2019-20 Player of the Year Voting Thread (Winners: LeBron, AD, Ja...)

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2019-20 Player of the Year Voting Thread (Winners: LeBron, AD, Ja...) 

Post#1 » by Doctor MJ » Mon Oct 12, 2020 8:51 pm

NOW COMPLETE!

This years Discussion thread can be found here:

viewtopic.php?f=64&t=1940457&p=81738783

To vote, please send me a PM and give your credential which can be either

1. You've been involved in this year's POY Discussion.
or
2. You've been involved with past votes.

When you vote you'll use the following guidelines:

1. POY is a 5 man ballot, OPOY, DPOY, ROY, MIP, 6MOY, COY, and EOY are 3 man ballots. You do not have to vote for all awards, but for your vote to count in any given award you must give a complete ballot.

2. You are voting based on a player's performance this year. There's a lot of wiggle room about what that entails, but this is not a "Who would you most want to acquire?" debate.

3. You are giving at least some explanation for each award you vote for.

Voting Panel (so far):

1. Doctor MJ
2. therealbig3
3. eminence
4. Dutchball97
5. Jordan Syndrome
6. O_6
7. ardee
8. Fundamentals21
9. Ambrose
10. Heej
11. kayess
12. HeartBreakKid
13. MisterHibachi
14. PaulieWal
15. No-more-rings
16. Joey Wheeler

We are now live and the thread will be open for voting through Friday night. (When I wake up on next Saturday I'll tally the votes.)

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Please try to keep discussion in the Discussion thread for the most part.

Also, if you want to change your vote, please just edit your post. Don't make a new voting post and say "Ignore the old one".

Happy Voting!
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Re: LIVE: 2019-20 Player of the Year Voting Thread (Deadline Friday 11:59 PM PST) 

Post#2 » by therealbig3 » Sat Oct 17, 2020 8:15 pm

POY:

1. LeBron James - still the best all-around player in the game, and he had a really strong bounce back year in terms of his defense...I personally think he warranted All-D honors, and the reason I have him head of Davis for #1 is because I think he's closer to Davis on defense than Davis is to him on offense (and clearly at that)

2. Anthony Davis - was not a believer for the RS, but he showed me in the PS that he can have major offensive impact as an inside/outside off-ball terror, and he ramped up his defense to best in the game levels; I think it also demonstrated that having fewer weaknesses is what's most important in a playoff series...there's nothing you can do to "expose" Anthony Davis, he's an elite defender in any situation; Gobert imo is susceptible to high level PnR basketball, and Giannis just seemed too undisciplined and also seemed to struggle as a man defender (Butler attacked Giannis in a way he never dared to against Davis)

3. Nikola Jokic - we all knew he was a top 10 player, but his playoff run was his coming out party as arguably best in the game. Arguably the best offensive player in the league, and I think his defense is underrated too. He's certainly vulnerable on defense, but he's overall got high IQ and great hands.

4. Giannis Antetokounmpo - monstrous RS, one for the ages really, but obviously a hugely disappointing playoffs, which caused the drop-off to #4. However, I don't think I can completely dismiss him as a playoff #1 option, but he might need to just be used in a different role, so he'll hold onto his top 5 spot for now.

5. Jimmy Butler - mainly because of his playoff run, especially his Finals, because his RS was nowhere close to the top 5. But I said I would reward him if Butler really went way above and beyond what he demonstrated before, which he did. He was more impressive in the PS than Harden, Kawhi, and Giannis imo. Only reason I give Giannis the edge is because of the RS gap and because I give him a little bit of the benefit of the doubt because of coaching and personnel around him.

HM:

6. Harden - another Harden year, played well in the PS, people above him were just better
7. Kawhi - excellent when he played, but missed a lot of RS time and disappointing end to the PS where he failed as an individual
8. Doncic - my 2nd favorite player after LeBron right now, wouldn't be surprised if he's #1 next year...but as much as I loved watching him in the PS, the objective proof of his impact isn't there compared to the guys above him



OPOY

1. LeBron James - the most unstoppable offensive force in the game, just dominates the PS year after year and hasn't been successfully slowed down by a PS defense in A LONG time
2. Nikola Jokic - there's no good defense for great passing and great decision-making, especially when combined with efficient shooting and post play
3. James Harden - another monstrous offensive season that's going to be forgotten because his team lost and he still has flaws that rear their ugly head come playoff time

HM: Luka - he led the Mavs #1 offense, but they were excellent when he was on the bench too, so I can't put him ahead of guys whose offenses would fall apart without them


DPOY

1. Anthony Davis - most resilient and versatile defender in the league, wouldn't pick anyone else over him in a playoff situation
2. Bam Adebayo - not much else to say, other than he's a slightly worse version of Davis, was by far the biggest reason why Miami's defense was such a problem for opposing teams in the PS
3. Giannis Antetokounmpo - also similar to Davis and Bam, but too undisciplined and susceptible to dribble penetration to actually take him over them

HM: Gobert - kind of by default...but I can't really consider him when he loafed during the RS and the Jazz defense fell off badly as a result, and then the Nuggets kind of got whatever they wanted outside of game 7


COY

1. Erik Spoelstra - not really close to a debate in my mind. Blasted their way through the East, and then gave the Lakers their toughest fight of the playoffs despite being devastated by injury
2. Nick Nurse - Raptors got the #2 seed despite their best player leaving in free agency, and barely lost in the 2nd round, could have easily made it to the conference finals, and who knows how they would have matched up with the Heat. Incidentally, Stevens going the distance against Toronto while losing to the Heat despite having a lot more talent on his roster than those two teams drops him out of consideration
3. Rick Carlisle - hugely underrated, had the best offense in the league and I credit him a lot for the leap into superstardom that Luka experienced in year 2...as long as KP stays healthy, I trust Carlisle to lead them in the right path around his superstar duo.
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Re: LIVE: 2019-20 Player of the Year Voting Thread (Deadline Friday 11:59 PM PST) 

Post#3 » by ardee » Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:59 pm

POY

1. LeBron James: pretty much a peak Magic/Bird year which is bonkers at age 35. Shame that covid shut things down and didn't really give him a chance to fight Giannis for the MVP but I think he'll be happy with the way things ended. I never bought into the idea AD was better, especially considering it's part of LeBron's job to make AD look as good as possible.

2. Anthony Davis: would be a worthy no. 1 in a bunch of other seasons. Historical Playoff numbers and though he might be the worse player, I think one could've made an argument he had a better Playoffs than Bron if not for the tail off in the last few Finals games. His offensive game seemed far more resilient in the Playoffs than any of the other contenders and on defense he definitely accumulated more value there than Giannis or any of the others in that level.

3. Nikola Jokic: has a serious argument for top 5 big all time on offense (depending on if you consider Dirk and Chuck "bigs"). In the Clipper series his rebounding was monstrous and his defense was underrated too all the while looking like Dirk himself at times scoring the basketball.

4. James Harden: After looking at him again I think I undersold him a fair bit in my earlier discussions. Despite the chaotic team situation kept up his individual production and then actually more or less maintained it in the Playoffs.. probably his best postseason ever tbh.

5. Kawhi Leonard: Decent year. Looked like it was on run to be something special with the Playoff numbers he was putting up while Pandemic P wet the bed. But given the otherwise not that incredible RS he'd need to accumulate more value in the Playoffs to move up and he simply lost before he could do that.

Super super HM: Giannis Antetokounmpo (what can I say, he just completely failed in the role he needed to fill in the Playoffs despite being wildly successful at it in the RS (so it's not like he was unfairly asked to do something different)... plus he got hurt. The only combo of circumstances that could get him from no. 1 after the RS to out of the top 5)

Super HM: Luka Doncic (easily top 3-4 on offense, really just misses out due to his defense. He'll be a fixture in the top 5 for a long time)

HM: Jimmy Butler (amazing effort in the Finals and had two of the best games in that round ever. Overall though his Playoffs don't make up for his RS which while quite commendable doesn't stack up against these other guys)

OPOY

1. LeBron James: a good percentage as good as he was in '17 or '18, which is good enough for the win here. Slightly less explosive but can still do pretty much anything he wants on the court offensively.

2. James Harden: very hard to argue against his results year after year, especially now that he finally maintained it fully in the Playoffs too.

3. Nikola Jokic: close between him and Luka, I think it really just comes down to the shooting edge that Jokic provides.

Super super HM: Luka Doncic

DPOY

1. Anthony Davis: He got DPoY buzz early in the season and I don't know why it went away... I guess people liked the idea of Giannis winning both MVP and DPoY. Some of the stuff he did throughout the Playoffs and ESPECIALLY the Finals on that end was just absolutely ridiculous. The way he was guarding Butler who was on absolute fire in the Finals is gonna be remembered for a long time.

2. Giannis Antetokounmpo: I think Bam was better in the Playoffs but the edge that Giannis built up in the RS was a bit much to be overcome. Especially given Lopez was worse this year, keeping the Bucks at no. 1 is impressive.

3. Bam Adebayo: Kind of by default.
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Re: LIVE: 2019-20 Player of the Year Voting Thread (Deadline Friday 11:59 PM PST) 

Post#4 » by HeartBreakKid » Sun Oct 18, 2020 8:21 am

Here is my ballot without any details or explanation

Spoiler:
Player of the Year
1) Lebron James
2) Nikola Jokic
3) Luka Doncic
4) James Harden
5) Kawhi Leonard

Offensive Player of the Year
1) Lebron James
2) Nikola Jokic
3) Luka Doncic

Defensive Player of the Year
1) Rudy Gobert
2) Ben Simmons
3) Bam Abedayo

Rookie of the Year
1) Ja Morant
2) Zion Williamson
3) Tyler Herro

Most Improved player of the year
1) Bam Abedayo
2) Jayson Tatum
3) Fred VanVleet

Sixth Man of the Year
1) Goran Dragic
2) Dennis Schroeder
3) Serge Ibaka (Originally Dwight Howard but I changed my vote)

Coach of the Year
1) Rick Carlisle
2) Erik Spoelstra
3) Brad Stevens

Executive of the Year
1) Sam Pressi
2) Pat Riley
3) Rob Pelinka


Player of the year

Lebron James – I was one of the few guys, perhaps the only guy who gave LBJ a top 5 vote in 2019 because quite frankly….he seemed pretty damn great to me still. I got a lot of heat not because LBJ missed the playoffs but because people thought he was a bit past it? Seems like that is a bit debunked – James looks like the same player that he was 5 years ago or so, maybe a bit slower. Offensively he is just as dominant as ever before, you really couldn’t find many players who are clearly better than him at scoring in an all time sense other than Michael Jordan. Now defensively well, I suppose that might be difference between him and the 2019 version, he was pretty juicy on this end, though I disagree very strongly about him being a defensive player of the year candidate. He is maybe as good as a 2nd all defense player, but even then I’m not positive.

Nikola Jokic – All time great offensive player right here – he is the perfect example of a guy who can score at will but doesn’t need too in order to produce great offense. I voted him #2 last year also, I don’t think there Is currently an impactful enough defender in the league right now who can really make up for the absolute premium you get for Jokic on offense. I said this in the 2019 version of my vote for Jokic “If the Nuggets had real star power I think Nikola would absolutely kill it.” – we saw a glimpse of this with Murray raising his play and now the Nuggets are one of the best teams in the league. Imagine if he had another star, or even replaced Murray with someone more stable? (Murray was on fire and played against teams with subpar perimeter defense, when Mike Conley returned in round 1 he was a bit more controlled and he struggled against the Clippers who have legitimate perimeter defense). I am a big proponent of taking people’s teammates into context.

