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Award Predictions for the 2019-20 NBA Season

The 2019-20 season is finally upon us, so before it starts let’s see how accurately we can predict which NBA players take home an award.

Rookie Of the Year: Ja Morant, Grizzlies

Ja Morant

Projected 2019-20 stats:

17.7 PTS 4.1 REB 7.4 AST 1.6 STL on 47.7% eFG(33.2% 3PT) and 76.3% FT

Obviously the popular pick going into this season is Zion Williamson, but all hype aside, look at who he’s playing with. Not only is he not the lead ball handler, but he’s arguably their 3rd option on offense after Jrue Holiday and Brandon Ingram, which means he has a higher change of putting up a modest 14 and 8 instead of the 20 and 10 everyone seems to expect. Morant on the other hand is playing with no such restrictions, and thanks to his nuclear athleticism and passing talent, he’s putting up numbers. With no other rookies poised to shine like Morant, he takes advantage and takes home the trophy.

Runner ups: Zion Williamson, New Orleans; RJ Barrett, New York

Coach of the Year: Doc Rivers, LA Clippers

Doc Rivers

LA Clippers 2019-20 projected record: 59-23

The race for Coach of the Year is looking like a three man race this year between Rivers, Philadelphia’s Brett Brown, and Utah’s Quinn Snyder. Rivers gets the edge because he’s the more experienced and well recognized coach out of the three, and he has the better team, which will lead to more wins. Seeing as the award usually goes to the coach of the winningest team in the league, Rivers is the likely winner.

Runner ups: Quin Snyder, Jazz; Brett Brown, 76ers

Sixth Man of the Year: Lou Williams, LA Clippers

Lou Williams

Projected 2019-20 stats:

18.7 PTS 2.4 REB 4.7 AST on 48.5% eFG(37.2% 3PT) and 88.3% FT

“He won’t three peat on an award, do you know what voter fatigue is??” is what you might be thinking right now, but voter fatigue can’t stop Lou Williams from simply outplaying every other bench player by a wide margin. With Kawhi Leonard and Paul George on deck, his stats will take a predictable dive, but as the best bench player in the league playing for arguably the leagues best team, he has all the pieces to have four SMOY trophies sitting at home by July.

Runner ups: Spencer Dinwiddie, Nets; Derrick Rose, Pistons

Most Improved Player: Caris LeVert, Nets

Caris LeVert

Projected 2019-20 stats:

18.6 PTS 4.9 REB 4.2 AST 1.2 STL on 48.2% eFG(34.7% 3PT) and 71.3% FT

Lonzo Ball is the most popular candidate for this award and he certainly can challenge for it, but A. He’s extremely inconsistent and B. We’ve already seen this type of production from LeVert in the games he played last season before his leg injury so he is a much safer prediction. With Kevin Durant out for most/all of the season, someone needs to bring offense to the table and there’s almost no doubt that LeVert can step up as Robin to Kyrie Irving’s Batman.

Runner ups: Lonzo Ball, Pelicans; Jaylen Brown, Celtics

Defensive Player of the Year: Anthony Davis, Lakers

Anthony Davis

Projected 2019-20 stats:

27.3 PTS 11.4 REB 2.7 AST 1.6 STL 2.7 BLK on 54.3% eFG(33.9% 3PT) and 80.2% FT

Injuries and lack of winning are the two things that have kept a generational talent like Davis from winning both DPOY and MVP, and this season with a championship caliber team and hopefully no injuries, he finally has a straight path to one of these awards. The stats will be there, as they always have been but an increased focus on the defensive end due to lesser role on offense with Lebron James in the fold, Davis will block Utah’s Rudy Gobert from three-peating.

Runner ups: Draymond Green, Warriors; Rudy Gobert, Jazz

Most Valuable Player: James Harden, Rockets

James Harden

Projected 2019-20 stats:

31.3 PTS 6 REB 7.2 AST 2.2 STL on 55.1% eFG(37.8% 3PT) and 87.7% FT

Stats? Check. A team with enough talent to get a top 3 record? Check. Motivation? Check. There’s just too much going for James Harden to give it to anyone else. After losing out last season (even though he probably should’ve won), Harden will come back this season with a superstar running mate in Russell Westbrook and lead the Rockets to the top record in the Western Conference. Stephen Curry won’t have enough wins, Lebron James and Davis cancel each other out, Durant is out for probably the whole year, and Leonard doesn’t try enough in the regular season. That leaves Giannis Antetokounmpo as the only other major contender for the MVP award. The only thing that stopped Harden last season from beating him was a lack of team success, so what’s going to stop him now that his team reloaded with the 2017 MVP?

Runners up: Stephen Curry, Warriors; Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks

Thanks for reading, follow me @antimccockiner on Twitter for the best basketball content out there and please share the hell out of this.

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