The NBA season came to a close on Wednesday night and Saturday marks the start of what could be very interesting playoffs. With labour uncertainty looming, this makes this year even more important as it could be the last basketball we see for a while.
While some teams disappointed under immense pressure and expectations, others flourished and are sitting in great positions. These teams have amazing players, some of who are deserving of this years MVP award. Yet there can only be one.
5. LeBron James
James is my number 5 pick. While his PPG dropped by 3 from 29.7 to 26.7, his play led a sometimes uninspired and listless Heat to win. His assist and rebound totals were basically the same too. At times they were able to show domination and their abilities but when they struggled, James took the team on his back.
4. Amar’e Stoudemire
Before the season I felt the Knicks would be better, but I didn’t see them getting a playoff spot. In the early going Stoudemire was on a tear, scoring 30 points or more in nine straight games. His career high 25.3 PPG and 8.2 RPG were quite impressive.
And while the addition of Carmelo Anthony took some of the burden of him, he was still relied on for inside scoring.
3. Kevin Durant
Mr. Durant and his young Thunder are making quite the noise in the always-competitive Western Conference. The Thunder was able to take the Northwest division title with an impressive 55 wins.
Durant was the leader of the team, sometimes taking the team on his back and making clutch shot after clutch shot. His 27.7 PPG gave him the NBA scoring title.
Throw in his 6.8 RPG and 2.7 APG and you have an MVP-like season for Durant. The future for Oklahoma City is bright with Durant running the show.
2. Dwight Howard
Although at times they’ve struggled and their 4th place Eastern Conference seed seems bad for a team with their talent, Dwight Howard had a monster year. He led the league in double doubles with 66, and was second in RPG with 14.1. Throw in a career high 22.9 PPG and the Magic have reason to be optimistic about a long playoff run. Magic fans should enjoy it while they can, though. Howard may not be in Orlando for much longer.
1. Derrick Rose
If you had told me before the season that the Chicago Bulls would have 62 wins and the number one seed in the Western conference, I would have laughed at you.
But 82 games later and the Bulls are the ones laughing now. Rose was absolutely unbelievable this year. Watching him play is a special experience.
The way he makes passes and weaves his way to the basket is sometimes mind blowing. His 25 PPG and 7.7 APG do not do proper justice to the way he could just take over games.
In only his second year we could be witnessing the start to something special.