NBA Award Predictions

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Tomorrow is the 2017 NBA Awards Show! It’s in New York City, hosted by Drake with a performance from Nicki Minaj, and you can watch it all on TNT at 9 pm E.T. There will be 6 awards given to deserving players (one can certainly hope) and a coach. With the event less than 24 hours away, it seems appropriate to make some predictions on who will win each award. And AWAAAAAYYYY we go!…

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Defensive Player of the Year

Finalists:

I feel like Leonard is mostly in this discussion merely because he won the last two NBA Defensive Player of the Year Awards. He averaged 0.7 blocks per game (BPG), and 1.8 steals per game (SPG) this season while playing in 74 of 82 games (G) this season. While those are impressive numbers for the NBA, they don’t quite stack up when compared to Green’s 1.4 BPG and 2 SPG playing in 76/82 G and Gobert’s 2.6 BPG and 0.6 SPG playing in 81/82 G. It’s a close call between Green and Gobert (and I wouldn’t be surprised to see either of those two names called tomorrow night), but I’m going with Gobert for two main reasons. The first reason is because I feel blocks are slightly more valuable than steals. Why? Blocks tend to be harder to forget as an offensive player. When you have the ball stolen from you, the simple answer is to be more careful with the ball and not get too fancy with dribbling or too careless with passing. When you have your shot blocked, it impacts your shooting motion because you feel like you need to do one or both of two things:

1) Shoot faster and/or

2) Shoot with a greater arc to get over defenders.

There are many players adept at changing their shots, but the majority of them still struggle to maintain their usual shooting percentage when they change their entire shooting motion. The second reason I’m picking Gobert over Green is that he played more games. I place a huge value on the players who stay injury and suspension free to be there for their teams as much as possible.

TheHaysWay Pick: Rudy Gobert, C, Utah Jazz

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Most Improved Player

Finalists:

Two interesting things here:

1) All three of these guys don’t suit up for Team USA for the Olympics, they suit up for Greece, Serbia, and France, respectively.

2) Gobert is already making his second appearance as a finalist in the 2017 NBA Awards.

Due to number 2 there, I’m going to go ahead and remove Gobert from contention for this award because I already chalked up Defensive Player of the Year to his name. It’s another toss-up between two very talented and deserving players in Antetokounmpo and Jokic. I’m going with Antetokounmpo for 3 reasons:

1) The only statistical category that he has digressed in from last season is turnovers per game (TPG), where he averaged 0.3 more per game than he did last season. Everywhere else he has improved, including points per game (PPG) (+6), assists per game (APG) (+1.1), rebounds per game (RPG) (+1.1), SPG (+0.4), and BPG (+0.5). Jokic, on the other hand, averaged 1 more TPG this season as compared to last season, and he also digressed in SPG (-0.2) and fouls per game (FPG) (+0.3).

2) The “Greek Freak” has gone from impressive to a household name, while Jokic hasn’t quite reached household name status as of yet.

3) The Bucks made the playoffs and the Nuggets didn’t. I know the Western Conference is stronger than the Eastern Conference, so also consider this: The Greek Freak was the Bucks’ leader on offense and defense (he led the team in PPG, SPG, and BPG). If you look at those same three statistical categories for Jokic compared to the rest of the Nuggets, he finishes 2nd, T-2nd, and T-2nd, respectively. Now, I know statistics aren’t everything and I would personally argue that Jokic was still the Nuggets’ leader on defense, but I don’t believe there is any argument for Jokic being the Nuggets’ leader on offense. I saw Jokic play in person twice this season and, while I love his ability to hit threes as a center, I personally enjoyed watching offensive performances put on by the likes of Danilo Gallinari and Kenneth Faried more because they were more explosive.

TheHaysWay Pick: Giannis Antetokounmpo, SF, Milwaukee Bucks

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Coach of the Year

Finalists:

This is the easiest one thus far in my mind. I know Spoelstra did a great job with a very talent-less Heat team but frankly, they still missed the playoffs, so I can’t give him this award in good conscience. Popovich is a victim of his own talent: everyone is so used to seeing the Spurs in the playoffs that what he did this season wasn’t really special. D’Antoni made what many considered a risky move by allowing MVP finalist James Harden to play a lot of point guard for the Rockets this season. Did you notice it still says “MVP finalist” in front of James Harden’s name despite the change in role? That plus the Rockets solid playoff season will be plenty to give this award to D’Antoni.