Luka Doncic – I’m going all in with Luka. I think he’s a legitimate super star, and if his team was more healthy or he had another star (Porzingis is not really a star) he’d get past the Clippers no problem. Offensively I think he is just as good as Nikola and Harden. Actually I give him some benefit of a doubt over Harden, albeit they’re basically equal – I think his ability to get the ball moving around and more insistence on mid range shots make him a better floor general than El Chapo.

James Harden – This was his best post season run to me, he pretty much delivered on most fronts and defensively he never looked better. Actually, I considered putting Harden over Luka just because of the defensive edge, but thinking about it even if he is a better defender his defense in a vacuum might not move the needle that much. I think he is neck to neck with Luka, I just feel offenses around Harden are a bit more stagnant than with Luka, so I’d say Luka is a more dynamic offensive player because of that. Bringing it back to the teammate argument, if he kept Cp3 instead of Westbrook the series with the Lakers would have been very interesting.


Kawhi Leonard – The collateral damage from the Clippers failing in the post season has done some serious damage to Kawhi Leoanrd. At this point I actually feel like people were waiting for something “bad” to happen to Kawhi just so they can tear him down a bit. Here is the thing, I feel if you thought 2019 Kawhi was the POY last year – which many did, there isn’t really a reason to be so low on him this year. He did the same exact thing he did in Toronto…only difference is he didn’t get as far – so unless winning is a heavy part of your criteria I don’t quite understand why people are low on Leonard? He did not coast more for the Clippers than Toronto (he played only 3 less games despite the season closing prematurely due to COVID-19). His numbers are the same as his Toronto day, more or less. His numbers in the post season held up as they usually do (28/9/5, 59 TS% 2.5 Turnovers). In fact, he was the only player on the Clippers who really did play “well” and most people seemed to acknowledge that until game 7 of the Semi-finals. Yeah….I guess you’re as good as your last game, he’s not really the first player to get torn down for having a bad game 7, but it’s kind of unjustified considering he did his job. The rest of the Clippers really stunk – but if they played not like a varsity team and they get past the Nuggets, no one really doubts Kawhi’s impact that much, conversely though people would use it as ammo for why Jokic “isn’t good because he’s big”. This was also the first season in a long time where I thought he played good defense consistently, not really DPOY but he seemed like an all-defense level wing. His lack of playmaking I think is still a major weakness in contrast to Luka/Harden so I put them over Leonard.

Giannis and Davis are my two big snubs. They’re both guys who dominated different parts of the season (RS hero and PS hero respectively), both guys were the DPOY candidates…but I don’t think either guy is actually that elite on defense (especially Giannis he gets a ton of credit just cause of how elite the Bucks are on defense, but his roleplayers are more defensive oriented ones and that gets overlooked). I don’t think Davis “has to be the #2 guy” to do what he did, I think if you pair James with any top ten guy he’s getting a title unless he is going up against a big 3. I also think Giannis offense is not nearly as bad as people make it seem, big reason why some peoples eye test is not that good is because they only remember the very bad or the very good and not the “mundane”. A mundane possession for Giannis is still a bucket, and one where an entire defense has to collapse on him to stop him – that’s gravity and that is powerful in a championship roster, which the Bucks are not. Davis offense and defense is very good, and I suppose because he is quite traditional it seems like he doesn’t have many weaknesses, I don’t really buy that he can be the #1 guy on a championship team. Sure being a great Robin is awesome, but if you’re the #2 best player or even the 5th in the league why would you be judged by that standard? It seems like a weird thing like people are assuming it is perfectly normal to have a Lebron James quality teammate. Personally, I think if you want to go deeper for a championship and you’re building a championship roster – Luka, Leonard and Jokic will take you further, even if they are not the defender AD is – they just seem more resilient. (given the proper context)


Offensive Player of the Year

Lebron James – I touched on his elite scoring already in my POY vote, but it’s worth noting this is really the first season where Lebron James truly played as a point guard. He brought the ball up full court more often, played further from the rim than he has in a long time, played more pick and roll, was the first line in transition defense (and the Lakers ended up being a very good transition defensive team) – and as a result he lead the league in assist and was the only guy to go over 10 APG. His floor generalship is elite, and his playmaking is even better. Doesn’t make sense to me to trust anyone else over James if you want your best bet at scoring.

Nikola Jokic – Ill go the different direction with Jokic, his passing is a given – I really love Jokic’s ability to score. He is really good at moving without the ball, he gets into post position and when he does he is not timid, he will bully his way in if he has to. There are not many 7 footers who have a post game like Jokic, and along with his triple threat ability he is one of the best scorers in the league in addition to being the best playmaking center of all time. If he can get his offensive rebounds back up he can take another leap.

Luka Doncic – The Mavericks had the best offense despite not having any real star talent – their next highest profile player is Porzingis, who is more impactful from the defensive end than anything. If Porzingis doesn’t miss so much time it’s entirely possible that they beat the Clippers, and I thought the Clippers were the best defensive team in the West.

Defensive player of the year

Rudy Gobert - Gobert is a case of a player who has been there and done that, so there is fatigue against him – plus as a really big player a lot of fans are not convinced that they can guard the perimeter anymore. I really don’t see the basis for this, this again goes to why some peoples eye test are not that good, because they only remember the times when mega elite players like Curry score on him in isolation and they never forget that. It’s not that efficient offense to have your guy go one on one against Gobert with everyone standing while they settle for a step back 3. Gobert is statistically as dominant as ever and the Jazz were not pushovers this season. Murray went off on the Jazz because they just had bad perimeter defense – once Mike Conley came in and made it more balanced then the Nuggets really felt Gobert’s impact. Not to mention Gobert did a decent job against Nikola, who is the #2 offensive player in my eyes.

Ben Simmons – While I just basically kissed Gobert’s ass by saying mega fast perimeter defense isn’t everything, it’s still really damn important. I don’t think there is a better PnR “big” player who is as good as Ben Simmons. This guy is really a freak among freaks, and the Sixers are just such a punching bag that many people won’t take Simmons seriously (doesn’t help that he missed the post season either). He can guard guards….I’m not talking like on a few dribbles, he can take them full time and hold more than his own. Compared to Giannis/Davis who often are said they can guard 1-5, Simmons actually really can guard 1-5 full time (depends how good the 5 is or how tiny the 1 is, but he can guard most of them). He should be recognized as a future all time great defensive player, but it doesn’t seem like that’s caught up (defensive reputation is always a couple of years behind from my observation).

Bam Abdeayo – This is piggy backing off of Ben, he is another guy who is freakishly fast and he can play “bigger” than Ben with real paint protection and tough rebounds. He’s not as disciplined as Davis, especially the first half of the season, but one has to take into account because it’s his third season he was improving as the season was actually going – and by the time the Bubble came he basically was a 4th year player and it looked like he took a quantam leap. The Heat’s defense punched much higher than it’s 14th DEF rating because of this mid-season leap, and they are more or less the second best team in the league.

Rookie of the year

Ja Morant – I barely watched any bad teams this season, by far the lowest amount in years. I’m usually a big prospect watcher but I just couldn’t find the time. I’m going with the grain and giving it to Ja Morant. He seems like he does everything right, and on top of being a freak athlete his game is quite mature.

Zion Williamson – For every other award 24 games is way too small of a sample size for me to take seriously. But rookie of the year I take games and minutes out the window because so much of it is so circumstantial (because of minutes which is more directly related to how awful your teammates are more than anything) – so a player who misses time from an injury kind of catches a lucky break here. Zion already looks like a #2 scorer on a contending team which easily puts him above the rest of the rookie class, and he’s not bad at the other aspects of ball for a rookie.

Tyler Herro – The crazy length of this season did wonders for a super young rookie. The 5 month break during the RS basically turned Tyler and the rest of the rookies into second year players. He was truly excellent in the bubble during the RS and the PS. A poor finals appearance took down his averages…but think about that – he’s a rookie and we’re talking about the NBA finals in the same sentence. He was a major component to why the Heat got as far as they did, and he really killed it against the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals. He is the Heat’s 4th or 5th best player and the Heat are the second best (third at worst) team in the league. That’s incredible.

Most Improved Player of the Year

Bam Abedayo – So as a rule of thumb I generally do not consider second year players applicable for “Most Improved Player” otherwise I would probably vote Luka (and most years it’s probably going to go to a 2nd year dude). With my criteria in mind, first place was razor close between Abedayo and Tatum. Both guys really solidified themselves in new tiers (star tiers no less). Tatum took what feels like a bigger if not more important leap on offense – but Bam’s defense really went to new heights. Tatum has always been a good defender since his rookie year, but Bam went from a solid defender with a lot of potential to living up to that potential. His ability to cut down on personal fouls alone allowed him to play 10 more minutes, and he was a major reason why the Heat were so hard to deal with in the East.

Jayson Tatum – If there was a comeback award Jayson might get this. He had a sophomore slump and was looking like a top 30 guy – but this year he has broken into the top ten, or he’s about as good as a top ten guy. He is now a legitimate volume scorer on great efficiency, and his passing ability clearly improved to the next level in the bubble.

Fred VanVleet – Fred basically did what he did last year for the Raptors but scaled it up with Kawhi gone. He is now a good back up scorer, dropping 17.6 points for the season while being an awesome floor general and good passer. He doesn’t hog the ball, he can shoot, he can score, he plays good defense despite his size and he plays better in the post season than RS. He really solidified himself as a true starter.

Brandon Ingram did improve, but it seemed much more like gradual improvement other than a quantum leap into a new tier – I don’t think he did anything this year no one expected him to do. My guess for his MIP love is that a lot of people thought he was much worse than he was in Los Angeles and because he was less micro analyzed in New Orleans people have a better impression of what he is good at as opposed to just looking at his flaws.

6th Man of the Year

Goran Dragic – He was the third best player on a finals team. A good offensive force and a solid defender – he was a major consistent in the Heat, and it’s a shame he went down in the finals. I don’t really get the argument on how he’s not a 6th man? He barely started, and the argument that he’s as good as a starter therefore he shouldn’t be a 6th man seeks weak – every 6th man is as good as a starter that’s what makes them a 6th man and not just a bench guy. Anyway, he started in the playoffs because Nunn was bad in the bubble due to injury and other concerns. Ideally the Heat would have had him come off the bench, at least for a quarter of the post season.

Dennis Schroeder – He played solid ball during the RS, but in the post season he really stepped up his game. He had games where he was better than SGA and CP3, which is no small task for someone off the bench. I don’t think he’s really better than Goran at any major aspect of basketball, maybe not even defense (perhaps a bit better but not much).

Serge Ibaka - In the original version of this post I had Dwight Howard, but I think it's hard to say Dwight was actually better than Ibaka. I knew I wanted someone from Toronto on this list but couldn't think of any names until I saw Jordan Syndrome vote for Serge Ibaka. Serge is a still a good defender and he can make shots easy. He actually kills a lot of teams when he plays even in the post season, he's a real energizer in his own way. Dwight Howard is way more situational and doesn't play a lot in general, not to mention is not anywhere near as good on offense as Ibaka is.


