#NBA2015: Awards Watch: 2nd Edition

The NBA will celebrate their All-Star Weekend on February 13-15. This occasion will mark their "midway" point of the season. In connection with that, here are the predicted winners for each individual award.

Statistics and standings used are up to February 10, 2015. 

Here is the First Edition of the Awards Watch. 

Steph Curry is shooting for the MVP award

Most Valuable Player
1. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors  
2. James Harden, Houston Rockets
3. LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
4. Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans
5. Teague/Millsap/Horford, Atlanta Hawks 

The Warriors have been one of the best teams in the league over the last 2 months. Their loss to the Hawks hurt but the Dubs are still tops over in the Western Conference. The Splash Brothers have been making headlines with their shooting and Stephen Curry is at the forefront. His numbers are actually slightly lower than last season but it seems that his nightly impact feels bigger. Why? Simply because the Warriors are winning a lot of games and winning them in an entertaining fashion. Next, the Rockets are doing fine even without Dwight Howard because James Harden has officially crowned himself as the best SG. The Beard is #1 in scoring while averaging career-highs in points, rebounds, assists, steals and even blocks. Gosh, he even tries to play some defense every now and then. Over in the East, LeBron James and the Cavs have a more respectable record because LBJ woke up. He is now more involved on offense and defense. Plus averaging 27, 7 and 6 does not hurt at all. Sitting at #4 is Anthony Davis who is dominating both sides of the court. Davis is 4th in scoring while also being a primary candidate for DPOY. Finally, if the NBA is ready to give the MVP to multiple players, three players from the Hawks should get some consideration. Teague, Millsap and Horford played exceptional basketball especially during their 20-game win streak. Alone, they absolutely cannot win the MVP but as a unit, they have a fighting chance. The NBA already gave the 5 starters of the Hawks (Carroll and Korver included) Co-Players of the Month awards for January.

The Brow is keeping the Pelicans in playoff contention
(Image from: slamonline.com)

Defensive Player of the Year
1. Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans
2. Marc Gasol, Memphis Grizzlies
3. DeAndre Jordan, LA Clippers
4. Tyson Chandler, Dallas Mavericks
5. Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs

The DPOY typically goes to a big man most of the time so it is not a surprise that all five candidates are either PFs or Centers. The best of that bunch is Anthony Davis. This dude keeps getting better and better. Add a buzzer-beating three vs OKC to his accomplishments this season. He is 10th in boards, tops in blocks plus top 25 in steals. If there was a stat for altering shots, Davis would be up there too. Next up, Marc Gasol  and the Grizzlies are atop the least points allowed. As usual, Gasol has been an amazing defensive anchor for them. His rebounds and blocks are higher than last season. Another center is on this list, DeAndre Jordan of the Clippers. He has the most 20-20 games this season. Also, DJ is #1 in rebounds and #2 in blocks. Next is a previous winner of the DPOY, Tyson Chandler who won this award with the Knicks 3 seasons ago. Chandler sits at 6th in rebounds and 27th in blocks. Lastly, Tim Duncan, a former MVP and member of All-Defensive teams rounds up the top 5 candidates.

 Andrew Wiggins will be the ROY. Book it.
(Image from: sporstquotient.com) 
Rookie of the Year
1. Andrew Wiggins, Minnesota Timberwolves
2. Elfrid Payton, Orlando Magic
3. KJ McDaniels, Philadelphia 76ers
4. Nerlens Noel, Philadelphia 76ers
5. Bojan Bogdanovic, Brooklyn Nets

NBA fans were robbed of the chance to see Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins battle for the ROY when Parker went down with his ACL injury. Jabari was slightly ahead at that time especially since the Bucks were competitive. Now, Wiggins could win ROY outright even with Jabari still healthy. Wiggins made strong statements after he exploded for 31 and 33-point games in January. I guess we will never really know who is better until Parker comes back healthy next season.  

Speights can honestly say that he is an active contributor on the Dubs
(Image from: letsgowarriors.com)

Sixth Man of the Year
1. Marrese Speights, Golden State Warriors 
2. Lou Williams, Toronto Raptors
3. Jamal Crawford, LA Clippers
4. Isaiah Thomas, Phoenix Suns
3. Ryan Anderson, New Orleans Pelicans 

The Warriors are doing excellent this season and a couple of their guys are going to the All-Star game, Meanwhile, even the role players are doing well. One of those is Marrese Speights who continues to  be very productive and very efficient off the bench. He plays only about 18 minutes but averages 12 points and 5 boards. Lou Williams of the Raptors has fully recovered from his ACL injury of two seasons ago and his numbers off the bench reflect that. Perennial sixth man candidate, Jamal Crawford leads all bench players in points (16.0) but he plays the most minutes. As for Isaiah Thomas of the Suns, his numbers are not the same compared to when he played for the Kings but he has been a great spark off the bench. Lastly, Ryan Anderson is doing his share as the primary big man off the bench. His 15 points and 5 boards attest to that.

Jimmy Butler is still the best player on the Bulls
(Image from: Bleacher Report)

Most Improved Player

1. Jimmy Butler, Chicago Bulls
2. Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors
3. Nikola Vucevic, Orlando Magic
4. Darren Collison, Sacramento Kings
5. Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors

Jimmy Butler will be in the All-Star game and he deserves that. His numbers are somewhat down from when he was named Player of the Month for November. However, Butler still leads the Bulls in scoring and minutes played. Another first time All-Star, Klay Thompson has seen his shooting game grow. His shooting percentages have increased across the board and he is currently 10th in scoring. Meanwhile, Orlando is having a tough win-loss season but Nik Vucevic is having a career year in scoring and shooting from the field. Over in Sacramento, Darren Collison is playing well but his biggest contribution might be keeping DeMarcus Cousins happy with his touches. Lastly, Draymond Green of the Dubs is averaging career-highs in points, rebounds and threes made. He is an integral part of their rotation.

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