TheHaysWay Pick: Mike D’Antoni, Houston Rockets

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6th Man of the Year

Finalists:

So, this is another great example of why Mike D’Antoni deserves to win the Coach of the Year award: He managed to get two players on his team nominated for the 6th Man of the Year award. Granted, Lou Williams was with the Los Angeles Lakers for a significant chunk (the majority) of the year. Many are picking Eric Gordon to win this award. If it were up to me, he wouldn’t even be eligible. For me, a true 6th Man is a guy who is coming off the bench. Eric Gordon started 15/75 G that he played in this season. I just feel that doesn’t count. Not enough bench time. True bench players should start a MAXIMUM of 9 G. Williams started 1/81 G he played in and Iguodala started 0/76 G he played in. I’m going with Williams:

1) Williams played in more games (I stated previously that I value players who remain injury and suspension free to actually be there for their team as much as possible)

2) Williams averaged fewer minutes per game (MPG) than Iguodala, but still averaged around 7 more PPG. Defensively, Iguodala was a fraction better in both SPG and BPG, but not enough to negate the point differential.

Now, you’re probably thinking about the roles they filled for their teams: the Rockets needed more points than the Warriors and the Warriors needed more defense than the Rockets. Even so, Williams was more proficient at his role than Iguodala was at his. The Rockets traded for Williams for a reason, and I believe this was that reason.

TheHaysWay Pick: Lou Williams, SG, Houston Rockets

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Rookie of the Year

Finalists:

Ok, Embiid is out because he was injured for most of the season. He only played in 31 G. Down to Brogdon (played in 75 G, started in 28 G) and Saric (played in 81 G, started in 36 G). Statistically, they were fairly similar with positions considered. Saric was better in RPG and BPG, Brogdon was better in APG and SPG. But, consider this: Saric ended up starring in a Philadelphia front court that was supposed to feature fellow rookies Embiid and Ben Simmons. He stepped up when those two were injured and he should be rewarded for it.

TheHaysWay Pick: Dario Saric, PF, Philadelphia 76ers

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Most Valuable Player

Finalists:

Westbrook was the first player to average a triple-double in a season since Oscar Robertson did so in 1962–55 years ago! Westbrook also carried possibly the weakest roster in the NBA this season to the playoffs. If he does not win MVP, go stock up on water and food because the apocalypse is starting.

TheHaysWay Pick: Russell Westbrook, PG, Oklahoma City Thunder

A Couple More Things: Not NBA Awards Related

  1. For those of you who have been following me for a couple of years, you might be freaking out about the lack of Fantasy Football postings so far this year. I apologize if I caused alarm with that–with my new college schedule, my summer got off to a later start this year than it had with my high school schedule in the past. I promise, Fantasy Football rankings are in progress now and I hope to have them finished within the next couple of weeks.
  2. For those of you who follow me on Twitter, you might have seen the quarrel I got into a couple of weeks ago with some Fresno State/Derek Carr fans. I plan on posting a statement about that in the near future. Of course, considering my recent lack of posting consistency I request that you don’t hold me too strictly to the “near” part of near future.

That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment with your thoughts on NBA Awards and/or on whatever is on your mind, along with a much appreciated like. Feel free to give me respectful criticism, I appreciate the opportunity to make my blog better. If you are not yet a follower, become a follower to be a MVP for my blog. 🙂 Have a pleasant tomorrow!

Warriors, Speaking while Watching, Frisbee, Youth Substance Abuse Prevention, Strength in Kindness

Just to throw this out there: I hate the Golden State Warriors. They’ve become the New England Patriots of the NBA. You just know that they are going to win. It’s REALLY annoying. They just defeated the San Antonio Spurs in San Antonio for the 2nd time in the teams’ last 3 meetings there, and the Warriors had lost 33 straight regular season games in San Antonio prior to that. AND, the Spurs were up double digits in the first half. Come on! In other NBA news: The Cleveland Cavaliers suck.

You know what else is annoying? When people speak during your favorite movies/TV shows. I was watching an episode of my favorite TV show, Psych, when one of my friends entered the room and started speaking. Another friend got sucked into the conversation because he was already in the room. Then another one of my friends entered the room and joined the conversation. Then my roommate entered the room and joined the conversation. SERIOUSLY!? I’m watching the greatest TV show of ALL TIME!!! I just want to watch it in peace. Is that too much to ask for? Those guys talk enough throughout the rest of the day, and they can’t give me 45 minutes of silence to watch ONE episode!?

