Former Jazz Coach Predicts Third DPOY For Gobert
Salt Lake City, Utah – Former Utah Jazz assistant coach Gordie Chiesa joined the Jazz Notes podcast. The coach gave his preseason predictions for end-of-the-year awards handed out at the NBA Awards Show in June.
Sixth Man of the Year: Lou Williams – G – Los Angeles Clippers
“He could score 14 points in a playoff game in a windstorm”
Lou Williams is far and away the odds-on favorite to win the Sixth Man of the Year award.
Williams has won the award each of the last two seasons, and had previously won it in 2015. Williams is only the second player to win the award in back-to-back seasons.
Lou Williams of House Clippers
First of his Name
Getter of Buckets
Underground GOAT#KiaSixth Man of the Year
— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) June 25, 2019
Working against Williams? No player has won it three consecutive seasons.
Executive of the Year: Sean Marks – Brooklyn Nets
Anytime an executive lands two future Hall of Famers, he deserves praise from his peers. Brooklyn Nets General Manager Sean Marks landed both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant in the off season, and the Nets appear to be championship contenders in the not too distant future.
Durant won’t suit up this season as he recovers from a torn Achilles tendon, but the Nets should still be favored to make a push for the postseason. If Irving can keep his attention on basketball, he’s one of the league’s most dynamic offensive players, and will draw deserved attention to Brooklyn.
If Irving and the Nets disappoint, watch for Clippers GM Michael Winger to make a push for the award.
Comeback Player of the Year: Kristaps Porzingis – Dallas Mavericks
“He’s a three point shooter, he’s an amazing shot blocker, and he runs the floor in transition.”
Kristaps Porzingis missed all of 2018-19 as he recovered from a torn ACL in his left knee.
The Mavericks acquired Porzingis from the New York Knicks before the trade deadline last season, knowing he’d miss the rest of the year before suiting up in Dallas. Can the Latvian big man live up to the expectations?
— Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) October 18, 2019
The Mavericks gave Porzingis a five-year $158-million deal this summer, believing that the injury was just a bump in the road.
Breakout Player of the Year: Caris LeVert – Brooklyn Nets
“He’s got a tremendous jump shot, and he’s got some bounce to his game.”
Before Durant can officially suit up for the Nets, Caris LeVert will assume some of his scoring responsibilities this season.
LeVert averaged 13.7 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.9 assists with the Nets last season, despite suffering a gruesome ankle injury last November.
A healthy season should give LeVert the opportunity the prove that the Nets are more than a two-man show.
Most Improved Player – Marvin Bagley III – Sacramento Kings
“He’s a shot-blocker and has a spirit about running the floor.”
Marvin Bagley III played a mysteriously small role for the Kings last season, despite being the second overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.
Through the preseason, Bagley has upped his minutes to 27.7 and his scoring average to 18.2 points per game.
— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) November 4, 2018
The Kings need a star to play alongside De’Aaron Fox, and Bagley would be the ideal partner to pair with the speedy guard.
Defensive Player of the Year – Rudy Gobert – Utah Jazz
“He takes it personal when someone scores in the paint against either him, or his floor-mates.”
Rudy Gobert is the two-time defending Defensive Player of the Year, and according to Las Vegas, is favored to win again.
— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) June 25, 2019
Gobert has led the Jazz to top three defenses in each of the last three seasons, but may face a tougher challenge losing his front court mate Derrick Favors over the summer.
If the Jazz slip back in their defensive rankings, Gobert could lose his grasp on the award.
Rookie of the Year: RJ Barrett – New York Knicks
“He’s going to have the ball to showcase his skills. He’s a major young talent.”
RJ Barrett was forced to play second fiddle alongside Zion Williamson at Duke.
It appeared he may be destined to once again be hidden by Williamson’s enormous shadow entering his rookie season, but a meniscus tear to Williamson might provide the Knicks rookie with the spotlight needed to win Rookie of the Year.
Barrett is a gifted scorer, and the Knicks have no reason to bring him along slowly. He’ll get every opportunity he needs to breakout in New York.
Most Valuable Player – Kawhi Leonard – Los Angeles Clippers
“Kawhi Leonard can guard anyone in the NBA, one through five.”
Leonard showed that as a one man wrecking crew in Toronto, he’s good enough to lead a team to a championship.
— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) October 11, 2019
The question now becomes whether he feels he needs a regular season MVP award to solidify his status as one of the best players the game has ever seen.
Leonard has two Defensive Player of the Year awards, two Finals MVP awards, and three All-Star appearances. Will he play enough during the regular season to capture the MVP, or is he saving his best work for the postseason?
The entire Jazz Notes Podcast with former Utah Jazz assistant coach Gordie Chiesa can be heard below.
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