The 2nd annual NBA Awards show was last night. Who took home the big honors?
Two years in a row now, the NBA has had an awards show well after the Playoffs have ended. It is a bit of a strange tradition, but also fun for basketball enthusiasts to tune in to. Let's dive in to some of these awards.
Coach of the Year - A bit less exciting than some of the other awards depending on who you ask. The coach of the year for the 2017-18 season was Dwane Casey of the Toronto Raptors. As we'd talked about here, Casey was fired for his trouble after the season, but has already found work again in Detroit.
KIA NBA Most Improved Player - Spencer Dinwiddie, Clint Capela, and Victor Oladipo all took big steps forward this season. The winner was Victor Oladipo, who's big step forward turned him from a sidekick with potential into a full-blown NBA All-Star.
KIA NBA Defensive Player of the Year - Joel Embiid and Anthony Davis were imposing rim-protectors this season, but neither were on the level of this year's winner. Rudy Gobert was the defensive anchor of a surprisingly good Utah Jazz squad this season.
KIA NBA Sixth Man - There were many solid contributors off of the bench in the NBA this year, including runners up, Fred VanVleet and Eric Gordon. As we have discussed here before though, Lou Williams was head and shoulders above the rest, nearly being selected as an All-Star in the West despite his bench role.
KIA NBA Rookie of the Year - This one was probably the tightest race of the awards. Even for Jayson Tatum and the rest of the impressive rookie class, this was between Ben Simmons and Donovan Mitchell. "Spida" Mitchell looked great in the Playoffs, but this is a regular season honor - one taken home by Simmons.
KIA NBA Most Valuable Player - Anthony Davis was a beast this season and LeBron James carried his team all the way to the NBA Finals. Again, this is a regular season award however. The NBA's best regular season team was the Houston Rockets, led by the 2017-18 MVP - James Harden. Makes the OKC Thunder days of Durant, Westbrook, and Harden seem surreal.
Other awards - Daryl Morey of the Houston Rockets was Executive of the Year, Kemba Walker won the Sportsmanship Award, Jamal Crawford won the Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award, and Oscar Robertson won the Lifetime Achievement Award.