|Posted on March 6, 2013 at 8:30 PM|
Best Actor in a Leading Role (Best Player in a Leading Role)
Nominees: Lebron James, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant, James Harden, Tony Parker
You all know about Lebron James’s absurd level of play over the past month, and anyone who is still unsure about the MVP for this year should be electrocuted: With Lebron on the court, the Miami Heat outscore opponents by 10.1 points per 48 minutes, better than every team in the league; but with Lebron on the bench, the Heat are outscored by 4.6 points per 48 minutes (worse than the Washington “We could (A) trade Jordan Crawford for significant value or (B) trade Jordan Crawford for a late second round pick… let’s go with option B” Wizards).
Lebron is not the greatest basketball player of all time, but he is the most versatile. No player in the 3-point era has ever…
(1) Shot 55% from the field for a season while averaging at least 15 points, 5 assists, and 1.5 steals per game
(2) Scored 15 points per game on 55% field goal shooting and 40% three point shooting for a season
(3) Made 1.3 threes per game while shooting at least 55% from the field for a season
Lebron James is on pace to easily accomplish all of these feats of versatility. Not to mention, he has effectively guarded opponents of every shape and size this season, from Chris Paul, to Kobe Bryant, to Carmelo Anthony, to Paul Millsap.
Just like Daniel Day-Lewis now holds the record for most Best Actor awards with three, by the time it’s all said and done, it’s quite likely that Lebron James will hold the all-time record for most MVP awards (unless the voters vote for inferior players as they did when Michael Jordan played).
Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Best Player in a Supporting Role)
Nominees: Dwyane Wade, Tyson Chandler, Tim Duncan, Russell Westbrook, Blake Griffin, Chris Bosh, David West
Westbrook is currently the most athletic and talented player of this bunch, averaging 23 points, 8 assists, and 5 rebounds per game, but he takes more shots than Durant even though he makes more than 7.8% fewer of his attempts. Also, you probably couldn’t count the number of times that a Thunder fan has rolled his eyes in response to a Westbrook pull-up jumper with 20 seconds left on the shot clock.
Wade, on the other hand, is shooting a career-high 51.7% from the field, and has adjusted his game over time to complement Lebron James in every way. He is one of the best cutters in the league, always creating ideal passing lanes through which Lebron can get him the ball, and he is developing great chemistry with Lebron on alley-oops.
Just because Daniel-Day Lewis’s performance as Lincoln was phenomenal doesn’t mean we should ignore Tommy Lee Jones’s Oscar-worthy performance as Thaddeus Stevens.
Best Director (Best Coach)
Nominees: Mike D'Antoni (just kidding), Gregg Popovich, Mike Woodson, Tom Thibbodeau, Frank Vogel, Kevin McHale
Three months ago, I would have picked Mike Woodson of the New York Knicks, when his team had the best record in the NBA, was playing textbook help defense, and was hitting the open man like the Knicks of the 1970s. But then he came back down to earth and we remembered that he’s the same coach that never led Atlanta past the second round with Joe Johnson, Josh Smith, and Al Horford: the same coach that sometimes looks like he wants his team to score fewer than 70 points.
The coach of the year has to be Popovich, who has coached the San Antonio Spurs to the NBA’s best record. The Spurs’ most commonly used 5-man unit, which has outscored opponents by 23 points per 48 minutes, consists of Tony Parker, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Tiago Splitter, and Tim Duncan: not the most talented lineup in the league by any means. Other San Antonio lineups that have outscored opponents by more than 20 points per 48 minutes include:
Parker, Gary Neal, Green, Boris Diaw, Duncan
Parker, Green, Leonard, Matt Bonner, Splitter
Nando DeColo, Green, Leonard, Diaw, Splitter
Neal, Manu Ginobili, Stephen Jackson, Diaw, Splitter
It doesn’t matter who Popovich coaches; he has never had a winning percentage under 61% in any of his 16 full seasons with the San Antonio Spurs.
Best Visual Effects (Best Highlights)
Click on the players’ first and last names to view some of their highlights, and vote for the winner on the sidebar.
Best Costume Design (Best Jerseys)
There’s no denying that the Nuggets jerseys are just awesome: A killer color-combo (take notes, Phoenix Suns) and a beatiful the mountain/city design.
Best Short Film (Best Streak)
Nominees: Lebron James’s six consecutive games of at least 30 points on at least 60% shooting, Lebron James’s 54 consecutive games of at least 20 points on at least 40% shooting (dating back to the playoffs), Los Angeles Clippers’ 17-game winning streak, Kobe Bryant’s ten consecutive 30-point games (oldest in NBA history to do so), Jamal Crawford’s 58 consecutive made free-throws, Anderson Varejao’s ten consecutive 15-rebound games
In case you were wondering, Rajon Rondo’s 37 straight double-digit-assist games didn’t get nominated because he actively tried to keep his streak alive by passing up wide open shots to try to rack up additional assists. As for Lebron, let’s not go crazy and say things like, “It’s the greatest stretch of basketball that any NBA player has ever played in the regular season.” Michael Jordan once had 10 triple-doubles in 11 games.
Best Foreign Film (Best International Player)
Nominees: Tony Parker, Al Horford, Marc Gasol, Luol Deng, Nicolas Batum
Here is a list of all NBA guards since the introduction of the three-point line who have averaged at least 20 points and 6 assists on 52% shooting in a season: Michael Jordan (1989), Michael Jordan (1990), Magic Johnson (1987), Tony Parker (2013).
Best Picture (Best Team)
Nominees: Miami Heat, Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Clippers, San Antonio Spurs
Would you EVER bet money against the Heat in a seven-game playoff series right now? I sure wouldn’t. The same can’t be said for those other teams.
Please comment and let me know what you think. Also, please like my facebook page!