In terms of bawfulness, there probably would have been no better outcome at the NBA's first annual award ceremony than for LeBron to win over James Harden, generating the gif that would be playing below of a slow motion zoom on Harden's face--the perfect portrait of enraged disbelief.
But alas, the voters made the obvious choice, and there is no such gif. There are few players that have ever seemed to want an MVP as clearly as Harden has, something he hasn't made a secret
. Although I don't believe that he's actually the best player in the game, not giving the MVP to the player who led the league in scoring on the team with the league's best record would be unprecedented and absurd, not to mention unamerican.
Another obvious choice was Ben Simmons. As impressive as Donovan Mitchell's scoring exploits were, Ben Simmons' rookie numbers were eerily similar to Magic Johnson
and the 76ers finished third in the east. It's a testament to how competitive this award was that the best rookie might not have been either player.
|So smooth, so very smooth
I'm not sure if the Coach of the Year award eases the pain of unemployment for Dwane Casey or not, but it should look nice on his resume. I would've gone with Brad. He may have won four less games, but he was coaching a team in flux with plenty of injuries, which strikes me as more impressive than continuing to be successful with your two established stars playing 158 games.
Lou Williams got his compensation for not making the all-star team with his second Sixth Man award. Perhaps if he was still playing for the team he won the first one with, Casey would have an award aaand a job right now.
Was Lou the right choice? Does anyone care? Well, maybe Eric Gordon, but in a year where the third most votes went to Fred VanVleet, might as well just give it to Sweet Lou.
Victor Oladipo was a slam dunk.
The hardest award to assign this year felt like DPOY. Green is always a solid choice, but didn't really do much to distinguish himself this year beyond what he'd already established. Davis comfortably led the league in blocks and is Anthony Davis. Drummond led the league in many advanced defensive stats, but something tells me this is an indicator that it's hard to create advanced stats for defense (still, I'll have to watch closer if the Pistons ever get on national TV again). Horford, Oladipo, George, and Capella deserve some sort of mention. Ultimately, Gobert took the award, which doesn't seem entirely unjustified as he is the anchor of a strong defense, but is still a bit of a headscratcher for me.
Obviously Gobert is not the guy you want waiting for you at the basket, but he didn't lead the league outright in any defensive statistic and played only 56 games. I'm also not aware of him leading the league in any advanced defensive stats, although he did often place in the top 5; so did Simmons, for that matter,
and I didn't hear any noise about him being in the running. I'll go with Anthony Davis because he's fucking Anthony Davis and call it a day.