The 2016-2017 pre-season is underway! It is time to look at the what the awards will be like at the end of the year. Will a surprising rising star step up as sixth man of the year or will a major MVP candidate get injured or be a bust? Here we have our top 4 predictions for every single award, ranked by who we think will take home the big awards!
Most Valuable Player (MVP)
This was one of the hardest ones to choose! There are some phenomenal players here. The most valuable player is a player who often carries the team on his back. He might even push the team to new limits, like making it to the Conference Finals. Below are our rankings for the MVP title!
Why We Think He’ll Win: Steph Curry has won this title for the past two years by becoming a fan favorite “babyface assassin.” He has proven to be an elite player and has broken several records. He’s a versatile asset. Although not the best at defensive, his explosive offensive makes up for it.
Why he won’t win: Kevin Durant. Kevin Durant is also a MVP candidate and having both on the same team might limit each of them reaching their full capability. The two would be competing for the same categories, as well on offensive which might limit the team’s defense.
Why We Think He’ll Win: He’s Mr. Triple Double. With Kevin Durant gone, he has the opposite problem with the Warriors. He’s the spotlight character and ready to take the team to new heights. He will do that by making a statement and winning (or in this case coming runner up) in the MVP votes.
Why we think he won’t win: Westbrook is not on a solid team. OKC will struggle this season. We can’t gauge how much just yet but we know it will be a tough season. Although Russell might play at a MVP caliber, the team’s record might hurt his chances.
Why we think he’ll win: He’s moved to the Bay Area to win and MVP is the first thing he’s going to want. He’s going to play explosively and put everything he has on the line to win every possible title. Kevin Durant is tired of losing! He wants to win every allocation coming this way.
Why we think he won’t win: Just like we said above, he is going to hurt his chances because he’s playing side-by-side with a 2 time MVP, Klay Thompson, who could arguably be a MVP if on another team, and Draymond Green. He might have a supporting team around him to win a championship, but most likely not to win the MVP title.
Why we think he’ll win: He is Lebron James. He is arguably the best player in the world and possibly an all-time great when he retires. Lebron James has been a MVP candidate since the day he stepped foot in the NBA. This year again shouldn’t be a problem. After winning the NBA Championships, we should see him performing again.
Why we think he won’t win: He is Lebron James. He’s also one of the most hated men in the NBA. Although he’s turned into the bad guy ever since Kevin Durant took that spot, he has a great team surround him. Like Steph and Durant, that might restrict him.
Honorable mentions: Kawhi Leonard, Anthony Davis, Dwayne Wade
NBA Scoring Leader Award
Why we think he’ll win: Just like in our assessment of whether he’ll win MVP, he is the number 1 man on the team. He is a threat in the paint as a point guard and shooting guard. He can shoot from almost anywhere on the court. When you need to take the last shot, it’s going to be to Russell Westbrook now.
Why we think he won’t win: Just like stated above, he is the number 1 man on the team. He is their go-to. If you can put your best defender on the number 1 man of the team, you’re breaking down their system.
Why we think he’ll win: Steph Curry is a monster threat. After destroying his own records this past year, we don’t see why he wouldn’t do that again. This past year was a devastating lost so we can’t see any reason that Steph Curry wouldn’t come back super charged to win a title.
Why we think he won’t win: This is the same reason as why he won’t win MVP. He has Kevin Durant on his team. Kevin Durant won three years in a row and won a 4th back in 2014. He has everything it takes to also be the scoring leader. However, with a new team, Durant needs to find his role and Steph Curry will need to worry on how to balance it out.
Why we think he’ll win: Damian Lilard is an angry man. After being constantly pushed down and losing his friend, LaMarcus Aldridge, Damian Lillard wants to win. He is going to showcase he ability to be a top scorer in the league during the season because of his snub for all NBA 1st team. He wants to prove himself to be elite!
Why we think he won’t win: There are better players. This is just like why he didn’t place in a first NBA team. There is more talent. There’s no doubt that he’s going to have again a monster season. However, there are other players who will likely step up and beat him.
Why we think he’ll win: James Harden is a monster scorer. With Dwight Howard leaving, it leaves Harden as the man for the team. He is ready to step up. Houston needs a major success in some way after a few disappointing seasons and having a scoring leader award is a major step forward.
Why we think he won’t win: Mike D’Antoni has a different coaching method. There is a chance that it might not work for the Rockets. James Harden will need to play into the system and practicing in the system is the first step. However, when it comes to wins and staying in the system, James Harden will be pushed. This might lead to a train wreck but might lead to a success.