So the NBA award season is over with the announcement of Kevin Durant as the NBA’s Most Valuable Player. That was expected. It was also expected that Victor Oladipo would be the only Magic player on any ballot — he finished second in Rookie of the Year.
For the first time, the NBA released the actual votes for each award. We can now put names to the oddball votes that tend to take place in the NBA’s voting system. It is all part of Adam Silver’s bid to have more transparency in the league and its processes. This was something simple.
So for the first time we can see how Magic media personalities with an awards vote saw the league. Several Magic media members took part in the awards voting this year — Magic Radio Network play-by-play voice Dennis Neumann, Magic television color analyst Jeff Turner, OrlandoMagic.com writer John Denton and Magic television play-by-play voice David Steele.
Here is how they voted for MVP:
|Dennis Neumann||Kevin Durant||LeBron James||Joakim Noah||Blake Griffin||James Harden|
|Jeff Turner||Kevin Durant||LeBron James||Blake Griffin||James Harden||Paul George|
|Actual Results||Kevin Durant||LeBron James||Blake Griffin||Joakim Noah||James Harden|
Hard to complain with their votes here. All six of the players the Magic’s pair of voters had were worthy MVP candidates. Paul George finished ninth. The biggest omission might be Stephen Curry whom some had as their third choice in MVP voting. But George was the best player on the best team in the East and has proven his value in this year’s postseason.
On to Rookie of the Year:
|Dennis Neumann||Victor Oladipo||Michael Carter-Williams||Trey Burke|
|Jeff Turner||Victor Oladipo||Trey Burke||Michael Carter-Williams|
|Actual Results||Michael Carter-Williams||Victor Oladipo||Trey Burke|
Homers much? Maybe a little, but there were legitimate arguments for Victor Oladipo to be named the Rookie of the Year this year. It was not crazy. Kudos to Turner for trying his hardest to get Oladipo that extra two points by making Burke his choice for second — and there was a legitimate argument for Burke to be Rookie of the Year over both Oladipo and Michael Carter-Williams.
These were far from the most suspicious votes. Steve Kerr voted Tim Hardaway Jr. of the Knicks as his Rookie of the Year. I wonder what team is thinking of hiring him as a coach this summer . . .
How about Defensive Player of the Year:
|David Steele||Joakim Noah||Dwight Howard||Andre Iguodala|
|John Denton||Roy Hibbert||Anthony Davis||Serge Ibaka|
|Actual Results||Joakim Noah||Roy Hibbert||DeAndre Jordan|
David Steele of Fox Sports Florida and John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com took their turns voting for Defensive Player of the Year. This is always a difficult position to vote for as reputation and nuance come into play more. Surprised to see nobody put DeAndre Jordan in the top three as the rest of the voters did. Dwight Howard’s reputation certainly precedes him in Orlando.
Picking between Joakim Noah and Roy Hibbert though is the correct decision. Hibbert was fantastic the first half of the season as the defensive linchpin for the Pacers before their late season troubles. Noah was just solid all year and made himself a true MVP candidate. No quibbles with the picks here. Anthony Davis certainly deserved more recognition than he got.
Here is the Coach of the Year votes:
|Dennis Neumann||Tom Thibodeau||Jeff Hornacek||Gregg Popovich|
|John Denton||Steve Clifford||Jeff Hornacek||Tom Thibodeau|
|Actual Results||Gregg Popovich||Jeff Hornacek||Tom Thibodeau|
There were a lot of really good candidates for coach of the year. The winner was deserving. Neumann’s pick was deserving. And Denton’s pick was deserving (a bit of a homer pick considering Clifford used to be on the Magic staff, but still very deserving). Cannot complain about anything here.
And finally Most Improved Player:
|David Steele||Goran Dragic||Lance Stephenson||Isaiah Thomas|
|Jeff Turner||Goran Dragic||Anthony Davis||Lance Stephenson|
|John Denton||Anthony Davis||Goran Dragic||Chandler Parsons|
|Actual Results||Goran Dragic||Lance Stephenson||Anthony Davis|
Again, no complaints here. Dragic was the runaway winner and deserving after his leadership helped the surprising Suns nearly maket he Playoffs. No one had him as a near All Star this season. Davis took a leap this year too as he blossomed into a star player. Isaiah Thomas has been a Magic killer so I excuse David Steele for that vote.
But, John, I am sorry buddy. You were the only person to vote for Parsons. The local favorite in Orlando certainly got better and had a good year. But that vote is awfully lonely with some of the other players who made big improvements this year.
Who would you have voted for, Magic fans?