A few months before the NBA season tipped off, we tried to predict who would win the individual awards for the 2018-2019 regular season. Flash forward to April, where we’re a little over a week away from the playoffs beginning, and it is time to look back at whether those predictions turned out accurate.
Spoiler alert: not so much.
But anyway, let’s do this again and hand out the winners for the league’s individual awards.
Coach of the Year
Pre-season prediction: Brad Stevens
Winner: Doc Rivers
While the Celtics have underperformed, the opposite can be said for Doc Rivers and the Clippers. After trading franchise player Blake Griffin last season and then leading scorer Tobias Harris at the deadline, LAC stayed in the playoff hunt and it looks like they could even end up with the sixth seed.
Given how the unheralded pieces of the Clippers have performed impressively, and how competitive the team is in almost every game it plays, a lot of credit goes to Rivers for a job well done.
Executive of the Year
Pre-season prediction: Magic Johnson/Rob Pelinka
Winner: Elton Brand
It turns out getting LeBron James doesn’t solve everything in 2019.
On the other side of things, Elton Brand, Philly’s GM, has done a superb job filling out a roster that could compete for the NBA title.
Brand added perennial all-star Jimmy Butler and Harris to Philly’s line-up, making the team an instant contender. Add those two to holdovers Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and JJ Reddick, and it won’t surprise anyone if the 76ers rule the East.
6th Man of the Year
Pre-season prediction: Dennis Schroder
Winner: Lou Williams
For a while, Schroder looked like a good choice to win, but both him and his team have fallen off lately, while the Lou Williams-led Clippers have been phenomenal. Arguably the greatest player off the bench over the past few years, it’s not surprising that one of the coolest players in the NBA will take home this award.
Most Improved Player
Pre-season prediction: Justise Winslow
Winner: Pascal Siakam
While both Winslow and Nets star D’Angelo Russell have made major leaps in 18-19, this award should go to Toronto’s on-the-rise sensation, Siakam, who has been arguably the team’s second best player this year next to Kawhi Leonard.
Even if Leonard does leave Toronto, Raptors fans can find solace in Siakam, who looks like he’s going to be an All-Star.
Defensive Player of the Year
Pre-season prediction: Anthony Davis
Winner: Rudy Gobert
Gobert, who I think should be third-team All-NBA, has been the anchor for a Utah team which surprisingly has a chance to garner a top-4 seed in the West. While Donovan Mitchell is the sparkplug of the Jazz, it’s no secret Gobert’s presence in the paint has been just as important for their success. That’s especially the case on defense, where Gobert rules.
Rookie of the Year
Pre-season prediction: DeAndre Ayton
Winner: Luka Doncic
It’s no secret Trae Young has caught up in the ROY race, but Doncic’s consistency since the start of the season gives him the edge.
Speaking of Dallas’ new toy, he looks like a generational talent and someone who will go down as one of the greatest to ever play the game.
Pre-season prediction: Giannis Antetokounmpo
Winner: Giannis Antetokounmpo
With all due respect to the great James Harden, who has had an otherworldly season, it’s Giannis who deserves the MVP plum.
The Greek Freak has taken his game to the next level, and that’s why Milwaukee from all teams has the best record in the NBA. He looks on the way to becoming the best player in the league, and other teams should be worried about what he’s going to do to them for the years to come.
Pre-season prediction: Kevin Durant
My guess, however, is that KD still wins it.
Who do you got? Tell us below!