Year-Round News & Updates on the Minnesota Timberwolves
Before the we even had a 2011-12 NBA Season, I went through and picked All-NBA teams, All-Defensive Teams, All-Rookie Teams and handed up the usual hardware (MVP, MIP, ROY etc.). However, I did so, before the lockout was even over, before any free agents signed anywhere etc.
I thought, I'd show you those 'predictions', follow them up with the actual award winners and/or the people I thought (now that the season is over) should've won.
First, let's start with the few individual awards that have already been handed out...
COACH OF THE YEAR
My Initial Pick: Erik Spolestra, Miami Heat
My Pick Now: Tom Thibodeau, Chicago Bulls
The Winner: Gregg Poppovich, San Antonio Spurs
--I was almost certain that Thibs was going to walk away with back-to-back Coach of the Year awards, after leading a Bulls squad that was without Derrick Rose for long stretches of the season to the #1 seed in the East and the best overall record in the NBA. However, Pop was Pop, yet again this season and he brought together, as usual, a band of strange players to grab the #1 seed in the West and the second-best record in the NBA. He again, got the most out of players that didn't seem like they had it in them: Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, DeJuan Blair etc.
MOST IMPROVED PLAYER
My Initial Pick: Serge Ibaka, Oklahoma City Thunder
My Pick Now: Nikola Pekovic, Minnesota Timberwolves
The Winner: Ryan Anderson, Orlando Magic
--I thought that prior to the season, Serge Ibaka was poised for a breakout year, I figured he'd have added a couple of 'tools' to his offensive 'work-belt' that would compliment what he already is capable of doing on defense to become a really complete player. He did so, to some extent, but I was expecting a bit more. Now, after the season is over, how can I pick anyone but the Mighty Montenegrin? Pek was my favorite player to watch and root for this season, he upped his scoring average by the most points in the NBA this year and upped his PER the second-most in the NBA. He complimented Kevin Love and drew defenders away from him, because if they didn't respect him, he'd just back 'em down low, until he was right under the bucket, catch the pass and just flip it in for an easy two. Pek finished third in the voting behind Anderson & Milwaukee's Ersan Ilyasova.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
My Initial Pick: Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic
My Pick Now: Tony Allen, Memphis Grizzlies
The Winner: Tyson Chandler, New York Knicks
--I figured, coming into the season, that Dwight Howard would again dominate the paint and easily walk away with yet another Defensive Player of the Year trophy. DH had a solid year, but we were all put through "Dwightmare" and he of course got hurt. The saga of "TRADE ME, DON'T TRADE ME, TRADE ME!" Really turned people off to the once lovable big man (including myself). My opinion? You're paid good money to play a sport you love, just play! Nobody likes the drama, JUST PLAY! However, Tyson Chandler was fairly deserving of this one. He really changed the culture of the New York Knicks on D, he became their second-best player (behind 'Melo) and excelled even more when Mike Woodson (known for his D) took over for Mike D'Antoni. However, I still think Memphis' Tony Allen should've won it. He's one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA and he's a big part of the success the Grizz have had these past two years.
That's it for the awards that have been handed out. For the last three awards, I'll give you my initial pick and my pick now and when they're announced in the coming weeks, I'll update this post with the winner.
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
My Initial Pick: Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder
My Pick Now: LeBron James, Miami Heat
The Winner: ?
--I was confident going into the season that KD would grab his first MVP trophy. It was a neck-and-neck race until the final week of the season. However, Durant went cold for a couple of games (including a nationally televised game) as LBJ continued his consistent, stellar play to snag this one. He'll regain that crown, once again. Ultimately it'll come down to these two for the votes, though.
SIXTH MAN OF THE YEAR
My Initial Pick: Jason Terry, Dallas Mavericks
My Pick Now: James Harden, Oklahoma City Thunder
The Winner: ?
--The only reason, I didn't pick James Harden initially (and I remember this) was because I assumed OKC would be putting him into the starting lineup and moving Thabo Sefelosha to the bench, that didn't happen and Harden basically put up great numbers and often times looked like an NBA All-Star! I don't forsee anyway that Harden doesn't win this, not at all! I picked Terry going into the season, because, that was what was fresh in my mind. Just few months earlier I watched as Dirk, Terry, Marion, Chandler etc. knocked off the Miami Heat to become NBA Champions.
ROOKiE OF THE YEAR
My Initial Pick: Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers
My Pick Now: Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers
The Winner: ?
--Like the LeBron James--Kevin Durant MVP battle, I truly believe that if Rubio hadn't gone down with the ACL/LCL injury, we would've had a similar battle for the Rookie of the Year. However, Kobe bulldozed through Ricky, with that the TWolves playoff hopes vanished and Kyrie Irving waltzed away with the award.
I'm just going to list my initial picks for the All-NBA Teams, then my picks now. Same goes for the All-Defensive Teams and the All-Rookie teams. I'll update them later when the winners, are announced.
All-NBA Teams (My Initial Picks)
All-NBA TEAMS (My PICKs NOW)
ALl-DEFENSIVE TEAMS (MY INITIAL PICKS)
ALL-DEFENSIVE TEAMS (MY PICKS NOW)
All-Rookie TEAMS (MY INITIAL PICKS)
All-rookie TEAM (MY PICKS NOW)
Well, that's all for now. I'll post the 'winners' when they're announced and provide a little more detail into my initial picks and the player I chose now.
Thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
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