Not a great year for 6th men really, especially since Lou and Trez are kind of empty stat guys. They’re just so bad defensively, it’s hard to take a lot of what they offer seriously, and their offense (especially Trez) is easy to shut down.

Coach of the Year

Rick Carlisle – I have been saying for years that Rick is the BOAT, but without hardware or deep playoff runs (or in the case of the past few years no playoffs at all) it’s been a lonely island. I really think he knows the exact value of just about every player he has on his own team. The Mavericks had the highest ORTG of all time, and while I was giving a lot of that credit to Luka….when he is sitting the Mavericks still have a great offense. This is a team that is playing rejects like Tim Hardaway Jr – perhaps those guys were underrated in hindsight, but it seems like Rick knew what to do with what were basically thrown away parts. The Mavericks gave the Clippers a serious bloody nose despite not having Porzingis, and they could have gone on a real run.

Erik Spoelstra – This was a two man race between him and Rick, though I suspect Erik will win COY pretty easily while Rick will be fortunate to get 4th place. Erik is really good at tinkering with his line ups, establishing the ball gets moved around and giving players ample responsibility and holding them accountable to it. He was really good at nearly having every player play to their upmost limits, only rarely giving players more than what they can handle (usually because he had too because in the post season beggers can’t be choosers unless you have a stacked team). He’s really improved tenfold, and is one his way to becoming an all time great.

Brad Stevens – I’m going with old faithful over the new model in Nick Nurse. For one, I don’t really get what Nick Nurse did that was that special? I think the take that the Raptors won over 50 games over Kawhi Leonard is the laziest take all season – it really takes like 2 seconds to see why that anyone who predicted the Raptors to go under 50 this game should never get into sports betting. The Raptors have won over 50 games since 2016, and haven’t won less than 48 games since 2013 (to put things in perspective, Lebron James was on the Heat back then and only had one ring, and Roy Hibbert was a DPOY candidate). What is different from the 2020 Raptors and the 2018 Raptors? They dropped DeMar who sucks and that alone would make a team better, and he was replaced with all-star Pascal Siakam, a more seasoned Fred VlanVleet, more seasoned O.G. Anunoby and they had Marc Gasol (okay, he wasn’t very good this season, but coming into the season it was reasonable to expect he’d help out). Where is the overachieving here? Who the heck is winning less than 50 in the East with that roster plus Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka? As for the Celtics vs Raptors match up – without Gordon Hayward I think they are very comparable talent wise, with the Raptors having better depth and Celtics having better firepower – and while the Celtics overall are still more talented….didn’t that reflect in the results? The Celtics did win, and while it was a 7 game series the margin of victory was clearly in the Celtics favor. I think Brad Stevens did exactly what he should have done, if not more versus the disaster that happened last year for the Celtics. I also think the way he found to fit in Gordon Hayward into the roster to be brilliant, and it’s a shame that Hayward went down with injury because he was pretty much the Celtic’s second best player.

Executive of the Year

Sam Pressi – He really blew up his team the right way. He traded Westbrook and George, both guys who kind of had relative down years for an absolute army of first rounders – many of which are very weakly protected. He also got a very tangible prospect in SGA who I believe is the second best prospect in his draft after Luka and is already a good player. On top of that he got vets in CP3 and Galinari. CP3 ended up playing better than Westbrook or George and now Pressi can trade him for future goodies. He did all of this while still having a team good enough to compete in the playoffs and in the smallest market in the league.

Pat Riley – He put together a heck of a team. He locked up Duncan Robinson to a proper contract, drafted Nunn and Herro who are future studs, and of course captured Jimmy Butler off of free agency when the Heat weren’t even a contender to do so. Not only does he have the second best team in the league who still have a lot of their coreplayers as young and improving rapidly, his team is in a great cap space situation. In 2021 they’ll be posed for two max agent signings, in addition to already having a contending team. He also ditched some low grade prospects in Waiters and Winslow for more win now guys in Crowder and Iguodalla who helped a lot with this finals run. Maybe if Goran was healthy the Heat get the upset of the decade.

Rob Pelinka – They got Anthony Davis and a ring, what else needs to be said? He only doesn’t get #1 because a lot of the legwork is kind of done just by virtue of the Lakers being the Lakers and LeBron already being there. This is a really close year though and I could see him being above Pat or Sam because he does have a ring and a reasonably young superstar at the end of the day. He does get points for signing Dwight Howard though, that was a good pick up.






EDIT - I decided to replace my third place vote for Dwight Howard with Serge Ibaka for 6th man of the year.

Original vote for Dwight

Spoiler:
Dwight Howard – It was between him and Davis Bertans, but as I said earlier I didn’t watch many lotto teams so I’ll go with what I know. Dwight Howard is not a real traditional 6th man, he’s used more like a depth guy. But he is a very important tool for the Lakers to use – in certain situations he is very impactful. So even though Dwight might get DNP’d or play less than 20 minutes a game, when he is used he delivers in a big way. His ability to bully some smaller teams helped the Lakers, and when they faced bigger threats like Jokic he did a tremendous job defending him. He knows his role well on offense this season, and defense he has always been a stud.
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Re: LIVE: 2019-20 Player of the Year Voting Thread (Deadline Friday 11:59 PM PST) 

Post#5 » by kayess » Sun Oct 18, 2020 2:33 pm

POY:

1. LeBron James - Still the best player in the game. His O was almost as good as his '17/'18 (ie likely the greatest offensive peak ever), continuing his improvement as a playmaker while regressing as a shooter, and him buying into Vogel and the focus on D set the tone for the rest of the squad as well, because he was fantastic on that end all year, through to the playoffs (outlasting and wearing out Jimmy, switching onto a red hot Murray when literally nothing else was working). You know he's the GOAT when he delivers what is an all-time playoffs by nearly anybody else, but it almost felt 'pedestrian' for him; delivered a vintage LeBron all-timer (which he, in classic LeBron fashion, lost), and a just-below-vintage LeBron in the Denver close out to show that when he goes supernova, only extremely specific circumstances are beating his team.

2. Anthony Davis - Sometimes I feel like this vote is an overreaction, but we are taking into account the full year, and Davis was godly in the playoffs. Offensively, turned into the second coming of KD from midrange (not sustainable, I think), was great from 3, great around the rim (whether it was getting out in transition, cutting to the basket, or on putbacks). Defensively, he was everywhere (and literally so at times) - and can do everything from stay with a star perimeter player from 3 and contest them at the rim, or rotate over and block someone else's man. He did these things in the RS too, but he certainly upped his level in the playoffs. Still has another level to get to if he can hit the open man more consistently, and develop a post game, but all that's gravy

3. Giannis Antetokounmpo - All-time RS, but sadly after re-watching the playoffs the holes in his game I think are real and can be repeatedly exploited (ATM). I do think his cast not hitting 3s just made it extremely easy to just completely sell out and wall him off from the paint, but as he showed in stretches, even then it's not enough to completely stop him - you still have to hope he misses and his teammates just keep shooting horrendously. Even then, I can't really rank him lower than 3rd (and may change to 2nd, tbh), because his teammates make around the average and I think he just keeps playing the same style and instead run into LeBron/AD who stop him in the post or something, and it just looks way less worse

4. Nikola Jokic - Best passing big man ever, with the ability to get whatever shot he wants, whenever he wants it (whether that's a "layup" at the rim, or a 3)? Just absolutely ridiculous. He's shown he can also be passable on D even in the playoffs when teams try to target him. Just one of the scariest players to surround shooters with, because you know he's making the right pass every time, making him impossible to double, so you basically just have to try and not give up an easy shot from him too much.

5. James Harden - Another great season, and you can clearly see that it's the rest of the team just not holding up their end (shame). Even a great defensive team like the Lakers have to 100% sell out to stop him. It's amazing. No longer a liability on defense (maybe even a small positive on that end), but his fundamental weakness - a glorified spot up shooter off the ball on O - is just too big to ignore. He needs to cut to get himself easy buckets, or get more open 3s when they help on the cut or something

HM:

6. Butler - His off-court impact just had a massive influence on the Heat, which, along with the Heat's culture and Spo's coaching, just snowballed into this incredible force that was only stopped by a couple of all-timers. I think that alone merits his inclusion in HM, but of course he also played well in the playoffs, and IMMACULATELY in the Finals. Don't think he played as well as LeBron (despite what some agenda driven posts might have you believe), and you saw the toll it took on him - 2 supernova performances, and he just had nothing left in the tank after. Don't think the midrange jumpshooting was sustainable (similar to AD in that respect), but he's clearly in the upper echelon of the league's stars.
7. Kawhi - Did most of the same stuff as he did last year, but he was revealed to be somewhat "one-dimensional" (i.e. not a great playmaker). Can't expect him to be one overnight for his team, but maybe don't force a PG trade if he wasn't the best fit, eh?
8. Doncic - In no way the next big thing, because he's already here. Led the best offense ever (with compliments to an underrated cast and an ATG coach), and he still has room to get even better.



OPOY - covered most of what makes them great in POY, so will focus more on the differences here

1. James Harden - Will create a quality look nearly 100% of the time when the ball in his hands. You have to absolutely sell out just to stop him and pray his teammates don't make enough wide open looks. Really, super aggressive ball denial and hoping he disengages off-ball is the only way to beat him.
2. LeBron James - Really only age has slowed LeBron and rendered him unable to just vomit out the same consistency at creating great looks as Harden. His bail-out shot - step-back/long 3s when he's tired; is just nowhere near as effective as Harden's stepback or a straight up long 3. While he's SIGNIFICANTLY better off-ball, I don't think it trumps Harden's edge in the other areas.
3. Nikola Jokic - The best passer of the 3, but has shown his scoring can be considerably slowed more consistently than the other 2 players.


DPOY

1. Anthony Davis - his versatility in addition to his length is probably what gives him the top spot here, which is just indispensable in the modern NBA. Think about who the best players on O are for each of the teams they faced - Lillard, Harden, Jokic, and Jimmy; he had a hand in slowing down all of them (though Jokic was eating him alive purely 1v1, he cut off his passing when he was on someone else), with some particularly memorable reminders of what he can do by staying with Jimmy all the way to contesting his shot at the rim.
2. Bam Adebayo - I tend to think of him as a slightly worse Davis (in no small part to his inferior length and size - he just can't do as much). Obviously massive part of the Heat's success this year.
3. Giannis Antetokounmpo - More rim protection oriented than the other 2, which is still hugely important of course, but it seems switchability is becoming more and more important


COY

1. Erik Spoelstra - Not even close, tbh. Just comes at you with the absolute best scheme and adjustments, and gets the most out of his players, punctuated by the Finals. The blowouts weren't his fault imo - game 1 showed just how outmatched they were talent-wise, before he: muddied the waters with his adjustments + Lakers not shooting well/being lackasaidal + ATG performances from Jimmy made it close. Then at the end, the "true" result showed itself again, this time exacerbated by the Heat simply having nothing left in the tank. Just incredible growth by a coach who's played no small part in the modern NBA with his pace and space stuff in Miami. Shame he didn't get to this level in 2014 (though it may not have mattered in those Finals anyway)

2. Frank Vogel - Don't think he's a better coach than the others (or even Nurse, Pop), but simply performed 2nd best this year. While not as savvy adjustments wise, he still made the correct ones (though not as fast as say, Spo would've made probably), and his macro decisions throughout the year were just incredible and praiseworthy: reducing LeBron's minutes to keep him fresh for the playoffs, trusting in Rondo despite an absolutely HORRENDOUS regular season, preaching defense from day 1 and getting buy in from LeBron, then following that up by not kowtowing to him and holding him accountable (particularly telling from his podcast with Lowe: he said if he was gonna get fired fine, but we'll do things my way) - difficult to get all of these right in your first year, under the weight of so much expectation

3. Rick Carlisle - the league's best ever offense with this bunch? Underrated as the cast is, and as monstrous as Luka here, it's just Carlisle doing Carlisle things.

