises one thing; unselfishness. Lamar Odom is a testament to this. Technically the Lakers sixth starter just imagine what he'd be like if he went for self a bit more. NO! The team-first mindset of Lamar is what makes him the special, all-round, diverse talent that he is, that's why Laker legend Pat Riley said he was like Magic back in the day. This is no trick. He should have been an All-Star this year, no fiction, but in reality L.O. knew it wasn't all about him. Being team-first and unselfish is a quality the struggling Lakers need now more then ever. With the defending champs inconsistencies making a three-peat in Phil Jackson's final year look uncertain at least there's hope with their one constant, Lamar Odom.
MOST IMPROVED PLAYER OF THE YEAR-KEVIN LOVE: Hate it or love it Kevin's always been this good. Sure he's getting better all the time but this year is where the league finally showed some heart and appreciation for Love seeing what he's really worth. Still this special K's vision has been 30, 30 in hindsight (we see you Moses Malone) and to go with those record numbers take a look at his 20 point, 15 rebound average. That's MVP numbers right there. Most teams would kill for a 20 and 10 guy but Love murders the opposition with 5 more boards (he could even wake up with 6 more). Plus, with his unselfishness you know those extra boards lead to extra points...for his team mates that is. You know Kevin could average 25, or even 20 and 20 and he'll sure better his best averages before his careers out and he wipes the glass for the last time, but that's a long time coming. Minnesota can now get over the mini Al Jefferson era as with Beasley and Love the 'Wolves have their best set of teeth since Garnett and Marbury/Sprewell/Cassell/Hudson (delete where appropriate, the control has now shifted). From now on expect Minneapolis to chase the West's best...Lakers that is and expect Love's numbers to Wilt...Chamberlain that is.
COACH OF THE YEAR-TOM THIBODEAU: After much analysis although T.V. guy Doug Collins stepped into the coaching rejuvenation machine with his Philly Sixers, the master of the dry erase this year was Tom Thibodeau, as the Chicago Bulls coach wiped the floor with the competition. I guess the legendary teaching of Rivers was just what the Doc' ordered. Still Doc Rivers may regret this as his former student and assistant may just beat his master. The Bulls have shown they can beat the reigning Eastern Champion Celtics and they are a clear contender to take Larry O'Brien even though all the talk is on the Lakers problems or trashed towards Miami. Thibodeau has shown he can harness the worth of his MVP Derrick Rose, the enthusiasm and passion of Joakim Noah, the rolling post deliveries of shrewd free-agent pickup, Carlos Boozer, the scoring of Luol Deng and the dynamics of the rest of the team and tie it all together to give the team it's first contention pull since a man named Mike Jeffrey took the air out of the United Centre. Now whose better then that? TIM DAVID HARVEY.