On a more positive note, I was tossing the frisbee with a friend today, and my forehand throw looked really good! Here in Denver, there always seems to be wind when I’m trying to play frisbee, but today it was virtually nonexistent. Also, when I went home for Spring Break, one of my friends who is AMAZING at frisbee taught me how to throw a forehand pass. He’s apparently really good at teaching, too, because my forehand throw looked better than my friend’s did today, and my friend is on the DU Ultimate Frisbee Team.

So, I wrote this Wee Intro Paper yesterday (that was the name of the assignment) and refined it today to turn in for my Writing class this quarter. It’s not optimal because I hadn’t written a piece for school in a couple of weeks, but feel free to read it (and critique it) if you wish. My Writing class is all about Preventing Youth Substance Abuse, which is an issue that I care about due to my personal values. In fact, if it were up to me, weed and alcohol would BOTH be illegal. But, I recognize the in-feasibility of that for the economic aspects (alcohol and weed companies would DEMOLISH me in court). Still, it would be nice if our country was substance free, right?

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It’s sad that society is set up like this. We can change it if we all work together…
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This probably sounds like the quote of the day, but I actually found an even better quote about kindness.
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Don’t worry, I won’t do another quote of the day with “happiness” and “rain” today. I do like rainbows, though.
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Ever seen the movie Shallow Hal? it’s like that.
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This came in second in today’s quote of the day race. I wanted to inject some humor, but then I found…
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Quote of the Day

Who would have thought that a gangster would beat out two writers in Oscar Wilde and Mark Twain for the quote of the day? I think this quote is perfect for those out there who are afraid to show kindness for whatever reason. It honestly reminds me of my favorite rule, which I affectionately dub, “The Black Rule”: Do unto others as others have done unto you. I show kindness to people until they are unkind to me. When someone is unkind to me, I make them regret it. If you don’t believe me, ask the biggest douche on the DU campus (in my opinion), or my ex’s best friend. Showing kindness, caring, and compassion to someone should never be considered a weakness. In fact, it should be considered a strength because that is how you make friends (and maybe lovers? 😉 ) that last lifetimes. Those who are unkind are the truly weak in society. So be strong in two ways: 1) Show kindness to everyone and 2) Make those who are unkind to you realize they have made a grave mistake.

That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on the Golden State Warriors and/or on the Cleveland Cavaliers and/or on Psych and/or on talking during movies and TV shows and/or on frisbee and/or on my piece about youth substance abuse programs in Colorado and/or on the various quotes and/or on the Quote of the Day and/or on whatever is on your mind, along with a much-appreciated like. If you are not yet a follower, become a follower to show your strength in kindness to me. 🙂 Have a pleasant tomorrow.

 

Daily Update: July 11, 2016

“All that stuff about heavy metal and hard rock, I don’t subscribe to any of that. It’s all just music. I mean, the heavy metal from the Seventies sounds nothing like the stuff from the Eighties, and that sounds nothing like the stuff from the Nineties. Who’s to say what is and isn’t a certain type of music?” -Ozzy Osbourne, Musician

I wanted to put a scene from the show, Psych, into today’s post. It is the best television show ever. In fact, I don’t just encourage you to watch it, I BEG you to watch it. You’ll thank me later, if you haven’t already seen it. That said, I never pass up an opportunity to talk about music. Osbourne is totally right. It’s not just a question of what falls into which genre of music, it’s a question of what even constitutes music at all. Music is a form of expression, just like art. All art forms come in many different forms. Think about the evolution of music: It all started with singing (which was really only for worship purposes, originally), and now we have a countless number of instruments. Literally ANYTHING can be considered an instrument. You can bang on ANYTHING to make it a percussion instrument. If that is the case, couldn’t something as ordinary as a car blinker be considered music? I believe so. A blinker is actually very similar to a metronome in that it keeps a steady beat. In fact, I often find myself singing in time with my blinker. So, if ordinary items like a car blinker can be considered music, and music is an art form, and an art form is a way to express one’s self, doesn’t that mean there are endless possibilities for expressing ourselves? YES! That is probably my favorite thing about life. Literally EVERYTHING we do is an expression of ourselves; Whether it be a literal art form like music, or having a conversation with someone. Everything we do defines who we are. Successes and Failures, Communication and Silence, Action and Laziness. So, who’s to say who we are and aren’t other than ourselves? Nobody. Yeah, I just turned a quote about music into a discussion on individuality. That’s part of who I am. I see music as a link between us and everything around us. Star Wars is also part of who I am (I have been practicing my Kylo Ren walk with my new Kylo Ren lightsaber because, frankly, it’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve seen. As much as I love the character of Kylo Ren and I believe Adam Driver does an AMAZING job of acting it, especially with the conflicted and immature temper tantrums, I really don’t understand why his walk is so ridiculous. It’s like they tried to replicate the menacing gait of David Prowse, who was the physical actor of Darth Vader, and they failed miserably.), so, in theory, my view of music is that it is ‘The Force’. There is no limit to who we can be because our only limit is our imagination. Express yourself in whatever way you deem fit, because at the end of the day, no matter what anyone else says, only YOU can say who you are, and who you aren’t. The daily quote is one way that I express myself, and the daily news is the other:

