NBA Awards picks – MVP, MIP, ROY and DPOY

With the regular season soon coming to an end, the NBA awards evening is fast approaching. Franchise Sports discusses our picks for MVP, MIP, DPOY and ROY.

This season will go down as one of the oddest years in NBA history. The Oklahoma City-Utah Jazz encounter will go down in history as the game that stopped the season to address COVID-19. With speculation the NBA is likely to resume at the end of July, fans can prepare for NBA action.

With this in mind, Franchise Sports’ writers present their selections on the NBA’s most prestigious awards – Most Valuable Player (MVP), Defensive Player of the Year (DPOY), Most Improved Player (MIP) and Rookie of the Year (ROY). Lawrence George, Sam Cox, Matthew Bowen, Dan Healy and Lewis Stokes share their selections in this article.

Lawrence’s Picks

MVP – Giannis Antetokounmpo

For the second straight season, Giannis Antetokounmpo is again leading the Milwaukee Bucks to the NBA’s best record. He is currently the only player in league averaging at least 30 points and 12 rebounds and possesses the associations best individual defensive net rating. The Bucks have won 53 games this season and have a commanding four game lead over the Lakers for the best record in the NBA. GA is the biggest reason why.

ROY – Kendrick Nunn

After going undrafted and spending 2018-19 in the G-League, Kendrick Nunn has exploded onto the scene with the Miami Heat. The 6’2 guard is posting an impressive 15.6 points on 44.8 percent shooting and 36.2 percent from three including setting a new NBA record 118 points in his first five games.
Morant will be tough to roll off the rookie of the year but it would add some spice after Morant trolled Nunn when he announced he is the ROY.

DPOY – Robert Covington

The Houston Rockets small-ball experience has managed to survive on the back of excellent defensive play by Robert Covington. Since arriving to H-Town, Roco is posting 12.8 points, 7.9 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 2.5 blocks, helping Houston to the league’s 15th best defense.

Without a seven-footer to man the paint, Covington is playing big and he’s doing a wonderful job protecting the rim.

MIP – Domantas Sabonis

It might come as a surprise to some but Domantas Sabonis is having a magical year with Indiana, averaging 18.5 points, 12.4 rebounds and 5 assists. The Pacers currently sit fifth in the Eastern Conference, two games behind the Miami Heat.

What is surprising is no-one is talking about Sabonis. His numbers are virtually the same as Bam Adebayo but he has had no superstar to play with. The Lithuanian was rewarded with his first All-Star appearance this season and why no-one is talking about him is beyond me.

Sam’s picks

MVP: Giannis Antetokounmpo

This one was an easy pick. I could’ve seen LeBron making a push if the Lakers ended up with the best record, but the regular season almost done. The Greek Freak is going back-to-back.

ROY: Ja Morant

Much like MVP, Rookie of the Year could have been a more interesting debate if the season ran its full length. Zion Williamson could have built a decent case if he played more games but that’s not how the season went. Ja Morant has been spectacular this season and has likely led the Grizzlies back to the playoffs.

MIP: Brandon Ingram

This was the toughest pick. With Brandon IngramPascal Siakam and Bam Adebayo making my final three, I decided Ingram deserved the award but its close. Ingram has increased his scoring output by eight points per game compared to last season and is converting 38.7 percent of his threes on a whopping 6.3 attempts (up from 1.8 in 2018-19).
Ingram’s play was rewarded with his first All-Star appearance and is my pick for MIP.

DPOY: Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis should be joining Hakeem Olajuwon and Michael Jordan as the only players to win MVP and DPOY in the same season. He’s behind on Gobert and Beverley on ESPN’s real plus-minus but he blocks shots, rebounds, and can defend one through five.
Gobert and Davis are in contention but the Bucks are miles ahead of everyone else defensively and Giannis is a major reason why.

Matthew’s picks

ROY – Ja Morant

Although the off-court hype and on-court play would make Zion Williamson a worthy recipient of ROY, Memphis would be outside the playoff picture if it wasn’t for Ja Morant. The 20-year old has shown leadership and fearlessness, propelling the Grizzlies to the eight seed in the West.
Ja is my ROY for the 2019/20 NBA season.

