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Sport 2018 NBA awards ballot: How would playoff performances change MVP, ROY voting?

19:10  13 june  2018
19:10  13 june  2018 Source:   sportingnews.com

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3 PPG, 5. 1. LeBron James is campaigning for NBA MVP as the regular season hits the NBA playoffs 2018 : 2018 NBA awards ballot : Final votes , breakdowns for MVP , Rookie of the Year and more NBA MVP voting . ET.

But there’s no need to make this a secret: I’ll tell you up front how my ballot looks. The test will come in the postseason, of course. It was the Raptors’ poor playoff performance that originally inspired all these changes . NBA Most Improved Player voting .

It has been nearly two months since I wrestled with stats and sorted through the drop-down menus that are the scourge of those of us tasked with voting on the NBA’s awards. My ballot was filed on April 13. I got that done first. Then I started work on my taxes. Priorities.

The league awards are set up for the regular season. We vote on what happens from late October through mid-April. As the NBA does things now, the winners of the awards are not announced until an awards show at the end of June. That means there’s a two-month gap in which the most crucial games of the NBA year are played, and they hold zero impact in how we pick the top players and coaches in each category.

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The most difficult vote this season was for the most important award : Most Valuable Player , a term over which there can be thoughtful, contentious debate Thus, here is the MVP ballot I am submitting to the league, along with the rest of my awards selections How to watch NBA playoff games online.

That’s a little crazy. The notion of waiting until after the playoffs to vote for awards has long had a small following. But now that the awards are announced in late June, that movement should keep growing.

When reviewing how I voted, it’s striking how much I would have changed to include playoff performance, instead of just the regular season. For me, I would have made alterations to three big categories.

First is MVP. We get to pick five on our ballots. Here is how I voted...

NBA MVP voting (regular season only)

1. James Harden, Rockets

2. LeBron James, Cavaliers

3. Kevin Durant, Warriors

4. Anthony Davis, Pelicans

5. Russell Westbrook, Thunder

Now that we’re a few days past the end of the playoffs, that ballot just does not look right. It starts at the top. If I were voting for MVP now, with the postseason included, it would be too difficult to ignore the multiple dud games that Harden had, the way he shot 38.6 percent against the Warriors after his brilliant Game 1 performance and his struggles in clutch situations.

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2018 NBA MVP candidates (Getty Images). It arrived a few days ago, and soon my vote will be official. But there’s no need to make this a secret: I’ll tell you up front how my ballot looks.

Harden did lead the Rockets to 65 wins in the regular season, and after 82 games, he deserved MVP. James’ Cavs won only 50 games. He dragged that Cavs bunch through the playoffs and into the Finals against relatively weak competition. Harden had a much tougher road this postseason, and that’s a point in his favor.

But compare the numbers:

Playoff averagesPointsAssistsReboundsTS %PER
LeBron James34.09.09.161.932.2
James Harden28.66.85.254.824.9

Harden’s Rockets did not play many games in clutch situations — just four, and Houston won all four — but he struggled, scoring 1.8 points on 25.0 percent shooting, 12.5 percent on 3s. James scored 4.7 points, shooting 50.0 percent and 40.0 percent from the arc.

I’d probably shift a few other things in my ballot, too, considering how Anthony Davis played, and how much more important to the Warriors Stephen Curry was in relation to Kevin Durant. My post-postseason MVP ballot would go like this...

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NBA MVP voting (including playoffs)

1. LeBron James, Cavaliers

2. James Harden, Rockets

3. Anthony Davis, Pelicans

4. Stephen Curry, Warriors

5. Kevin Durant, Warriors

a person lying on the ground: lebron-james-ftr-060118.jpg © Provided by Sporting News lebron-james-ftr-060118.jpg

My Coach of the Year ballot would probably be the most dramatically different. I voted for Dwane Casey, who was impressive in getting his team to buy into a ball-sharing offense and a revamped bench that helped the team win a franchise-best 59 games. Based on the regular season, he was deserving.

But then his bunch got swept by the Cavaliers, and Casey got fired. Ahem.

My votes went...

