2015-16 NBA Awards Ballot

Another NBA regular season is officially in the books! Why is this important? Well, maybe it’s not, but it does mean it’s officially time for me to fill out my unofficial official NBA awards ballot. Obviously I (unfortunately) don’t get to have an official ballot — even though I think I should, my points are valid — but this is just as good. To be honest, it really does accomplish the same thing — some people agree, but most disagree and call me an idiot because they watch box scores and nationally televised games. Here’s a tip for next season: buy the League Pass, champ. It’ll be the best thing you’ve ever done.

Quick note: These are my opinions. Awards and honors criteria is based on the copious amounts of NBA hoops that I watched, statistics, and of course, the eye test. Without further ado:

Most Valuable Player:

1. Stephen Curry
2. Kawhi Leonard
3. LeBron James
4. Draymond Green
5. Chris Paul

Stephen Curry is the most obvious, one-sided MVP selection in a long time. He has a real possibility to become an unanimous MVP. Anybody who has any sort of basketball sense understands he’s hands down the Most Valuable Player in the league this season. There is really know reason to even talk about it.

The only debate for the MVP is who falls in line after Stephen Curry. In my opinion, Kawhi Leonard took yet another step forward on his development path and proved he’s the best two-way basketball player in the world. Kawhi plays defense at such a high level that he’s capable of taking over a game on the defensive end at the same level that any of the top scorers in the NBA can do on offense. Now that his offense — particularly shooting — is at an elite level, it’s hard not to give him the nod. Oh yeah, Kawhi is the best player on a team that finished with the fourth best record of all-time and 40-1 at home.

The most interesting player in the league this season is 3rd on my ballot for the MVP voting. The case for LeBron James is that when he wants to — again, when he wants to — he’s still the most unstoppable player in the entire world. Yes, I know it’s a crazy thought that LeBron might save himself a tad more than he used to for the playoffs, but when he wants to there isn’t a player in the world that can get to the basket easier, pass as well, or identity what you’re going to be doing faster. LeBron falls to third simply because Kawhi was better from start to finish. Also — if you think LeBron is still a consistent All-Defense defender, you’ve lost your mind and really didn’t watch him this season.

The biggest alpha dog in the NBA is also the most unique player. Draymond Green’s ability to elevate the overall play of the Warriors is obvious. However, it’s what he does for Curry that makes him extra valuable. The swagger he possesses and injects into Curry’s veins has really helped create the freak that we see wearing the #30 jersey. There were also probably 8-11 games this year that the Warriors should have lost, but Draymond’s unshakeable confidence wouldn’t allow his team to be defeated. He’s so impressive in overtimes that I had to joke about how he’s a different species after the Utah overtime win. The second best player on a team that recorded 73 wins might be snubbed from the All-NBA First Team because Kawhi and LeBron are two better forwards, but his uniqueness might squeeze him onto some ballots (including mine).

Some people might not understand why I don’t have Kevin Durant or Russell Westbrook in my MVP voting. Well, I don’t think they deserve to be in the voting for not winning 60 games with them two on the say roster. I don’t even understand how they don’t win 60 games together with their talent alone. Chris Paul has been incredible — once again — for the Clippers as he’s kept them within shouting distance of the third seed all season without Blake Griffin. He has watched his coach sign and then trade Josh Smith and Lance Stephenson. He has watched his coach give undeserving minutes to his son all season. Most importantly, Paul has been incredible as ever with Luc Mbah a Moute, Wesley Johnson, Cole Aldrich and Pablo Prigioni playing real minutes for this team.

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