No Nurse - he's great, but I think Kawhi leaving and the Raptor doing well were just down to improvements from key players. Stevens is the only other one debatable; I think the loss to the Heat was on the players and he made the right adjustments, but the talent disparity vs. what they achieved is just much better in Carlisle's favor


EOY

1. Sam Presti - Again, not even close. Just completely turned the fate of the franchise around by capitalizing exquisitely on a situation that materialized out of nowhere. You can argue it's luck that Kawhi gave him the benefit of the doubt, sure, but I can only grade based on what's happened, as it's not a "who would you rather have" question
2. Pat Riley - Made all the right moves this year to get into dark horse contention (making the Finals was more "luck" I think - Boston just inexplicably **** the bed over and over, which won't really happen if you replay the series over and over, or even if you replay in a year), AND cleared cap space to get to absolute 100% no doubter contender status. Godfather still has it
3. Rob Pelinka - Obviously, having LeBron helps tremendously, but he made all the right moves - AD trade (table stakes) signings that paid off big time - Dwight, Kieff, Rondo, Green that helped win the title
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Re: LIVE: 2019-20 Player of the Year Voting Thread (Deadline Friday 11:59 PM PST) 

Post#6 » by MisterHibachi » Sun Oct 18, 2020 5:32 pm

POY:

1. LeBron James
2. Anthony Davis

I think these two were both top 5 players in the regular season, and then the two best players in the playoffs. AD had a historic playoff run, especially with how hot his jumper was. He basically played like Dirk on offense and KG on defense - this was an ATG run. He has an amazing argument for #1 on this list, but LeBron was better in the regular season and was the real leader of the team, even though AD was much as a 1b on the court as you can be.

3. Nikola Jokic

I was so impressed by his playoff run, and I think he's going to be part of the reason for a seismic change in team building philosophies in the NBA over the next 5-10 years. He might not be the best big man defender, but I don't think he's a liability, and his playoff offense seems as resilient as any other ATG big man. He picked apart the Clippers and was basically unguardable until he ran into a Dwight/AD front court, and even then he gave them more trouble than you would think considering it was a 5 game series. I still think Denver was the Lakers' toughest opponent, and the Lakers near the end of the series kind of resorted to just outscoring the Nuggets - they could not guard the Jokic-Murray PnR. I think this duo can be like if Dirk and Nash stayed together in their primes. Slightly off topic, but I really want to see a Denver-Dallas playoff series next year.

4. Giannis Antetokounmpo

Despite the playoff failure, he still had an incredible regular season. I don't think he should've won DPOY (and MVP too for that matter, but whatever), but he was still an incredible performer. I think that should be recognized, even if he still has major flaws in his game that prevent him from being a real #1 option in the playoffs.

5. Jimmy Butler

This spot came down to Jimmy/Harden for me, and I think looking back on this season, part of the story is Jimmy's playoff run and his two great games in the finals. I don't think Jimmy can do what Harden does in the regular season, but I also don't think Harden can do what Jimmy did in the playoffs. Plus his leadership I think was very key to the Heat, and they really embodied his alpha mentality. Harden doesn't bring those same advantages off court.

HM: Harden, Luka, Kawhi.

OPOY:

1. LeBron James

He's figured out the game. There's nothing out there that he hasn't seen and already solved, and if there happens to be then he's the quickest guy to solve it. He changed positions this year and led the league in assists and covered up a lot of playmaking weaknesses on the Lakers. He became the only guy other than Magic (multiple times) to average 10+ assists and win the championship in the same year. That's pretty special - this sort of playmaking load doesn't often result in rings unless you're Magic.

2. James Harden

He hasn't figured out the game like LeBron, but he's figured out isolation scoring better than basically everyone other than Michael Jordan.

3. Nikola Jokic

As I said earlier, I think him and Murray are going to be the new age Dirk-Nash. He's completely resilient against most playoff defenses and he's good enough to get his shot, even in crunch time, against the best defenders in the league. He's got a great combination of elite passing and individual scoring. He might even deserve the #2 spot here.

HM: Luka.

DPOY:

1. Anthony Davis

I think he's been the best defender in the league since the beginning of the season, and should've won the real-life DPOY. We talk about offensive resiliency against playoff defenses, but he's as resilient on defense as any one in history. He can guard any type of player and not require help, from guards like Lillard, Murray etc to wings like Harden, Butler to big men like Jokic. The Lakers won this championship largely in part because of their excellent defense and AD was the lynchpin of that.

2. Giannis Antetokounmpo

Even if he wasn't the best defender in the league, he was still top tier and he's a terror off-ball. And the team results were there too. I think he deserves a spot on this ballot.

3. Ben Simmons

He's a monster on defense and can guard all 5 positions. Great timing, good size, good speed, good smarts. That Celtics/Sixers series would've turned out much different if Ben was playing.

COY:

1. Erik Spoelstra

Miami was not talented enough to make it as far as they did, and they were the only team to push the Lakers past 5. It's hard to gauge a coach's performance, but nevertheless I think Spo deserves a boatload of credit for their run.

2. Nick Nurse

The Raptors survived losing a FMVP and were still in the thick of it this year, and had a great shot vs Boston when objectively Boston was vastly more talented. He's right there with Spo for best coach in the league.

3. Frank Vogel

His defensive gameplans and adjustments throughout the playoffs were ELITE. And he also deserves some credit for the great locker room vibe the Lakers had this year. We've seen coaches not mesh with LeBron before (Blatt/Luke), and how that can impact a team, and Vogel had the perfect approach this year - and we have to remember the Kiddlefinger factor and Vogel successfully navigating that all season. Plus, the Lakers just won the championship and vastly outperformed pre-season (and even in-season) expectations. Part of that credit HAS to go to the coaching staff.

I'll try to add in the rest of the ballot before Friday.
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Re: LIVE: 2019-20 Player of the Year Voting Thread (Deadline Friday 11:59 PM PST) 

Post#7 » by kayess » Sun Oct 18, 2020 6:13 pm

MisterHibachi wrote:
Kiddlefinger



LMFAOOOOOOO
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Re: LIVE: 2019-20 Player of the Year Voting Thread (Deadline Friday 11:59 PM PST) 

Post#8 » by Dutchball97 » Mon Oct 19, 2020 6:06 pm

Player of the Year
1. LeBron James - I thought he was the 3rd or 4th best player in the regular season but in the play-offs there really hasn't been much of a question who the best player in the league is. Even though the competition might not have been the toughest ever, you can only beat who get put in front of you. It doesn't impact my decision but I still think LeBron doing this at 35 years old is insane.

2. Anthony Davis - Up untill the Finals I thought AD was every bit as good as LeBron, maybe even better. LeBron stepping it up another notch in the play-offs and also the slight edge in regular season performance makes the difference. There is still a big question mark on if AD can carry a team deep into the play-offs and I imagine that he's not going to be ranked at #2 going into next season. Based solely on this season though I have him just behind LeBron.

3. Nikola Jokic - I wasn't sure if I'd even put Jokic in the top 5, since after LeBron/AD there are a bunch of solid options for the last three spots. While many of the other candidates didn't quite live up to expectations in the play-offs, Jokic exceeded those expectations by knocking out the heavily favored Clippers. Doing well

4. Jimmy Butler - Top 10 regular season but even better play-offs. Those two insane Finals games especially makes me value his season more than a couple guys with better stats but disappointing endings to their post-seasons.

5. Giannis Antetokounmpo - Won MVP and DPOY convincingly. He was headed for an All-Time great season before the Bucks' early play-offs exit. Giannis got injured and the majority of his teammates certainly weren't helping. I just don't think Harden and Kawhi did enough in the play-offs to overcome the regular season gap.

HM: James Harden, Kawhi Leonard
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Re: LIVE: 2019-20 Player of the Year Voting Thread (Deadline Friday 11:59 PM PST) 

Post#9 » by Ambrose » Mon Oct 19, 2020 7:34 pm

POY
1. LeBron James-This one seems like a no brainer. My criteria values a combination of total value brought over the course of an entire season (the regular season matters a lot), availability, how others would do in their situation, and straight up who I think the best player is. LeBron is the only one to hit the checkmark on all boxes for me this season, he'd be first for all four. He's the only guy I believe could've swapped places with anyone else on this list and I believe those teams would be better for it. By my estimation he was somewhere between the 2nd and 5th best regular season player and clearly the best postseason player.

2. Giannis Antetokounmpo-Giannis certainly didn't have the ideal postseason. The framework for slowing him has been set and it's up to him to adapt going forward. However, he lapped the field during the regular season and still outperformed pretty much everyone else in the postseason but he's held to higher standards so it looked worse. I can't drop a guy who had one of the best regular seasons of all time lower than #2, especially when I believe he's still a better player than those remaining. I don't think anyone else would've let the Bucks any farther than he did, and the gap between his regular season and others despite missed games was immense.

3. Nikola Jokic-Another stellar postseason from Jokic propels him to my #3 slot. I don't think it was enough to overcome the difference in regular season/I think Giannis is straight up better but it was very close. He was closer to being my #2 than my #4. He played one less game than Davis did over the course of the season despite going a whole round less. I think he's a better player than Davis, he's was healthier, and I believe he's a better anchor for a team to contend with.

4. Anthony Davis-He was my #7 before the postseason hit. He missed time, he was at least a tier below Giannis, he's perfectly cast as a #2 to arguably the GOAT, etc. However, there is no denying he had a tremendous postseason. A lot of the Lakers success was reliant upon him being the mismatch that no one had an answer for. There were times when he disappeared (especially games in the finals) but for the majority of the time he was outstanding, particularly defensively where he was an absolute monster at times. This was definitely a legacy building year for Davis. I don't think he could've outdone either of the two above him in their situations though.

5. James Harden-His availability is what sets him apart from Kawhi, Luka and Butler. I view Kawhi as the better player, Luka about equal, and Butler slightly below. Kawhi's availability and ability to carry a large load are the biggest negatives against him. He simply couldn't handle the load Harden does and they went the same distance in the postseason so there is no real benefit for Kawhi's sitting. In the postseason they performed comparably (identical 9.4 BPM's). Harden's regular season advantage and extra games played in too much of an advantage to overcome.

HM: (6) Kawhi Leonard, (7) Luka Doncic, (8) Jimmy Butler



DPOY
1. Anthony Davis-Pretty simple. He was outstanding in the regular season, and even better for the majority of the postseason. His defensive play in a few finals games, particularly game 6, was absolutely incredible. Miami looked afraid to even test him at the rim. When they did they threw crazy high floaters. He had them absolutely shook in the paint.

2. Giannis Antetokounmpo-He was the best during the regular season but the Bucks D wasn't all that good in the postseason. Davis ascended and that's the difference between them here.

3. Jimmy Butler-There is something to be said about a guy who guards the opposing teams best player all game long when the cards are down and consistently steps up at the right moment time and time again. The effort, and degree of difficulty of his role while seemingly always making big plays in big moments gives him the nod over anyone else for me.