MIP – Chris Paul

Since arriving in Oklahoma City in a trade for Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul has shown a new lease of life leading an overachieving OKC roster to the 5th seed in the West. The Thunder were given a lowly 0.2% chance to make the playoffs prior to the season but the team has gelled behind Paul’s leadership and excellent play.
The future hall of famer was rewarded with his selection to the NBA All Star game this year, his first since 2013.

DPOY – Giannis Antetokounmpo

If you had to create the perfect defender, Giannis Antetokounmpo would be it. The reigning MVP guards all five positions and possesses elite athleticism, speed and high basketball IQ. He is the perfect defensive specimen for modern day NBA.
Antetokounmpo is an all-world defender and exudes a defensive dominance akin to that of Shaquille O’Neal, LeBron James, Scottie Pippen and Hakeem Olajuwon. He is amazing and is my pick for DPOY.

MVP – Lebron James

Like MJ, LeBron James should win MVP every year. Following a disappointing and injury-riddled 2018/19 season, LBJ has lead the resurgent Lakers to the top of the Western Conference with a 49-14 record. Now in his 17th season, James is producing at an unprecedented level and plays hard night in, night out.
Don’t overthink it. Crown the King MVP.

Dan Healy’s picks

MVP – LeBron James

Before the season started, I tipped LeBron to win MVP and he’s done a great job leading the Lakers the top seed in the Western Conference. If he leads the blue and gold to a title in year 17 while helping NBA fans overcome the loss of Kobe Bryant, it will go down as one of the greatest sporting achievements ever witnessed.

ROY – Ja Morant

Ja Morant was the obvious choice and it’s not close. His skill set, confidence and natural ability is jaw dropping. I can’t wait to continue to see Ja fully develop. He’s been a joy to watch.

MIP – Bam Adebayo

Bam finally got the chance to be allowed off the leash this year and he hasn’t disappointed. He has improved in every statistical category but his value is greater than his healthy box score suggests. Adebayo is an athletic two-way big man with excellent play making ability and handle. Defensively, Bam has great awareness, does a great job protecting the rim and covering up mistakes.
The big man was an All-Star this year and looks set to earn more appearances in the future. You can even add a skills champion accessory to his resume as well.

DPOY – Giannis Antetokounmpo

The most complete player in the game. Sometimes his explosion on the offensive end overshadows how brilliant he is defensively. He is comfortable defending one through five with his enormous wingspan, ridiculous agility and strength. Its scary to think he is yet to reach his peak.
THE FREAK!

Lewis Stokes’ picks

MVP – Giannis Antetokounmpo

This was a tough decision as LeBron and Giannis were evenly matched. However, I give the slight edge to Giannis because his field goal shooting his higher at 54.7% and he has also been one of the best defensive players in the NBA this year. Also improving on his rebounds and points from last year shows he has continued to improve his game with the added pressure of being the reigning MVP.

MIP  – Brandon Ingram

Being traded from Los Angeles to New Orleans showed that the Lakers did not believe in Ingram. In his first season with New Orleans he has continued to improve. He has attempted more threes and with this his percentage has gone up from 33% to 38.7%. With this Ingram has improved massively on his free throw shooting and has had career highs in many other categories especially points where that has jumped from 18.3 to 24.3.

ROY – Ja Morant

Morant has seized the opportunity to step up in Zion’s absence. Averaging 17.6 points alongside 6.9 rebounds on 49.1% field goal shooting on 30 minutes per game. Morant has shown that he has the potential to be an all-round guard if he can improve his 3 point and free throw shooting.


DPOY – Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis is quickly becoming the most dominant player in the NBA. Alongside his scoring he is also elite defensively. With his height and athleticism, he is arguably the most difficult player so score on and uses these traits to his advantage. He can shut players down defensively and force them to use another scoring option. With his 11.5 defensive rebounds and 1 block per game Giannis is probably the strongest candidate.

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