Swarm and Sting Round-Table: NBA Awards predictions


We are under a month away from the beginning of the NBA season. In anticipation, some of Swarm and Sting’s writers make their predictions and answer who they think will be NBA MVP, rookie of the year, coach of the year, and more.

Participating in this round-table is Swarm and Sting’s Andrew Snyder, Joey Owens, Nathan Miller, and Andy Moore:

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1. Who will win NBA MVP? Why?

Andrew Snyder – LeBron James. Heading back home to Cleveland will reinvigorate him. Not only will he turn Cleveland into a title contender he will retake the MVP from Kevin Durant. His combination of scoring, assists, rebounding, and the powerful narrative of his return will convince voters to give him his 5th MVP.  He is the best player in the world and will once again show why.

Joey Owens – Al Jefferson should be MVP. I know, it’s the homer pick of the century, but I’ve always believed the MVP should go to a guy that is the most valuable player to his team in the league.  Of course Lebron, KD, and even DRose all deserved it, but this year if you take away Durant, the Thunder are still good.  Not great, but good.  Take away Lebron and the Cavs are still one of the best teams in the East.  To me Al Jefferson, Tony Parker, Chris Paul, and Joakim Noah are the most valuable guys in the league for their teams.

Nathan Miller – I see Lebron James winning MVP this year. With a legitimate point guard I think that he is going to do less distributing and more scoring, and we all know that if Lebron James wins the scoring title he will undoubtedly win MVP.

Andy Moore – LeBron James. He is the best player in the league and his arrival in Cleveland (along with Kevin Love) moves Cleveland from a lottery team to possibly the best team in the East.

2. NBA Defensive Player of the Year? Why?

Snyder – Serge Ibaka. He is the defensive anchor on a title contender and the reigning defensive player of the year. Marc Gasol and a few other guys may be on his level, but the fact that he just won the award and is on a team that will be a top 2 seed in the loaded Western Conference works in his favor.

Owens – Serge Ibaka. It’s really hard to find someone that’s a more dominant defender than Ibaka, and I always felt the league robbed him by handing DPOY to Tyson Chandler back in 2011-2012, even though he couldn’t crack the All-NBA Defensive 1st team.  That honor went to Serge Ibaka.  Never much made sense to me, so let’s finally see some justice done.

Miller – I think that Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has a legitimate chance to win defensive player of the year. With the Hornets getting more recognition, and hopefully more success, MKG will get more exposure and be recognized as the elite defender he is.

Moore – Anthony Davis. Noah had a great year defensively last year but the addition of Pau Gasol will hurt his defensive numbers. Davis has been a great player on a bad team but I think the attention he got from his play for Team USA this summer will carry over this year.

3. Coach of the Year? Why?

Snyder – Jeff Hornacek. Some project the Suns to regress this season, but I’m counting on them to take a major step forward. I think Hornacek’s run and gun style and guard heavy attack will get Phoenix into the postseason. I would also not be surprised if Steve Clifford wins the award if the Hornets grab a top 4 seed.

Owens – Tom Thibodeau. This is a tough one, but I think the Bulls have the potential to give the Cavaliers a run for their money in the East.  Pop is the best coach in the league, but the 2010-2011 Coach of the Year has the potential to finish with the best record in the regular season this year, and it just so happens that he won it the same year Derrick Rose won his MVP.  Everything rests on him having his former MVP point guard back healthy, and that’s a feel-good story I’d like to see.

Miller – Coach of the year is a tough call. I think it will be the coach of whatever team wins the east. I think if anyone but the Cavaliers win the east than that coach will win coach of the year. If the Cavaliers win the east then it could go to just about anyone.

Moore – Tom Thibodeau. The 2011 award winner finished third last year with a team that had a very tough time scoring. The return of Derrick Rose, plus the additions of Gasol, Doug McDermott, and Nikola Mirotic mean Chicago, will a greatly improved offense, will finish in the top 3 in the East.

4. Rookie of the Year? Why?

Snyder – Jabari Parker. Andrew Wiggins and some others in the class may have more upside but Parker is NBA ready. He is polished scorer and will likely be the go-to guy on a struggling Bucks team. His versatile offensive skill set will be fun to watch and should impress fans and media alike. He will put up big numbers and in spite of his lackluster defense that will be enough to edge out Wiggins for the Rookie of the Year.

Owens – Let’s keep the PG Rookie of the Year trending, and roll with one of the best competitors in the rookie class.  Rondo seems to be on his way out as usual, and won’t be ready for the start of the season.  Smart is a basketball player in a football player’s body, and his drive is other-worldly.  He may not be the headliner of the 2014-2015 class, but Wiggins won’t be surrounded with anyone to take the pressure off, and neither will Parker.  Gordon is a defensive juggernaut, but has a long way to go offensively to compete for any awards.  Exum will have some growing pains playing against some of the best players in the world, while Smart is put in a perfect spot to succeed, and will still be a focal part of the rotation when Rondo comes back.

Miller – I can see an upset occurring for rookie of the year. Most people are expecting Wiggins or Parker but I think Dante Exum is going to surprise a lot of people. I think it will take a little time but as the season progresses I see Exum adjusting quickly and showcasing his skills as a versatile, do it all guard.

Moore – Andrew Wiggins. While a raw player, he will get plenty of playing time to showcase his talents in Minnesota. Ricky Rubio passes as well as anyone in the league which will lead to many highlight dunks for the rookie from Kansas.

5. Who will be on the All-NBA 1st team?

Snyder – Steph Curry, James Harden, Kevin Durant, Lebron James, Marc Gasol

Owens – Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Al Jefferson

Miller – Derrick Rose, James Harden, Lebron James, Anthony Davis, and Demarcus Cousins

Moore – Chris Paul, Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Dwight Howard