ROY
1. Ja Morant-Not really seeing a case for anyone else to be honest. High level player who helped a team projected to be awful nearly make the postseason.

2. Tyler Herro-He kind fell flat in the finals but his series against Boston was absolutely tremendous. I don't think any other rookie could have replicated that or even come close.

3. Brandon Clarke-He's older and came in clearly more pro ready. He was a legitimate starter quality level player this year and was another big reason for the Memphis jump in quality. He's not as big a name as Porter Jr. or Zion but over the course of the season he provided more value to me.
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Re: LIVE: 2019-20 Player of the Year Voting Thread (Deadline Friday 11:59 PM PST) 

Post#10 » by Doctor MJ » Mon Oct 19, 2020 11:24 pm

Player of the Year Vote
1. LeBron James (LAL)
2. Anthony Davis (LAL)
3. Jimmy Butler (MIA)
4. Nikola Jokic (DEN)
5. Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL)


Honorable Mention (alphabetical)
Luka Doncic
James Harden
Kawhi Leonard
Damian Lillard
Chris Paul

Thoughts:

The Top 2 are the Top 2 for me. I can totally give my thumbs up to those who put Davis 1st, but it matters to me that LeBron was the foundation and leader of this group. I don't really want to go into further than that because I'm super-high on both guys and I'd give them a tie for the 1st spot if I could.

Butler in the 3rd spot is one that a lot of smart people will disagree with. I'm going to show a stat next that you could rightfully call "cherry picking", but keep in mind that I'm not saying that this should be the basis for anyone's vote.

Specifically I'm looking to address the notion that Butler wasn't "a real star" this season.

So, regular and post-season, here are the top Win Shares leaders for '19-20:

Davis 15.6
Harden 15.5
James 13.1
Giannis 12.5
Butler 12.5
Jokic 12.3

The elephant in the room is that Harden is super-high on the list and he's not in my top 5. I'll get back to him in a minute.

I think it's worth noting that by this metric, Butler carried the same load as Giannis. You can say Giannis would have the lead if his team played more and that's true, but aside from the fact that they didn't play more because they lost, Butler played more in the regular season despite missing more games, so yeah, Giannis would have bigger numbers if he played more. The fact that he isn't playing more is one of the things that everyone talks about!

More than anything else I just really want to show there are metrics by which Butler "belongs". We're not just talking about a role player who played on a finalist. We're talking about a guy who would have been a pretty serious MVP candidate if his team had been more elite in the regular season, and then became elite in the playoffs. And of course, we're talking about a guy who had an outlier amount of off-court and cultural impact this year and who showed up HUGE in the playoffs multiple times just when his team needed it, when Spoelstra's Plan A wouldn't work. He played a lesser role during the year than he might have in the name of the team game and still ended up atop this leaderboard.

It goes without saying that none of this changes the fact that Giannis had the better regular season, nor the truth that I expect Giannis to rank higher than Butler on future lists. If you're going through this process feeling a strong pull to make sure "the best player always end up on top", you're going to diverge from me and that's probably just fine.

But when it's close between guys, I tend to ask myself about the intangible impact - not the narrative itself, but admittedly, the stuff that much of the narrative eventually gets built around. To me what Butler did this year is something of a master class, and it's a year that no one by the end of it would trade for Giannis' year.

As I talk about Giannis' year, let me acknowledge that people would be blaming him for the team's loss even if the issue didn't point straight back to him. That's what they did with LeBron his last two years in his first Cavs' run. But in both of those years, I ranked LeBron at #1. In the end, I really saw nothing to indicate that LeBron had a problem in the playoffs. He got flummoxed in two specific situations, and I knocked him for that, but those walkabouts were largely about team context rather than about him showing his approach to the game as in anyway "solved".

That's not how it's been with Giannis in either of the past two years though.

Last year, the Raptors made a defensive shift, and it put the clamps on Giannis and his team's offense. After which Giannis' Bucks lost 4 straight games. A 2-4 loss may look respectable, but when you know the context, it's a far bigger red flag. And yet still, I voted for Giannis #1 last year. He was #1 at the end of the regular season, and I didn't think anyone had done enough to change that. Kawhi is the obvious other choice, and I considered him strongly, but I also thought he played with better teammates with a far better coach. Honestly, even now I don't regret that vote.

But after that vote, I went into this year's playoffs with that particular lens over my eyes. The thing is, Giannis has a game that could easily be described as a gimmick. The whole "point Giannis" thing was very much influenced by how LeBron plays, but while LeBron was elite passer basically from the get-go, Giannis still isn't anything like that. Add into that the lack of shooting and a lack of traditional big-man-style scoring, and what you've got is a guy buttering his bread with an attack that is in some way quite the aberration from tried-and-true offensive approaches.

And I'll add that until Kidd swapped things up with this attack, Giannis' growth in impact had kinda stagnated. He wasn't a guy who just seemed to be inevitably learning all facets of the game and getting more and more effective at that at an alarming rate - like, say, Kawhi - he was a guy with a "freak" body that we were all wondering how he was going to "fit" into an impactful role.

It was the switch in role that unlocked Giannis and led to him rapidly growing in impact to GOAT-tier proportions. It was in that role that Giannis really seemed to learn and learn how to gain proficiency that would drive impact.

And so the thing is, if it's the role itself, given Giannis' limitations, that gets taken away by smart but emulat-able defense, it doesn't just hurt Giannis a little. It means that we have a massive amount of uncertainty as to how robust of a contender you can actually build around him.

Again, this was not enough for me to not give him the #1 last year. The uncertainty weighed on me, but in the end I suppose I was thinking that this would likely prove a one-time hiccup. I figured there were probably some counters Giannis would come back with, some of his own devising, some of Bud and the staff. I figured he'd keep growing in various skills, and that the things that slowed him down once just wouldn't hurt him as much the second time.

But this year come playoff time, as soon as they played a team that felt a little like Toronto last year, boom they go down 0-3.

And I know there was an injury involved. You want to argue that Giannis was about to turn the corner there's evidence for it. But Giannis confirmed my fears not my hopes in what he did in the playoffs this year. He has to figure something out, and Bud has to think things out, and even if they hit upon the right solution who the hell knows what the 2021 (not 20/21 which will never exist) brings as Giannis goes toward free agency.

Additionally, the Bucks were winning with an ultra-dominant defense all year. It was that that made Giannis the clear-cut MVP, it was the #1 thing to talk about with him above his offense. And the Heat offense did just fine against them. Now the Heat played great in the playoffs no doubt, but if the Bucks defense were the best, you'd certainly hope that they'd have done the best against the Heat. And again while I know injuries were a thing, the Lakers just looked like they had a tougher defense than the Bucks did.

There were concerns all year about what gaps there were in the Bucks' extraordinarily effective defense, but for the MVP that doesn't matter, because the Bucks were succeeding against their opponents. When it turns out that defense is merely mortal in the playoffs, that deflates the Giannis' Bubble balloon as well.

Why does Giannis end up 5th? He was first in the regular season, so you have to do enough in the playoffs to pass him. I don't think Kawhi or Harden did and I'll point to something really simple here as a baseline:

Anybody who had Giannis as think Giannis had fallen from #1 after the first round? I sure didn't.

Okay then, if you're with me that far then I'd say you're making the decision based on either a) Kawhi being so impressive while letting his team fall apart in an epic playoff debacle, and/or b) Harden was so amazing while his team got gentlemen's swept (least competitive series the Lakers played), that it overwhelms the entire rest of the season.

I value the playoffs above the regular season, but I feel like you've got to achieve something substantial if I'm going to really look to elevate you above a guy who was clearly ahead of you all year long.

And of course this is why Jokic (along with Butler) had a chance to make the leap. Now, I have to admit that aside from the fact that I really agonized about Butler vs Giannis, I also really agonized about Jokic vs Giannis. It speaks to the weight of greatness we all see Giannis carry that he's such a focal point here. I thought about Butler vs Jokic sure, but in the end it doesn't feel like it matters as much.

So Jokic, with respect to Giannis:

The thing is, he was absolutely showing the resilience in his game I wasn't seeing from Giannis. And let me tell y'all, this has shocked the heck out of me. I was shocked at how good Jokic was in last year's playoffs, and even after resetting my expectations following that impressive performance, I was shocked again at how good he was.

What's so weird is that I've been a HUGE Jokic fan since the moment I saw him in the NBA, but while at that time I was of staunch believe that he could be a star, I have to admit that I always expected he'd be exposed in a tough playoff series. He's proven far more resilient than I ever imagined.

He's not just a great passer, he might be the smartest basketball player I've ever seen. When he's locked in, he does so many little things that give him and his team advantages. It's scary how natural it all seems to him.

All this to say, while I still see it most likely that Giannis has a better career than Jokic, Giannis has got to figure some big things out. What Jokic showed against the Clippers is more impressive than anything Giannis has done in the playoffs, and it's not particularly close.

As I say that, there's some penny-wise pound-foolish stuff going on, and there's the matter Jokic can clearly get rattled by anger that doesn't seem that hard to induce. I felt like Jokic left a little bit on the table in that Laker series. The Laker front court was always going to win that battle in the end, but Jokic did not have let himself keep getting in foul trouble. C'mon dude.

And this ties into me picking Butler over Jokic. Simply put, I think Butler did enough to keep himself on the same tier as Jokic based on on court play, and he while I give Jokic major positive intangibles, Butler's this year were just plain legendary.

Others on my list:

Luka Doncic led the greatest offense by ORtg in the history of the NBA this year and he's only in his 2nd year. Absolutely terrifying.

Dame Lillard. Man, what a bad ass. What else is there to say?

Chris Paul. Harden's team may have won the series, but Paul won the war. The performance of CP3 in OKC this year was exceptionally satisfying, and also has something to do with why everyone is jumping off Captain Big Beard's bost right now (though the fact Harden's ship is the S.S. Fertitta ain't helping, admittedly).

Offensive Player of the Year Vote:
1. LeBron James
2. Luka Doncic
3. Nikola Jokic


Thoughts:

I've had Luka penciled in at the top spot all year. I mean he led the greatest ORtg team in history and he looks amazing.

But as the playoffs progressed I started feeling like this was going to be LeBron, and it is. I just have a great deal more confidence in Old Man LeBron's ability to "go to work" and get buckets as needed against the toughest crunch defense than I do in Luka or anyone playing this season and when you add that on top of how astonishing AD looks playing next to him, I can't pick anyone else.

Jokic as always is very hard to slot in. I could have seen putting him at #2 ahead of Luka or leaving him off the ballot. This seems most appropriate.

I'll give mentions to James Harden and Dame Lillard as well.

Defensive Player of the Year Vote:
1. Anthony Davis
2. Giannis Antetokounmpo
3. Rudy Gobert


Thoughts:

So, in the end here I'm being pretty conservative. Other than AD moving up with spectacular playoff defense that really left me chewing on the modern ideal for a defensive player, I'm just going with the usual suspects.

I was tempted to put a 3rd place vote for Bam Adebayo, but the truth is that as impressive as Bam was, I'm not sure if I think he's surpassed Gobert, and Gobert was Gobert all year.

Rookie of the Year Vote:
1. Ja Morant
2. Tyler Herro
3. Michael Porter Jr.