NBA Coach of the Year voting (regular season only)

1. Dwane Casey, Raptors

2. Brad Stevens, Celtics

3. Quin Snyder, Jazz

OK, take a mulligan on Casey. I feel pretty good about my picks for No. 2 and 3 after watching the playoffs. Stevens, of course, was exalted during the last two months for the way the Celtics, without Kyrie Irving, were able to hang on to a series win over the Bucks, topple the Sixers then get the Cavs to a Game 7 before finally running out of gas.

If you believe some folks on Twitter, Stevens’ out-of-bounds plays were not conceived on a whiteboard, but were conceived by the Divine Creator himself, and Stevens is but a vessel for the transmission of those ideas. Or something like that.

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2018 NBA MVP candidates (Getty Images). It arrived a few days ago, and soon my vote will be official. But there’s no need to make this a secret: I’ll tell you up front how my ballot looks.

The NBA season ends Wednesday and the annual awards balloting is now open. 2018 NBA MVP race (SN Illustration) MOST VALUABLE PLAYER . nba mvp award 2017 date Apr 12, 2018 · Playoff time in the NBA also means award voters have a full season of 2018 NBA MVP Race: Award

Considering what happened in both the regular season and the playoffs, Stevens would certainly be the top coach. Also, some love for Alvin Gentry, who got the Pelicans to 48 wins despite having to change course in midseason, then KO’d the Blazers in a first-round sweep. My post-postseason ballot would go...

NBA Coach of the Year voting (including playoffs)

1. Brad Stevens, Celtics

2. Quin Snyder, Jazz

3. Alvin Gentry, Pelicans

Brad Stevens wearing a suit and tie: brad-stevens-ftr-042017.jpg © Provided by Sporting News brad-stevens-ftr-042017.jpg

Finally, there’s the toughest of the three votes that I would change because of what happened in the playoffs: Rookie of the Year.

That’s because the guy who was the best rookie in the playoffs was so clearly a full step behind the top picks in the regular season — Jayson Tatum of the Celtics.

My pre-playoff ballot went (as most of my fellow voters’ surely did)...

Rookie of the Year voting (regular season only)

1. Ben Simmons, Sixers

2. Donovan Mitchell, Jazz

3. Jayson Tatum, Celtics

Both Simmons and Mitchell were in the postseason for two rounds. Simmons had, again, excellent all-around numbers, scoring 16.3 points with 9.4 rebounds and 7.7 assists. But he was not much of a factor in the five-game series loss to the Celtics, a stark contrast to the 20-plus points Tatum scored in each of the five games, for a series average of 23.6 per game, on 52.6 percent shooting.

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Find out when the NBA MVP voting results will be announced. Just like last year, fans will have to wait until after the NBA playoffs are over to find out who won the NBA MVP . The MVP , along with the other major awards , will be announced as part of the NBA Awards 2018 on Monday, June 25 at 9

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Mitchell, meanwhile, led the Jazz to an upset of the Thunder by averaging 28.5 points in the series. He struggled against Houston’s defense in the conference semis, but he finished the postseason with averages of 24.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.2 assists, though he shot only 42.0 percent from the field and 31.3 percent from the 3-point line.

Tatum’s final playoff numbers were 18.5 points on 47.1 percent shooting (32.4 percent 3-point shooting) with 4.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game. He was at his best when his team most needed him, scoring 20 points in Game 7 of the first round and 24 points in Game 7 of the conference finals.

This obviously would be a much different vote if taken now. I don’t think Simmons would still be the clear winner that he was after the regular season. The only question would be whether Tatum was good enough in the playoffs — with 13.7 shots per game, rather than the 10.4 he got in the regular season — to pull ahead of Mitchell and win the award.

He would have been... had Mitchell struggled. But Mitchell was so good against the Thunder in the opening round, you’d have to give him the nod.

So, in the final postseason award I’d change entirely, the Rookie of the Year vote would go...

Rookie of the Year voting (including playoffs)

1. Donovan Mitchell, Jazz

2. Jayson Tatum, Celtics

3. Ben Simmons, Sixers

Those are big changes. Maybe it's time the NBA consider changing the way we vote.

a man holding a basketball: donovan-mitchell-ftr-121117.jpg © Provided by Sporting News donovan-mitchell-ftr-121117.jpg 2018 NBA MVP race © (SN Illustration) 2018 NBA MVP race

Baseball Hall of Famer John Smoltz set to tee off in U.S. Senior Open .
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