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NBA Awards Watch

NBA Awards WatchRegular season NBA awards actually given throughout the regular season include Player of the Week, Player of the Month, Coach of the month and Rookie of the month.

Regular season NBA awards based on the entire collective season, voted on at the end of the season, with winners announced after the regular season has concluded, include NBA MVP, Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Sixth Man of the Year, Most Improved Player, Coach of the Year, and Executive of the year.

The main regular season NBA award-winners used to be announced during the playoffs, with one award announced at a time, spread out over the course of a few weeks. The league then decided to make a formal event of it, and in June of 2017 introduced the first-ever NBA Awards Show. Finalists for each regular season-long award were announced in advance. The actual winners were announced at the show. It's a fun idea. But one problem is, the regular season ends and then the playoffs really feel like an entire new season. The Awards Show took place after the playoffs. By then, the regular season felt somewhat distant. It will be interesting to see what the league chooses to do for the 2018-19 season.

The only NBA Award that is decided entirely on playoff action is Finals MVP. Two teams make the NBA Finals. Generally, the most dominant player on the team that wins the NBA championship winds up receiving the NBA Finals MVP award.


Updated February 2, 2019
5:04 p.m. ET

Regarding the NBA MVP, the two top candidates in our opinion are Giannis Antetokounmpo and James Harden.

But one big thing separates them: wins and losses.

The Bucks have a better overall team than the Rockets this season. Especially considering injuries to key Rockets Chris Paul and Clint Capela, among others.

But, the difference in wins-losses is too big. The Bucks are currently 37-13 -- the best record in the entire NBA. The Rockets are 29-22 -- that's 11th best.

If NBA MVP voting was today, would give the award to Giannis.

As for the NBA Rookie of the Year, there's one clear leader: Luka Doncic.

It's been fun watching Hawks guard Trae Young figure things out as the season has progressed. Suns center Deandre Ayton is putting up points and boards. Collin Sexton, Jaren Jackson Jr., Marvin Bagley III and Kevin Knox also have our attention. Wendell Carter Jr as well, on the defensive end.

But Doncic is the runaway leader for NBA Rookie of the Year so far. Easily.

The NBA Sixth Man of the Year? We'll pay more attention to that later in the season. It's never been a favorite award of ours.

When searching for leading NBA Defensive Player of the Year award candidates, we look at who the league's best defensive teams are. Right now, the 10 most efficient defenses in the league are played by the Bucks, Celtics, Thunder, Pacers, Jazz, Heat, Grizzlies, Lakers, Raptors and Nuggets. We'll probaly pick candidates from the upper chunk of that list of teams. Will do so later in February.

Top NBA Coach of the Year candidates: We're thinking about the guys in Milwaukee, Toronto and Denver right about now.


NBA Players of the Month Award:

October/November: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks (Eastern); Tobias Harris, LA Clippers (Western)

December: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks (Eastern); James Harden, Houston Rockets (Western)

NBA Coaches of the Month

October/November: Nick Nurse, Toronto Raptors (Eastern); Doc Rivers, LA Clippers (Western)

December: Nate McMillan, Indiana Pacers (Eastern); Mike D'Antoni, Houston Rockets (Western)

NBA Rookies of the Month

October/November: Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks (Eastern); Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks (Western)

December: Kevin Knox, New York Knicks (Eastern); Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks (Western)