Alright so this is a very strange year for ROY. As you can see, I ended up raising 2 Bubble Boys ahead of everyone other than Ja. I'm fine if people call that an overreaction but the rest of the competition was pretty soft.

Had you asked me before the Bubble I'd have said vehemently that Zion would be my #2. I believe that the ROY is primarily about alerting the basketball world to future stars, and Zion was a much bigger deal than the Brandon Clarkes of the world. Yes he played less, but he had shown enough that the world was far more excited by Zion for reasons that went far beyond his pre-draft hype.

Zion played poorly enough in the Bubble that that door got left wide open and two unexpected guys walked through. While neither has the kind of astronomical ceiling Zion does, both guys look like potential stars.

I went with Herro over Porter because frankly I worry about Porter's attitude. Were I Miami, I'd see Herror as a core piece going forward. Were I Denver I'd be asking at what point we needed to start looking into trading Porter away.

Last note: I haven't said anything about Ja which doesn't seem right, but he's just so clearly the #1 choice here.

Most Improved Player:
1. Luka Doncic
2. Duncan Robinson
3. Bam Adebayo


Alright so first, I'm always on the fence about the intention of this award relating to 2nd year players who were top prospects. I get the argument that it's not really for guys who are just making the kind of ordinary improvements you'd expect from experience on a team that is trying specifically to max out opportunity for them.

On the other hand, when we're talking about a guy who makes an unusually big step, why wouldn't we single him out?

When was the last time we had a 2nd year player as good as Luka who wasn't an all-star level player in his first year?

I'd say you're going all the way back to Anthony Davis, and 2nd year AD still wasn't as good as Luka.

Point being, if we're giving this award to a top prospect on the order of once per decade, I don't see a problem with that. At that level of rarity we're clearly emphasizing "No you don't understand, this was NOT normal".

For my other two spots I chose Heat players. Having two guys on the same team is something I normally shy away from, but here it actually seems quite appropriate. How does a team come out of nowhere to get to the finals? Having a bunch of players do more than was expected.

I do want to give a mention to Jamal Murray who was my favorite player of the Bubble. Really incredible...but you are talking about a guy who was already high primacy a year ago. Adebayo was largely a bench guy and Robinson was a guy people didn't even know if he'd have a career.

I should also mention Jayson Tatum who took a big leap forward compared to last year but had already been on everyone's radar as possible all-star this year before the year began. I'd say his progression feels a bit closer to a normal star's progression than Luka's did.

Last note, before the Bubble I had Brandon Ingram high on my list. Had he had a great Bubble, he'd have still been on it.

6th Man of the Year:
1. Goran Dragic
2. Rajon Rondo
3. Serge Ibaka

This award got completely transformed by the playoffs, but frankly that's how I like it. 6th man often spend a lot of their time beating up on inferior bench competition. That's fine, but if you get exposed in the playoffs, why would I hand you hardware?

My only migivings about Dragic at #1 is that in the playoffs he wasn't a 6th man. Philosophical question then as to whether non-6th man play should elevate your 6th man case. But part of the 6th man honor is supposed to be that you are sacrificing your glory for the team, and I think Dragic this year was the textbook example for this until the moment called for him to take center stage. Dragic has had a remarkable NBA career that's largely been seen as an afterthought, and I think this honor is quite fitting.

Rondo and Ibaka were their team's best best players and seem fitting for inclusion here as well.

Coach of the Year Vote:
[i]1. Erik Spoelstra
2. Nick Nurse
3. Frank Vogel


Spo had an absolute dream of a season. Multiple MIP candidates, multiple strong rookies, a culture that has become the gold standard in the league, and 2 playoff upsets, the first of which was a resounding victory over the presumptive playoff favorites. No one had a better year than Spo.

Nurse also had a great year and he remains the guy in the league all the other coach's seem to be chasing. That's an argument for him for #1 really and I was prepared to put him there before Miami had their playoff run.

I think Vogel deserves a ton of praise. It's weird to me that LeBron's coaches tend to get derided when he's not shy about getting guys fired he doesn't like. A winning record with LeBron isn't hard, but having his respect and buy-in all year long is not. Credit LeBron as well as AD and Rondo on the player side, but if Vogel had come with a Blatt-like ego this doesn't happen and if he came in without being super prepared it probably doesn't happen either. Maybe they still win a title, but if things were a mess, we'd be blaming the coach for that at least partly. I'm not big on praising the Laker FO, but while they may have just gotten lucky, they nailed this coaching hire.

I want to shout out 2 other guys: 1) Rick Carlisle - super deserving of a higher spot and 2) Mike Malone - stuff is working in Denver despite the fact that they can't use any existing template, good for Malone.

Executive of the Year Vote:
1. Pat Riley
2. Tim Connolly
3. Sam Presti


Alright so, I think Riley should be on everyone's ballot at least. I mean, when you make one of the big free agent acquisitions and he leads your team from the lottery to the finals, this is something of a classic EOY case. Add on top of that two good rookies contributing value in the playoffs and signs of a healthy player development culture which everyone gives at least some credit to Riley for.

It's always delicate deciding how to talk about stuff from previous years that paid off this year. If this were a "Exec of the Last Two Years Award" you could argue that Donnie Nelson deserves it on the basis of using the 5th pick in the draft to acquire Luka Doncic, but it doesn't feel right to me to credit him primarily for a specific draft pick. Had Porzingis looked like a superstar this year that would have been different, but if feels weird to give him too much praise for Tim Hardaway Jr. becoming the team's second most valuable player when I think we know Nelson didn't particularly even care about Hardaway when he acquired him.

However, when a non-prospect you acquire one year transforms into an entirely new type of player the next based on epic player development catered to him, that feels different to me. When a culture takes on a new resonance even if it already existed in some form before, that new resonance feels relevant. When the coach you "made", went to bat for, and empowered, emerges as arguably the best coach in the game, the moment it happens feels relevant. That all happened this year, and it further cements the idea that Riley is still the best in the game at running a basketball team when a year ago people would have been buzzing about younger guys.

Connelly is a bit of a boring pick so I'll come back to him.

The 3 other guys that really seem like they need to be talked about are Rob Pelinka, Lawrence Frank, and the aforementioned Presti.

Pelinka is a no for me. I felt the Laker FO just plain did a bad job over the past few years, and while I wouldn't point to Pelinka as the biggest problem there, to me for Pelinka to really be an EOY candidate this year I'd have to feel like Klutch wasn't the real force behind the AD acquisition.

For Frank, to me the issue is that he made a big gamble last off-season and the results in the end disappointed resulting in him having to fire his coach against his will. Frank is not going into this off-season feeling like he's the toast of the NBA because he's not. He almost certainly feels like a guy who is next on the chopping block if things don't turn around next season because he is. I'm not saying that's fair, but that's reality, and it's a reality not simply based on bad luck. It's fine to say "You gotta get Kawhi and if he wants PG, you get him PG.", but if that combo doesn't actually work out all that well why should you be praised for excessively for it?

Now I think the reality is that Doc cast a massive shadow over the organization ever since the end of Sterling. Quite literally, when Ballmer bought the team he probably felt like he couldn't fire Doc, and Frank probably felt the same way. I think Frank is a really smart dude and he may yet go down here as building expertly around Kawhi, but if he does it will because the moves he already made are joined with other moves yet to come that draw raves.

Then we get to Presti, and here we have something so interesting in the NBA's actual EOY:

How is it that the top 2 slots can go to guy's whose respective main moves came in the same trade? If both guys involved in the trade made a great move, doesn't that mean that their franchise context is the only real reason why either one was involved in the move? If so, then what exactly are we praising these guys for?

In the case of Frank, these answers are clear. This was the big swing. This was the Clippers trying to go from not being contenders, to winning the championship. If that happened this year every single follower of the NBA would have him at #1.

In the case of Presti, he was in that position because he'd blown it. After draft 3 future MVPs more than a decade ago, he'd lost the two best of them and was desperately trying to keep the team afloat with two big-salaried stars that were never going to win anything together. It was a franchise that felt absolute doomed to suffer over the next few years and Presti had no way out until Kawhi told the Clippers they had to go get Paul George. Had Kawhi not insisted that the Clippers drastically overpay for a guy who he was a bad fit with that happened to be under contract on the Thunder, we're likely right now asking ourselves if Presti was on the hot seat.

Similarly, nobody should have been willing to trade for Westbrook in the entire league, but because Chris Paul was THAT annoying, an opportunity availed.

Credit Presti for milking these situations adroitly, but the only reason he needed to figure out how to get the most for his top 2 assets is because he made mistakes beginning in 2012 that will likely now prevent the Thunder from seriously being a contender through at least 2025. What Presti did this year, thus, is put himself in the position to be an EOY if and when his team is actually trying to compete for a championship again.

And yet, I still have him 3rd. Why? Because honestly, I don't know who else to champion. If someone can make me think of someone else Connolly-like in the next day or so, I may change my vote.

What did Connolly do? Well first, keep in mind that he's been in charge of the Nuggets for 7 years. Literally everything good about the team at this point, Connolly made happen. So to the extent we're accepting EOY as any kind of a recognition of great work for the first time, I'd say it's time for Connolly to make a bow.

What did he do this year? Nothing massive, but it was all good and in line with what he was already building off of.

He acquired Bol Bol. Maybe that won't amount to much in the long term, but it's another in the type of "swing for the fences" draft pick that has allowed him to acquire Jokic, Nurkic, Murray, and Porter (who as a rookie this season did give us the first ability to really evaluate Connolly for drafting him).

He traded for Jerami Grant, who seems like a perfect fit around Jokic and Murray.

He gave Murray the max a year ahead of time. That might seem like a strange thing to say, but it's by FAR the right move to give your guy the max a year early if he's max-worthy. You send a message when you do that which can help solidify a team and help it to come into its own. Murray came into his own this year and the Nuggets did with him. This was nothing Connolly could have banked on, but he bet on his guy - where I would not have - and it paid off big time.
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Re: LIVE: 2019-20 Player of the Year Voting Thread (Deadline Friday 11:59 PM PST) 

Post#11 » by colts18 » Thu Oct 22, 2020 1:20 am

I brought this up in another thread, but I will expound the point with Anthony Davis. Anthony Davis was amazing in the playoffs but he will get overrated because the crappy competition he faced. Specifically on offense. His defense was lights out so I can't diminish that. These are the big men Davis faced in the playoffs:

Por: Nurkic
Hou: 6' 5" Tucker
Den: Jokic
Mia: Olynyk/Bam (for 3 games)

I would have been surprised if he didn't dominate. His offense is going to get overrated compared to Greek Freak's because he faced subpar opposition.

In the finals, AD padded up his stats when Bam was off the court. His efficiency skyrocketed during the time Bam missed.

W/Bam on the court: 22.2 Pts/36, 47 FG%/33 3P%
W/o Bam: 24.8 Pts/36, 67 FG%/57 3P%
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Re: LIVE: 2019-20 Player of the Year Voting Thread (Deadline Friday 11:59 PM PST) 

Post#12 » by MyUniBroDavis » Thu Oct 22, 2020 8:22 am

colts18 wrote:I brought this up in another thread, but I will expound the point with Anthony Davis. Anthony Davis was amazing in the playoffs but he will get overrated because the crappy competition he faced. Specifically on offense. His defense was lights out so I can't diminish that. These are the big men Davis faced in the playoffs:

Por: Nurkic
Hou: 6' 5" Tucker
Den: Jokic
Mia: Olynyk/Bam (for 3 games)

I would have been surprised if he didn't dominate. His offense is going to get overrated compared to Greek Freak's because he faced subpar opposition.

