KSL UNRIVALED

Unrivaled: Picking NBA End Of Year Awards

Jul 24, 2020, 12:51 PM
Giannis Antetokounmpo - NBA MVP...
(L-R) Giannis Antetokounmpo accepts the Kia NBA Most Valuable Player award from NBA Commissioner Adam Silver onstage during the 2019 NBA Awards presented by Kia on TNT at Barker Hangar on June 24, 2019 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Turner Sports)
(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Turner Sports)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The NBA decided that it is not going to use the final eight games in the Orlando bubble to help determine the league’s annual awards.

This means that whatever numbers and stats a player put up prior to the NBA’s restart will be their final case to take home some end of year hardware.

The decision to exclude seeding games from awards voting ensures a fair process in which players and coaches from all 30 teams will have the same opportunity to be honored as top performers for the regular season. — The NBA said in a recent memo it sent to teams.

This is not totally fair to those teams who still have a lot to play for over the final eight games but it is understandable since these are very unique situations for the NBA.

Then there are players that are not in the Orlando bubble and are likely not going to be in the conversation for MVP, Rookie of the Year, or other awards. However, this is a double-edged sword because the players currently finishing up the season are missing out on the chase for a final resume boost.

Who Should Win Awards?

With the news of the final eight games not counting, KSL’s UnRivaled decided to hand out their own hardware for the 2019-20 season.

The 20 or so games that were missed are really important and that makes these awards a little less valuable. That is the point host Alex Kirry made about these awards, but he also wants to go one step further and have playoffs included for end of year achievements.

“We were shorted of the most important 19 games of the season. Everybody knows that all of these things are good. This is where the end of the year awards are not going to mean anything this year,” Kirry said. “They shouldn’t be the only ones that should matter.

“After everything is said and done, you give an MVP out for the entire season. Orlando included, playoffs included. Normally we give the MVP and we go. The playoffs aren’t a part of the consideration. The [NBA] Finals aren’t a part of the consideration. This year they need to be this year. Do it all differently. You don’t need to go,  ‘Well, we’re going to do things literally.'”

Going the entirety of the season makes sense since some players elevate their game when there is a lot more on the line in trying to win the Larry O’Brien trophy.

Skimping out on these games could cost Utah Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson, who came in mid-season and is now missing out on these final eight games as part of his case.

Alex Kirry, KSL Unrivaled Host

Sixth Man – Jordan Clarkson, Utah Jazz

“Jordan Clarkson could be looked at for a sixth man of the year, but he joined the Jazz in December. You know what would happen if he has a decent eight-game stretch here and then a nice run in the playoffs there. Then you know who the sixth man of the year is going to be?”

Rookie of the Year – Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzles

“Here’s the only thing that I see coming out of this. It will be positive. Is that is that this award is not going to go to Zion Williams. If they had the eight games in Orlando it probably would go to Zion.”

Mitch Harper, Cougar Sports Saturday Host

MVP – LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers

“It’s LeBron James. It’s not Giannis [Antetokounmpo]. It’s LeBron James. I mean, having his best year yet. And he’s in year 17. The Lakers were a team that wasn’t even going into the playoffs. And then he goes to the Lakers and he’s building them up. It’s got to be LeBron.”

Sixth Man – Lou Williams, Los Angeles Clippers

Rookie of the Year – Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies

“He does the work. He did it the whole year and he’s been fantastic,” Harper said. “He’s going to be great. I love his attitude in the bubble, too. He’s like, ‘I’m not a silver spoon life. And I’m not complaining about my meals in the bubble-like some of these players are.’ He just is enjoying his rookie season.”

Coach of the Year – Billy Donovan, Oklahoma City Thunder

Defensive Player of the Year – Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers

“It’s going to be Anthony Davis. I mean, Anthony Davis, Anthony Davis that I considered Giannis and I considered Ben Simmons and Rudy Gobert like fourth in the voting here for Defensive Player of the Year.”

NBA awards are being voted on by the media between July 21-28.

Tune into KSL Unrivaled every Monday through Friday, 7-9 p.m., or download the KSL NewsRadio app to subscribe to the podcast

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