Re: Name the top candidates for the key awards next season
I think each year there's a few players who really have a shot at winning MVP - arguably Nash, Dirk and Kobe last season - and then there's a few really good players who are mentioned anyway, despite not really having a chance to win.
I think Dirk will be in the latter bunch this season, he'll be mentioned as a candidate. Remember, lots of people mentioned Chris Bosh as an MVP candidate last season. But honestly, were the media really going to vote him the MVP over Nash or Dirk? No, but he was there to be talked about because he performed great. (Nothing at all against Bosh, he's a great player. Just using him as an example.)
So who do I predict will be in the elite group who really could win?
Kobe, Lebron and Wade if he plays a full season and the Heat have a decent record (remember he was putting up 29/5/8 on a FG% approaching .500 before the injury).
Who do I predict will get a mention?
The usual suspects - Nash, Duncan, Dirk, Arenas, Wade, Carmelo and the list goes on.
This isn't who I think will deserve it, it's who I think the media will ultimately vote for. And at this stage it's ridiculously early to be making these predictions, but it's fun :)