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The Mass Media

NBA Awards predictions

National Basketball Association Logo. Uploaded for commentary.

National Basketball Association Logo. Uploaded for commentary.

May 16 is the last day of the NBA Season and that means that the NBA Awards are all but decided. I already wrote an article about the MVP race so if you want to hear more about that go check it out.
Coach of the Year: Monty Williams 
Many people expected that the Phoenix Suns would finally make the playoffs this season. Last season, they were undefeated in the bubble and made major moves in free agency picking up Chris Paul. While many people expected them to be good, nobody expected them to be THIS good. Right now, they are the second best team in the entire league. A lot of the credit should go to Chris Paul, but Monty Williams is also responsible for the culture in Phoenix. This team plays so fluidly. They have amazing ball movement that lead to great shots, and they play great defense.
Rookie of the Year: Anthony Edwards
There are times when Anthony Edwards looks like the best player on the court. Anthony Edwards is not scared of the moment; he regularly takes over quarters and even games while being on the same team as Karl Anthony Towns. Recently he had a 42-point, six rebound and seven assist game. He is the third youngest rookie with a 40-point game and is leading all rookies in scoring with 19 points a game. Early in the season, Lamelo Ball was the runaway Rookie of the Year. However, he got injured halfway through the season, missing 19 games, and in those 19 games Edwards has been on fire and taken it from Lamelo.
Most Improved Player of the Year: Julius Randle
Julius Randle. This is the easiest award this year. This year Julius Randle is top five in MVP voting and is leading his team to the fourth seed in the east. He is averaging 24 points per game (+4), but what stands out more is his increased playmaking with six assists (+3).  He has been a good playmaker this season for the first time in his career. He is also having the best shooting season of his career shooting, 46 percent from the field and 42 percent from three (+14 percent). There are other players who have improved this season like Jerami Grant and Christian Wood, but they both missed a significant number of games and have not improved more than Julius Randle.
Sixth Man of the Year: Jordan Clarkson
Jordan Clarkson has been on fire for a majority of the year, so much so that in Utah his nickname is the flamethrower. He has been vital to this team, averaging about 18 points off the bench. Clarkson may not be the most efficient shooter, but he is one of the best tough-shotmakers in the league. Even when he is cold, players have to be scared of him because he could heat up at any time. Utah has a lot of defensive minded players like Gobert, Royce O’Neal and Joe Ingles; Clarkson is allowed to shoot as many shots as he wants coming off the bench, and the Jazz are better for it.
Defensive Player of the Year: Ben Simmons 
The last guard to win Defensive Player of the Year was Gary Payton in 1995. To put that into perspective, Gary Payton’s son is now in the league. While Ben Simmons is closer in height to the average center, he still qualifies as a point guard. What makes him different from past years’ Defensive Player of the Years is his ability to guard any position. Ben has the speed and lateral quickness to keep up with the best guards, as well as the strength and size to hold his own against the best bigs in the league. One of the reasons why he is so highly praised despite his glaring shooting weakness is because of his elite defense. He is already a two time All Star and a big part of that is because of his defense.
MVP: Joel Embiid
I already wrote about why I think Embiid should be MVP in a previous article, but to summarize: Embiid has led his team to the best record in the East, and third in the whole league. He has done this by being dominant offensively, as well as being a Defensive Player of the Year candidate. He is averaging 29 points per game (third in the league) and 11 rebounds. Most people have Jokic, but I have Embiid because of his team’s success and elite defense.

About the Contributor
Josemanuel Cruz, Sports Writer