April 24, 2007

Some NBA awards

by Dan Bilicki In: Basketball

Only a year after he was on the chopping block and called one of the worst coaches in the league, the Raptors’ Sam Mitchell took home the honours for coach of the year. Mitchell was at the head of a revamped Raptors team that improved their win total by 20 games from last year; an NBA best. Picking up 49 first place votes for a total of 394 point, Mitchell edged out Utah’s Jerry Sloan (301 points) and last year’s winner, Avery Johnson of Dallas (268). I personally think that Mitchell isn’t anything more than a right place, right time coach and cudos should be awarded to GM Bryan Colangelo; the real man who turned this team around. It’s pretty hard to lose games in the Hotlantic division, especially when you have the best point guard tandem in the NBA and a stud like Chris Bosh.

As for Sixth man of the year, Leandro Barbosa was the run away winner. The man nicknamed “the Brazilian Blur” picked up 101 first place votes to dominate second-place finisher Manu Ginobili 578 to 269. Barbosa is part of the Phoenix Sun’s high scoring offense and is their key component coming off the bench. Personally, I hate the Suns and think that everybody’s favourite South African, Steve Nash isn’t an MVP and that their coach Mike D’Antoni is wildly overrated because he can’t get his team to play enough defense. The Suns have given up over 100 points a game over the past three seasons despite having a stopper like Raja Bell and defensive player of the year candidate Shawn Marion. For me, coaches should be able to teach defense and MVP’s should be able to play it.

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