  1. San Antonio Spurs C/F Tim Duncan is retiring. The news comes after 19 seasons in the league. As a reference, Duncan used to play with David Robinson in San Antonio, and the two were known as the “Twin Towers”. Duncan has five NBA Championships, two MVPs, and 15 All-Star appearances. He will be in the Hall of Fame.
  2. I owe you all a HUGE apology. I forgot to congratulate Portugal on their Euro league Championship that they won over the weekend. Very impressive for them winning the final game over France with Christiano Ronaldo out for most of the game, too. Well done, well deserved!
  3. Buffalo Bills QB Tyrod Taylor is beginning to be talked about a lot for his current contract situation. Taylor is set to make just $3 million next season. That’s a lot for most of us, but for a starting QB in the NFL, it’s practically nothing. Talks about an expensive extension for Taylor haven’t gone particularly well this offseason, as his resume is really only last season long. Although he was impressive last season, his injuries are apparently concerning Bills management. My advice: Just pay the man. Do you REALLY have a better idea at QB? Maybe you could bring QB Ryan Fitzpatrick back. 🙂 Look out New York Jets fans, I might have just given Bills coach Rex Ryan a wonderful idea for terrorizing you.
  4. Los Angeles Rams RB Todd Gurley addressed the media again today. This time, it was regarding fantasy football. According to Gurley, there are only three options for the number one overall pick in your fantasy draft: him, Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown, and Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton. While he and Brown are worthy of a pick at least close to number one, PLEASE don’t draft a QB with the number one overall pick. EVER. That is a TERRIBLE idea. There are always fantastic fantasy free agent QBs available every week. Some of my favorites last season were Tennessee Titans QB Marcus Mariota, Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles, and the aforementioned Buffalo Bills QB Tyrod Taylor. All three had weeks where they outperformed Newton. You just need to do the research to figure out which weeks those will be this season. That said, still draft a QB at some point. I’m definitely not condoning a lack of QB pickups via fantasy drafts.
  5. The San Diego Chargers. Will San Diego stay in front of the Chargers name? San Diego voters will determine the answer to that question when they vote in November on the raising of hotel taxes to build the Chargers a new downtown stadium. Personally, I believe the Chargers will be staying put. Especially if the coming season goes as well for them as I think it will.
  6. The Dallas Cowboys defense is in desperation mode with some key suspensions to start the season; So much so, that they have engaged in discussions with LB Justin Durant about bringing him back to Dallas. Durant is currently a free agent after being released by the Atlanta Falcons after just one season in Atlanta. Durant was with the Cowboys prior to that. I actually believe this is a great move for the Cowboys. Durant is a capable starter. Not top-notch, but capable, for sure.
  7. Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan has been spreading the word that the Jags will win in 2016. Agreed. If you’ve seen my win projections, you know that I think as highly of the Jags as Khan does. Although they lack the experience to make a Super Bowl run, this team definitely has the talent to make a playoff run.
  8. New York Giants P Brad Wing has received a contract extension. The deal is three-years in length, and is worth $6.45 million. Last season was his first in New York, and his 33 punts inside the 20-yard line tied the Giants single-season record set by P Brad Maynard twice. Thank goodness. As a Giants fan, I know that the team needs to have a good punter. He will have plenty of work to do.
  9. Ex-San Francisco 49ers RB Jarryd Hayne left San Francisco to pursue his Olympic dream of playing for Fiji’s rugby unit. That dream fell short. Now, Hayne looks to return to the National Rugby League. If the 49ers are smart, however, they will resign Hayne. He showed promise as a kick returner last season. Plus, when your team is as bad as the 49ers currently are, why not?

That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on the daily quote and/or the daily news and/or whatever is on your mind, along with a much-appreciated like. Have a pleasant tomorrow.