2018-19 NBA Award Predictions | Bonehead Picks

2018-19 NBA Award Predictions

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The 2018-19 NBA season is less than a week away. The 2018 NBA summer was one of the wildest and most interesting ever with LeBron’s decision 3.0 and move to the Los Angeles Lakers, drama with Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler, and a NBA Draft chock full of talented big men. The Golden State Warriors are again the prohibitive favorite to win the NBA championship with the core of the team returning and the addition of All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins. While there will be plenty of predictions about who will be the playoff teams to join the Warriors on the quest to the NBA title, it is also interesting to predict who will be the individual winners of the various awards handed out by the NBA during their NBA Awards show at the end of the season. Here are my predictions for some of the major 2018-19 NBA awards.

Coach of the Year: Mike Budenholzer-Milwaukee

One of the more under the radar acquisitions during the NBA offseason was not a player but a coach. Mike Budenholzer is an former NBA Coach of the Year who once led the Atlanta Hawks to a 60 win season and an Eastern Conference Finals appearance. He accomplished those lofty goals without a legitimate NBA superstar on that Atlanta team and now he inherits a legitimate superstar in Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo. Budenholzer is arguably the best coach to switch NBA teams from last season to this season.

Most Improved Player: Jamal Murray-Denver Nuggets

The Denver Nuggets barely missed the NBA playoffs last season but seemed poised to be one of the Western Conference’s top eight teams this season. That is largely due to talented center Nikola Jokic, still one of the most underrated NBA players in the game. However, the young backcourt of Gary Harris and Jamal Murray gives the Nuggets hope as well. Murray is a emerging point guard entering his 3rd year that already improved across the board since his rookie season. He should remind people of a young Chauncey Billups and has the look of a future All-Star.

Defensive Player of the Year: Anthony Davis-New Orleans Pelicans

One of the chic picks for NBA MVP is this season is Anthony Davis. The Pelicans star got a ton of credit for the wins his team piled up after DeMarcus Cousins was lost for the season with an Achilles injury. The athleticism and defensive presence of Davis, who led the NBA in blocks per game last season, will led to Davis earning this hardware after being one of the finalists for this award last season.

Sixth Man of the Year: Dennis Schroder-Oklahoma City Thunder

It seems that the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award has been passed out between Jamal Crawford, Lou Williams, and Eric Gordon over the past decade. Look for former Atlanta starting point guard Dennis Schroder to get a lot of minutes as he fills in for Russell Westbrook’s recovery from his knee surgery. His numbers will be helped by his early season starts but Schroder should still provide some scoring off the bench once Westbrook returns.

Rookie of the Year: Deandre Ayton-Phoenix Suns

Not much of a surprise here as the number one overall pick of this year’s draft will make an impact. There are several rookies capable of winning this award in a very interesting NBA Draft class including Luka Doncic, Trae Young, and Marvin Bagley III. However, Ayton has both the freedom and pleasure of not being the sole focus of opposing teams with up-and-coming shooting guard Devin Booker giving some perimeter help. Ayton should be good for averaging a double-double and some weekly highlights with some strong dunks.

Most Valuable Player-Giannis Antetokounmpo-Milwaukee

Giannis Antetokounmpo has the game and the nickname, The Greek Freak, to back this up. Expect a potential top four seed and 50 to 55 win team from Milwaukee while led by their ultra-versatile superstar. He will want to show that he is the best player in the East after LeBron’s departure and is the overall best player in the NBA this season. He has the tools to do so.

 

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