Posted on June 26, 2018, by Travis Pulver
It was almost anti-climactic, but the NBA finally held its award show for the 2017-2018 season Tuesday night. The season has been over for a couple weeks, but someone apparently thought it would be a good idea to give fans time to move on from the season before announcing who won what.
But hey—better late than never, right?
The awards pretty much went to the people who were expected to win them. Houston Rockets guard James Harden took home his first MVP award beating out LeBron James and Anthony Davis. He was the favorite to win after averaging 30.4 points, 8.8 assists, and 5.4 rebounds during the regular season.
Sign up for a FREE Trial Consultation to start working with Legendary Sports Bettor Jon Price
Guiding the Rockets to a franchise record-65 wins had to help as well.
Harden is the third Rocket to be named MVP and the first since Hakeem Olajuwon won back in 1994. Moses Malone won it twice (1979 and 1982). It was the third time being a finalist for Harden; he lost out last season to Russell Westbrook and to Steph Curry in 2015.
“The last four years I’ve been knocking on the door, knocking on the door, and now the moment is finally here,” Harden said afterward. “Just every single, year you try to come back and be better than you were the year before, and just to be holding that trophy finally, it means a lot. But it doesn’t stop here. We’ve got a long way to go. But it feels good to have it though.”
A handful of other Rockets were up for awards, but only general manager Daryl Morey won (Executive of the Year). Eric Gordon was up for the Sixth Man Award but lost out to Lou Williams (Los Angeles Clippers). Clint Capela was up for most improved but that one also went to another deserving player, Indiana’s Victor Oladipo.
“Shout out to the Pacers organization for believing in me, all the Indiana Pacers,” Oladipo said during his speech. “It’s only the beginning for us. We’re just getting started.”
Other awards won included:
- Rookie of the Year: Philadelphia 76er guard Ben Simmons won over Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell and Celtics forward Jayson Tatum.
- Defensive Player of the Year: Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert took it home over Joel Embiid and Anthony Davis.
- Coach of the Year: Now-former Toronto Raptors head coach Dwayne Casey won over Brad Stevens (Celtics) and Quin Snyder (Jazz). He has since taken over head coaching duties for the Detroit Pistons.
- Teammate of the Year: Timberwolves forward Jamal Crawford.
Houston ended up losing to the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals in seven. But they had lost one of their most important players, Chris Paul, for Games Six and Seven. The team is hoping that it can bring everyone (or at least most of them), so they can make another run for the title in 2016.
But it remains to be seen if that will happen. If the team is going to make a serious run at any of the high-priced free agent, they may need some guys to leave in order to clear up cap space. But only if Chris Paul isn’t one of them.