Friday , Mar , 26 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

NBA Hardware

With only 15 or so games left for NBA teams it’s time to hand out some hardware, MVP, rookies, All-NBA teams, 6th man, etc.

(Names in parentheses were my pre-season pick for that particular award; I thought we’d all laugh together)


Peja Stojakovic- Sacramento Kings

(Kevin Garnett)

Sure this award could easily go to Garnett, or a half dozen other guys, but Peja was absolutely brilliant in leading the Kings to the top Western record. Sure the Kings team is loaded with Bibby, Miller, and Christie but Peja stood out from among all of them with his shooting and his take over the game abilities.

NBA Hardware

Coach of the Year
Stan Van Gundy- Miami Heat
(Randy Ayers)
Ayers is currently unemployed, so that eliminates him from the running and turns my attention to a guy who didn’t even take over his team till only a couple weeks before the season began. Now the Miami Heat are more then likely playoff bound, sure in the East that’s not saying much but still, few had picked this undersized Heat team to do much, but Van Gundy (like his brother Jeff) has gotten the Heat to buy into his defense first mentality and it’s paid off quickly for this young team.
Rookie of the Year
Carmelo Anthony- Denver Nuggets
(Carmelo Anthony)
Well at least I got one going for me, of course this award will probably go to Lebron James, even though if you look at the numbers it’s eerily similar
             PPG  RPG   APG   SPG   FG%
James    20.7   5.6     5.7     1.6     41.4
Anthony 20.6    6.1     2.9     1.2     42.8
Other then assists, where James leads because Denver has Andre Miller and the Cavs don’t, the numbers are identical and both young men have turned their horrific teams around into playoff contenders as well as returned them to national attention. With all that said Anthony’s play has been more consistent and while the spotlight hasn’t been as bright as on James, Carmelo has had his share of publicity all the while playing in a much tougher division.
6th Man
Al Harrington- Indiana Pacers
He plays 30 minutes, shoots 45%, scores 12 PPG, also grabs 6 boards, and plays very solid defense. What more do you want off the bench?
All-NBA First Team                       All-NBA Second Team
C- Yao Ming                                 C- Brad Miller  
F- Kevin Garnett                            F- Tim Duncan
F- Peja Stojakovic                         F- Jermaine O’Neal
G- Tracy McGrady                        G- Paul Pierce
G- Steve Nash                              G- Sam Cassell

Few surprises, no Shaq cause Yao and Brad Miller have just been better. Down year for point guards, as Marbury, Francis, and Gilbert Arenas have all had below normal seasons. Forwards are loaded especially out West, where Nowitzki, Anthony, Maggette, Brand, Kirilenko, and Stoudamire all could have had a case to get on these teams. Toughest call to make is Sam Cassell over Baron Davis but Cassell has had more of an impact on his team and has been healthier, which unfortunately has always been a problem with Davis.
All-Rookie Team

F- Chris Boch
F- Carmelo Anthony
G- Lebron James
G- Dwayne Wade
G- Kirk Hinrich
Had to go three guards here, rookie big men are always few and far between (last year exception with Yao and Amare). Guard play though was terrific especially in the East, with the “Big Three”(Hinrich, James,Wade) plus T.J. Ford, and Steve Blake.