In the finals, AD padded up his stats when Bam was off the court. His efficiency skyrocketed during the time Bam missed.

W/Bam on the court: 22.2 Pts/36, 47 FG%/33 3P%
W/o Bam: 24.8 Pts/36, 67 FG%/57 3P%



His matchup was whiteside whose a pretty darn good individual defender

Jokic wasnt guarding him aft g2 because davis was destroying him, they were playing AD like a wint and had millsap or grant guarding him

Against the heat, im almost 99% sure that pretty much all of thats from g6, where he was hobbled, and from 3pt variance, considering he shot 57% from three with bam off.

Whiteside isnt a great defender intelligence wise but hes a hella hard individual matchup, the rockets were pretty easy but theyre smart at doubling against back to the basket bigs at the right time, the nuggets had a few people try davis and they did wel in making most of his buckets out of g1 come from iso basketball and he performed like a wing, and against the heat he was doing wel against bam outside of g6, where he was hobbled

He had a more effecient scoring season than curry despite not being a volume three point shooter which is ridiculous, and alot of it was off self creation.

I agree in the finals his offense was a step below the rest of his series, but i houvht this every game whether bam was in or out, because he was scoring almost exclusively off ball, which isnt a bad thing since hes amazing at it but what he was doing before that was more impressive


In terms of defenses he faced, the defense he faced vs the blazers were good because of whiteside, whose an amazing post defender as long as he isnt being overpowered, and wsp good against finesse

Against the rockets, yes that was easy but he again dominated and the rockets are very good at packing the paint

The nuggets defended him very well, and ive said my thoughts on the heat

If you view him as a big wing which is how he operated during these playoffs at times, it changes alot, just liek the idea he was scoring off ball or doing #2 things this playoffs because of how hes played prior

Bams probably the best defender against AD too, rhe fact AD was still reasonably effecient, shouldnt be held against him, esp since you have to consider that while he wasnt like broken legged or anything, the fact that through g1,g4,g5 he was fine against bam, 1 bad game shouldnt discount that, esp since his defense was onsterous throughout

Id say only the rockets were an easy scoring series for him, maybe the blazers but im misremembering, ill
Look through again

Again, in series where he played like it, view him as a tall wing rather than a big, particular in series where his off ball game was neutralized more, which isnt really a defense thing vs the offense not utilizing it correctly.

A way to break it down is players can score in 2 ways, off ball action and on ball action. For bigs, if we are comparing him that way, we should look at how much scoring he did from cuts, and rolls, since those would be the easy at the rim assisted oppertunities, and leading up to the finals (he operated waaaay more off ball in the finals) these things were a % of his offense not just far below bigs today, but even comparable to 2000s bigs

It wouldnt be fair to say, at least for his WCF run, that his effeciency is overstated, the only team that was legitimately mismatched against him was the rockets, and id have to rewatch that to see if it was a case of him dominating a mismatch, aince people were obv hyping up tucker guarding AD before the seties, or AD playing against good d (since theyre so good at paint packing) and going through that.

On on ball vs off ball scoring, we know how absurdly good AD is scoring off ball, and there were games here ans there in that WCF run he showed this, but having that ability to score on ball gives alot of versatility to the offense

AD scoring on ball vs portland was mostly against whiteside or nurkic, and neither are weak defenders in 1v1 situations
Whiteside in particular, is absolutely elite at guarding his man unless hes gettjng oveprowered. He falters in other elements, but whiteside was the main matchup throughout.

Vs houstan looking back, id say they did a good job packing the paint g1-2 and AD was being forced to rise up and take the middies, lakers adjusted g3-5 but i wouldnt say the entire series was easy money scoring

Vs denver fully clapped anyone trying to guard him, the most living mismatch ive seen him, but i evaluate him outside of g1 as a big wing this series

I will say though, while jokic is a below avg defensive bug and plumlee is about average, but if AD is such a mismatch facing up against typucal bigs, since both of their weaknesses are more so defending vs penetration and overall rim protection, that they had to switxh to wings getting torched, is that a knock on AD? Neither are that bad at post D, so if we get to the point where The only guys remotely capable of guarding AD are guys like bam and giannis, who are literally defensive unicorns, why would that be a knock on AD?

Vs miami went more off ball, was fine offensively but bam did defend him well in iso situations in g6, before that AD was doing fine
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Re: LIVE: 2019-20 Player of the Year Voting Thread (Deadline Friday 11:59 PM PST) 

Post#13 » by Fundamentals21 » Thu Oct 22, 2020 6:06 pm

Player of the Year

1) Lebron James
2) Giannis Antetokounmpo
3) Jimmy Butler
4) Nikola Jokic
5) James Harden


Reasoning:

LeBron - outstanding passing. Still one of the best at passing, rotating through defenses, and then breaking down the defenses. His overall playmaking ability and way to elevate teammates to finals levels and beyond is the best in possibly all of NBA history. The supporting cast of the Lakers isn't really all that special without LeBron's playmaking ability. His ability goes as far as making Caruso look like an NBA finals starter. Mostly reminiscing LeBron as a younger player, but now that he's older, he's able to do much of the same and then score at will. I had some doubt on this perhaps being an easy playoff run, but the Lakers did a fantastic job vs Harden/Westbrook Rockets - a legitimate MVP/superstar team, and then repeatedly putting their win caliber on display in the regular season with being on a 60+ win pace. All in all it seems like a balanced team led by LeBron, who at age 35 hasn't slowed down much. Overall a top year from what figures to be one of the basketball GOATs.

2. Giannis - Generally an all around leader in +/- stats, and a superstar in ESPN, 82games.com, basketballreference.com, etc. is typically consistently at or near the top of the stat table. I would say Giannis's all round dominance was unsurpassed through the entire year. Overall, he measures to be an unstoppable scorer for the Milwaukee Bucks through the RS, which then often translates to the playoffs. Milwaukee did OK in the playoffs in spite of injury issues. I don't seem them as a bad playoff team - Milwaukee is a legitimate 60 win team and with a couple adjustments a finals contender. Giannis's all round regular season statistical dominance gets him the 2nd spot.

3. Jimmy Butler - Likely at his absolute peak is Jimmy Butler. I doubt Jimmy will have a better season following this one. The man was a monster on defense and offense and led the Heat through to the finals. Jimmy leading his team to the finals is reminiscent of some of the other weaker teams that have come through in the East. Jimmy's run is comparable to some of the other Eastern greats - Allen Iverson, Reggie Miller, Jason Kidd, Ben Wallace, etc. Once you put Jimmy into this tier of names, you realize how special the entire playoff run was. Overall Jimmy measures to be a special player through the Heat's entire season, and he has single handedly put the Heat in position to land a superstar in FA. Admirable performance from Jimmy Butler.

4. Nikola Jokic - Jokic is the top european class bigman and one of the best rebounders in the game. His mobility and ability to bring the ball up the court make him a freak of nature to lead Denver's offense. I am impressed to the point of placing him at #2. Jokic's all round talents and dominance are unparalleled in the league. outstanding overall capacity for a bigman. His length and athleticism enable Denver to be a top 5 team in the NBA in any season. He's a triple double machine and the best center in the league within a stacked center type league. It's no mean feat coming on top of this center class consisting of Gasol, Val, Whiteside, Drummond, Gobert, Bam, Sabonis, etc. etc. To be on top of this stacked center position as the clear cut best places Jokic at a rare position. Within playoffs, Jokic's scoring prowess is basically unstoppable every round. Overall, Jokic's Denver run resembled some of the finest work any center can do at the position ever. I would say Nikola has a bright career ahead, headed to HoF, international fame, and guaranteed Top 50 all time.  He's a man to watch.

5. James Harden - this last position was a tough fight between too many other players, but Harden won out the battle. Harden's simply a monster in all statistical categories and figures to be a repeating MVP candidate. It was tough to leave him out of any list. He's at times casually averaging 37 points a game, and it figures to be his absolute unstoppable scoring/efficiency skill that is unmatched in the NBA. James Harden is probably the best player in the league at times, but often gets ignored due to a lacking supporting cast and friendly role players to compliment his scoring ability. Would love to watch him on a championship contending roster once more.
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Re: LIVE: 2019-20 Player of the Year Voting Thread (Deadline Friday 11:59 PM PST) 

Post#14 » by Doctor MJ » Thu Oct 22, 2020 11:45 pm

Hey y'all, if I could make a specific request for people to vote for the more minor awards, I'd appreciate your participation there. A quick count of the total votes on some of the minor awards makes me question whether they really deserve to be seen as an Award, but since we've been doing this for 5 years now, I'd like to keep it going.

I'm going to share the Awards spreadsheet again in case that helps folks see why I think it's important. I love that these projects we do allow us to take snapshots of how the board thought from year to year. I think it really helps paint a picture both old and new posters, and possible at some point to someone whose just a historian of basketball thought.

RealGM All-Season Award Winners


Thanks,
Doc
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Re: LIVE: 2019-20 Player of the Year Voting Thread (Deadline Friday 11:59 PM PST) 

Post#15 » by Joey Wheeler » Fri Oct 23, 2020 5:43 am

Don't know if my vote will be counted but still:

POY:

1-Anthony Davis

Dominant all around, super efficient on offense and the best off ball we've ever seen, impervious to any kind of defense. His defense meanwhile is GOAT level and again completely resilient at the playoff level. One of the most talented players we've seen in the NBA and his playoff run was legendary.

2-Lebron James

He could easily have been #1 of course but it was very close between him and Davis, but for me Davis was clearly better in the Finals and that was the clincher. While AD anchored the defenders, James was the catalyst for everything the Lakers do offensively and confirmed himself as one of the best offensive players ever, who is not only impervious to tough playoff defenses but actually gets better and better as the playoffs go on.

3-James Harden

Very distant 3rd. Harden is an incredible regular season scorer and offensive player and this time around he actually carried that into the playoffs. Team have to sell out to have any chance of even somewhat containing him. His defense wasn't as bad as in the past.

4-Nikola Jokic

Best offensive big man hub we've ever seen, he's a true offensive savant and seems to get even better in the playoffs. With that said, him being a center who's not elite defensively can be highly problematic from a team building standpoint.

5-Jimmy Butler

Incredible playoff run and Finals, in terms of sheer individual talent he's probably not as high as the other guys on this list, but he makes up for it with his intangibles and his willingless to do whatever it takes for the team to win regardless of what that means for his personal stats.

OPOY

1-Lebron James
2-James Harden
3-Nikola Jokic

I think you could make a strong case for Harden at #1 and honestly over the totality of the season that'd probably be the right answer, but against OKC Harden showed a kind of playoff vulnerability that's just not there with Lebron. That game 7 wouldn't happen with Lebron.

DPOY

1-Anthony Davis
2-Giannis Antetokounmpo
3-Bam Adebayo

Davis is #1 by far here, best defensive player in the world and has been for a while. Can guard 1 to 5, or better lock down 1 to 5. What he did in the Finals from a defensive standpoint was legendary. #2 and #3 were tough to decide, Bam probably should have been #2 based on playoffs but Giannis had a really amazing RS on defense.

