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Pump Fake: NBA First Half Awards

Now that the first half of the NBA season is nearly complete, it is time to give out the mid-season awards. The most improved player has to be Julius Randle as he is averaging 23.4 points on nearly 50% shooting and 41.6% from three and he is grabbing 11 rebounds a game. The Knicks are also not an embarrassment to the league and the state of New York as they sit right at .500 and claim the fifth seed in the East. The sixth man of the year so far has been Chris Boucher of the Toronto Raptors, who has been a spark plug off the bench. The Raptors forward has filled up the stat sheet and played both sides of the ball extremely well. The Utah Jazz head coach Quinn Snyder is clearly the front runner for coach of the year as his team sits atop of the Western Conference with a 27-7 record.

Continuing with the Utah Jazz theme, Rudy Gobert stands in first place for defensive player of the year. When he’s not shutting down the league, Rudy Gobert is a dominant presence in the paint, averaging 2.7 blocks this season, the most of his career thus far. The most recent Ball brother to make the league has been a standout performer and the clear Rookie of the Year thus far, as he is averaging 15 points per game and the second-best player on the Hornets behind Rozier. No other rookie has really come close to making a better case for Rookie of the Year than LaMelo Ball. The MVP award so far goes to none other than Joel Embiid. Joel has finally put together a season where he has stayed healthy and the benefits are proving to be fruitful. He is averaging 29.6 points with 11.2 rebounds and 3 assists per game. Who said the center position was dead in the NBA? Lebron James comes in a close second, but the Lakers’ recent four-game skid costs him that number one spot, especially with the 76ers being the best team in the East.

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