Friday , Feb , 24 , 2012 Paul Eide

First Half NBA Awards

MVP- LeBron James

Pretty hard to argue with this one even if you aren’t a LeBron fan. The evolution of his post-up game has not only made him a better player, but has made the Heat a much better team. His .547% from the field is a career high, as are both his three point shooting percentage (.413% because he’s taking better shots) and rebounds (8.1 rpg). His entire overall game has improved which is pretty scary considering where he was to being with.

Most Improved Player Of The Year- Jeremy Lin

What a crazy 2 weeks it’s been for Jeremy Lin. He’s played great, made the Knicks a better team and is now the most popular dude in the world. Currently averaging 14.4 ppg and 5.8 apg, both numbers are huge improvements from his averages of 2.6 ppg and 1.4 apg a year ago.

Coach of the Year- Doug Collins

Though the Sixers have stumbled over the last couple weeks, Collins’ team still leads the Atlantic division by 4 games heading into the all-star break. Frank Vogel from the Indiana Pacers also deserves some consideration for leading the Pacers to an unexpected 21-12 record, including wins over the Mavericks, Bulls, Lakers, Orlando and Boston.

6th Man of the Year- James Harden

Harden heads into the All-Star break averaging 16.8 points, 3.7 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game and should be able to at least match that for the remainder of the season. Would the Thunder be a better team if he were actually starting? Especially considering how his game has improved again this season. Scary to imagine.

Rookie of the Year- Ricky Rubio

Personally, I’m amazed at how fast Ricky Rubio has transitioned to the NBA game. The extra year in Europe has certainly helped and he’s led the Timberwolves to a surprisingly successful start to the season. Not only does he do all the little things that an NBA PG needs to do, he is also putting up solid numbers. His 8.4 apg is fifth in the NBA and his 2.4 spg is second most in the NBA. Any sort of scoring that the Twolves get out of him has been a bonus and his 11.3 ppg average is more than anticipated thus far. The only thing he needs to improve is his shooting percentage (.375%) which should improve over the seaqson’s second half.

Defensive Player of the Year- Serge Ibaka

Ibaka is currently leading the NBA in blocked shots per game at 3.2 but that really only tells a fragment of how valuable he is as a defensive player. If they kept a stat called “shots altered per game”, Ibaka would be the hands down leader. His ability to cover space and get to shots that he seemingly should have no business getting to is what makes him so good.

What did I miss? Who do you think is better? Leave a comment below.

Image Credit: Keith Allison