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OUTSIDE LOOKING IN: Only two Warriors make it to NBA Major Awards candidates list


PhilBoxing.com




This OUTSIDER, like many Filipino NBA fans wonder why there are no Golden State Warriors, except in two categories, in the list of candidates for major individual awards, including MVP, Rookie of the Year, Coach of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Sixth Man and Most Improved.

Despite struggling all-season long due to injuries to key players yet making it to the playoffs and all the way to the Finals, only Warriors Kevin Durant for the MVP accolade and Draymond Green, last season’s best defender, are vying for the same category. He languishes at the bottom of the list though and is not expected to repeat.

And the duo were not even included the first few times the lists were announced and had just been added lately.

No other Warriors named Ste[hen Curry, or Klay Thompson or Andre Igoudala had been nominated in other categories – ROY, MIP, DPOY, COY, SMOY and others.

For the much-coveted Best Player honor, it looks like the choice is limited between Cleveland’s spiritual leader LeBron James and James Harden of the already also-ran Houston Rockets.

Others having slim chances of making the grade are Anthony Davis of New Orleans, Damian Lillard of Portland and Giannis Antetokounmpoof Milwaukee.

There are five nominees for the 2018 season’s Best Rookie – Ben Simmons of Philadelphia, Donovan Michell of Utah, Jayson Tatum of Boston, Lyle Kuzma of the Los Angeles Laker and Lauri Markkanen of Chicago.

Like the MVP derby, the ROY choice looks to favor Simmons with Mitchell in far second, according to ESPN.

The Coach of the Year honor had been conceded long before the regular season ended with the dismissed Toronto Raptors mentor Dwane Casey merely going into the formality of claiming the same as what ESPN reported “after implementing a team revamp and with the best bench mob in the NBA selecting him.”

At the expense, of course, of Brad Stevens of the Celtics, Quin Snyder of the Jazz, last year’s honoree Mike D’Antoni of the Rockets an Nate McMillan of the Indiana Pacers.

Voters gave their top three picks for each award, with five points for first place, three points for second and one point for third.

The gala awards ceremonies has been scheduled June 25 after the best-of-seven championship series between the Warriors and the Cavaliers shall have been completed.

Sweet Lou Williams of the Los Angeles Clippers failed to make the West All-Star squad despite his best efforts but his superb season makes him a runaway favorite for the Sixth Man of the Year Award.

Other hopefuls in this department include Eric Gordon of Houston, Fred VanFleet of Toronto, Will Barton of Denver and Terry Rozier of Boston.

Nominees in the Most Improved Player ran 20 deep, but the salary-dump-turned-NBA-superstar doesn't have much competition to snag the title, except Victor Oladipo of the Pacers.

Clint Capela of the Rockets, Spencer Dinwiddle of Brooklyn, Jukius Randle of the Lakers and Giannis Anteokounpo of Milwaukee will have to be content with being bridesmaids.

Golden State’s Green was nowhere to be found in the opening roster of the season’s Best Defensive Player, but, like Durant, found his name there although in the final consideration, he would lose his title to, most-likely, Rudy Gobert of Utah.

Like him, Joel Embiid of Philadelphia, Davis of the Pelicans and Paul George of Oklahoma City, must have to wait till next season for their turn to be crowned.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eddie Alinea.


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