I'll add the other votes later assuming my votes count, just want to get these in regardless of them being official or not!
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Re: LIVE: 2019-20 Player of the Year Voting Thread (Deadline Friday 11:59 PM PST) 

Post#16 » by eminence » Fri Oct 23, 2020 2:19 pm

Nurkic was AD's primary defender in the Portland series. Tucker, Millsap, Crowder/Bam from there.
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Re: LIVE: 2019-20 Player of the Year Voting Thread (Deadline Friday 11:59 PM PST) 

Post#17 » by Doctor MJ » Fri Oct 23, 2020 2:44 pm

Joey Wheeler wrote:Don't know if my vote will be counted but still:


I'll add you to the panel, but did you read the instructions? I only asked for a PM.
Hey: With what's going on in the world, my fuse is shorter than it used to be, and it's leading my lose my cool and then go on self-imposed breaks from things (such as RealGM). Please try to keep it civil, and I'll be looking to do the same.
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Re: LIVE: 2019-20 Player of the Year Voting Thread (Deadline Friday 11:59 PM PST) 

Post#18 » by clearlynotjesse » Fri Oct 23, 2020 5:53 pm

Love the Carlisle votes. Dude is constantly adding new stuff to the Mavs' toolbox and adaptive to the roster around him. He went from being a hard-ass play caller to "okay, I guess Jason Kidd knows what he's doing" back to being a hard-ass to "Luka can figure it out"
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Re: LIVE: 2019-20 Player of the Year Voting Thread (Deadline Friday 11:59 PM PST) 

Post#19 » by Heej » Fri Oct 23, 2020 6:58 pm

POY
LeBron
AD
Jokic
Giannis
Harden

Bron for body of work in the season. AD was better in the playoffs partially due to an outlier shooting strench. ADs defense meant more than Brons in the Finals but there are certain intangible factors that make LeBron a better player on and off the court as a leader. Jokic for putting the league on notice on a potential paradigm shift coming their way. Giannis was still great throughout, and he was ballin in that last game before he injured himself. I think we were robbed of a potential all time just Hulk performance from him. Harden most destructive offensive player. Was the hardest player to contain vs Lakers. I don't think Jimmy was really all that impressive up until the Finals, and even in the Finals his supernova games were also sandwiched by just above average games; including a stinker of an elimination game from him lol. Bam was their best player in the ECF. Harden's supporting cast not being able to handle 4-on-3s let him down more than anything, along with Westbrook being a shell of himself. If you swap him and Jimmy I think it would've been a much more competitive series. The Lakers played soft defense vs Jimmy in the Finals all series, and only sent a second body on him in the last game which caused him to completely disappear. You can't even begin to think of playing Harden that way or he'll put a cool 60 on your head, not just a 40-ball like Jimmy did.

OPOY
Harden. You have to sell out to stop him only thing that held him back were teammates. He causes defenses to do things that I've never seen. Like just outright freely doubling him on the wing without another teammate even setting him a screen just because they don't want him to iso. He contorts coaching staffs and gameplans, no one else has that Infinity Gauntlet-esque type of reality warping effect on a basketball court. Watching games with Harden in it is completely unique vs every other superstar and the coverages they face.
LeBron. Maestro, reliable shooting buoyed his offense this year.
Jokic. Playoff matchup nightmare. Harder to gameplan against than vs Luka. Forces you to play big and turn it into a slugfest. No one else in the league completely negates the smallball lineup you spend the whole season thinking is your Ace in the hole. He has the solutions for every single coverage the league throws at him, and his spacing at the 5 might give him the best functional gravity in the game considering who he's drawing out of the paint.

Luka was tough to leave out for me, but I gotta imagine some of it was just Carlisle being Carlisle during the regular season; and the Clippers being the Clippers in the playoffs. It'll be interesting, I'm sure he forces one of these 3 out next season but for the life of me I can't predict who.

DPOY
AD
Giannis
Gobert

I'd rather have Isaac as a defender than almost all these guys going forward but this one should be body of work. AD singlehandedly wreaked havoc on an elite offense, Giannis was dominant throughout the year, Rudy Gobert is the paragon of his archetype and this is proof that he's not optimal for the emerging metagame cuz if Isaac was playing he wouldn't have made my cut. Not to mention Bam gave him a damn good run for his money too as a defensive player. If we were to look at the Bubble season as a pseudo new season since it essentially was that with a full off-season, then Gobert is out. But I think in fairness' sake I'll give Gobert the last vote he'll ever see from me cuz as far as I'm concerned his era is over.

ROY
Ja
Zion
Herro

Even though I think he's overrated I think I gotta give Herro some love for ballin in his first playoff. Ja produced the most value, Zion is the best player. I actually predict a Dame-AD type career arc for Ja and Zion. Where Ja, like Dame, is the older player winning ROTY and ascends to superstar status but Zion is just a generational talent who's a little bit better when the playoffs roll around.

MIP
Luka
Duncan Robinson
Brandon Ingram

Honorable mention Jamal Murray and Devonte Graham. Scaling up is so hard in the NBA. Going from a +1 to a +4 player is orders of magnitude easier than going from a +4 to a +7. What Luka did is just straight up outlier status as far as leapfrogging the development curve. This isn't a normal jump for a second year player seeing more primacy. This is just a guy completely improving in every facet of his game in a way that came together synergistically to propel a MASSIVE leap. Duncan Robinson somehow turning into 60% of Klay Thompson was beyond my wildest imagination. His IQ improved dramatically, major kudos to the Heat coaching staff on that. Brandon Ingram is very interesting to me. I've listened to podcasts with his trainer Micah Lancaster, whom I consider arguably the best trainer in the game. And what stood out to me is that BI approached his off-season development plan far differently than other players. Most players pick one weaker aspect of their game to work on and try to shore it up, so you'll see major S-curve type jumps and plateaus. Brandon Ingram's mentality since day one is to not focus on one particular aspect (shooting, ballhandling, body transformation, etc); but instead to take a holistic approach and work on every aspect equally. His trainer's point is that it'll look like BI is developing slowly, but what's happening is that everything is improving in concert and suddenly it'll all click for him at once after he passes a certain threshold. This is exactly what I saw happen in Luka's game to an outlier degree, but BI did a great job finally putting it all together for an entire season. His growth curve is likely much more akin to a steady incline than an S-curve, but I project him eventually working his way into a Butler-level player slowly but surely when it's all said and done.

6MOY
Caruso
Schroeder
Dragic

Is it a homer pick? Idk I think from start to finish Caruso got it after getting that Manu start in Game 6. That just shows how important he was to the team that won it all. He has the best duo plus-minus with Lebron out of any combo Bron has every played with. Including all the all-stars he's teamed up with throughout his career. His game is quintessential 6th man in that he synergizes extremely well with star players due to his effort, IQ, and physical gifts. At the end of the day he was THE 6th man, and starting him in Game 6 was an adjustment that completely blew the doors of the Heat. Schroeder I think is a safe pick though I must admit I was leaning towards Montae Morris here because I think he's the best backup PG in the league. Dragic is clearly the best player out of everyone on this list, but it just rubs me the wrong way. It's obvious Spo was playing possum and tinkering the whole regular season starting replacement level players like Kendrick Nunn and Meyers Leonard over Dragic and Bam. When the real season came around we all knew Dragic was their 3rd star and he was slotted into starter off rip. He didn't play his way into a starting role or anything like that, it was more like Spo said "ok, time to activate" and put him back in the lineup. He never felt like a 6th man to me, but out of respect for his body of work I'm keeping him on the ballot.

COY
Spoelstra
Nurse
Vogel

Spo and Nurse are top 2 obviously right now. Stevens disappointed me so out of respect to Pop and Carlisle they're the top 4 current Rushmore in terms of 'goodness' with some allowance for Steve Kerr right up there. But I had to give Frank Vogel his due for a rather good on and off the court job taking that team all the way. His EQ is higher than his IQ and you need that with starpower. I think his ability to shapeshift his team's defensive identity as the situation called for it is wildly underrated. To me he's a top top tier defensive coach in the league. He had entire zone looks in his back pocket that he was barely called upon to use, and had whole cards left to play in the Finals if Miami were actually a dangerous Finals opponent as opposed to the mildly inconvenient speedbump the Lakers rightfully saw them as. Every series he faced a different archetypal offense. First round vs a spread pnr maestro running with big lineups, second round vs the league's first full-time microball alignment, third round vs the most dangerous pnr duo in the last 20 years, fourth round vs a motion offense team whose entire identity shifted midway through the series. He had answers to every single one, except maybe Denver. His answer to that was 'Lebron for the love of God just try to chasedown block Jamal Murray with zero help every pnr', but there's nothing you can really do vs Denver except pray if we're being honest.

EOY

Pat Riley. GODFATHERRRRRRRRR big boss big balls moves onlyyyy. Not much more to say beyond what's already been said. Absolute master class in turning a sinking ship around.
Sam Presti. It's not that hard to do a tear-down, but he really got positive value out of all his trades. Like he did much better than can even reasonably be expected. The late 2020s outlooks for the Clippers and the Rockets look nowhere near as positive as the Lakers' does. He's gonna get great picks out of those deals, guaranSheed.
Rob Pelinka. People can quibble all they want about the Klutch Mafia, and if we're gonna keep that as a wash I still think it's incumbent on the GM to not f*** it up. In my book though, Pelinka did more than just not f*** it up, he massively increased him team's championship odds with some of his key signings. Boogie may have been a slam dunk signing for him, but pivoting to Dwight after the Boogie injury certainly wasn't. That signing paid off BIG TIME. The Markieff Morris signing was another smashing success, getting that guy off the scrap heap vs bleeding assets for his brother who might only be 5-10% better but appears to be way more of a knucklehead was a major coup over the Clippers. Jared Dudley was another great signing for the locker room. Getting high level support staff for Vogel was again another big time W for Pelinka. The Lakers had the most stacked coaching staff in the league. Phil Handy is widely considered the best player development coach in the game, and Rondo even credited Phil entirely for his uptick in shooting during the playoffs. Kidd and Hollins are basketball lifers and absolute sages, these guys all move the needle big time. Bringing back Judy Seto as the athletic trainer contributed hugely to the Lakers' relatively good health throughout the postseason. He's another one of those guys who gets completely screwed by being in Lebron's shadow, but tbh it's looking like he'll have an outside shot at being the most productive GM Lebron has played for during the tenure in which Lebron is with that team.
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Re: LIVE: 2019-20 Player of the Year Voting Thread (Deadline Friday 11:59 PM PST) 

Post#20 » by Joey Wheeler » Sat Oct 24, 2020 2:12 am

Doctor MJ wrote:
Joey Wheeler wrote:Don't know if my vote will be counted but still:


I'll add you to the panel, but did you read the instructions? I only asked for a PM.


Admittedly I didn't. Recent days/weeks have been busy for my forum visits have been very rushed, sorry for that. Glad my votes count. Other ballots aside from the above:

Rookie of the year

1-Ja Morant
2-Tyler Herro
3-Zion Williamson

Most Improved Player

1-Jamal Murray
2-Donovan Mitchell
3-Bam Adebayo

6th Man of the Year

1-Goran Dragic
2-Dennis Schroder
3-Dwight Howard

Coach of the Year

1-Erik Spolestra
2-Nick Nurse
3-Rick Carlisle

Executive of the Year

1-Pat Riley
2-Sam Presti
3-Masai Ujiri

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