2020 NBA Award Winners
The 2020 NBA regular season has almost certainly come to an end. Although our hearts ache, the CrownHoops team remains dedicated to staying positive. Building off of that, we looked ahead to what comes after any season’s conclusion: selecting the 2020 NBA Award winners.
This year, CrownHoops team-members joined together to formally vote for our winners. Specifically, each person made 45 different votes, including winners for the MVP, ROY, etc. All-in-all, we compiled nearly 500 votes which included 58 different players and coach’s names. After tallying these votes just as the real voters would, CrownHoops can proudly share our official 2020 NBA Awards Winners.
2020 NBA Award Winners
The voters ranked their top-five choices for the MVP award. Here, a first-place vote earned the chosen player ten points (Second place = Seven points, Third = Five, Fourth = Three, Fifth = One). However, for the other single-winner awards, voters only picked their top-three. In these cases, the points allocated included five, three, and one from first place to third place. The three ranked All-NBA teams followed the same scoring pattern as these five awards. That leaves just the All-NBA rookie and defensive teams, which simply gave one point for each vote.
Most Valuable Player – Giannis Antetokounmpo (110 pts)
For the CrownHoops team, Giannis Antetokounmpo was the obvious choice for the MVP-award. Giannis set career bests in points (29.6) and rebounds (13.7) per game, despite his lowest playing time since 2014. On top of that, he also proved to be one of the league’s fiercest defenders (league-best 96 Defensive Rating). The closest runner-up was 35-year old LeBron James, averaging 25.7 points and a league-best 10.6 assists per game this year.
Defensive Player of the Year – Anthony Davis (49 pts)
Runners-Up: Giannis Antetokounmpo (25) Rudy Gobert (10)
Thanks to eight first-place votes, Anthony Davis takes home the first DPOY-award of his career. This season, Davis averaged his usual 2.4 blocks & 1.5 steals per game, in addition to a career-best 2.8 Defensive Box Plus-Minus (DBPM). Overall, Giannis outranked AD in advanced stats this year but arguably did so with a better supporting cast than ‘The Brow.’ Although they weren’t listed, Marcus Smart and Ben Simmons came just a few points shy of the top three.
Rookie of the Year – Ja Morant (55 pts)
Similarly to our MVP-award winner, Ja Morant was universally selected for the ROY-award. Morant averaged 17.6 points per game on 49.1% shooting while dishing out a rookie-best 6.9 assists per game. Admittedly, Zion Williamson dominated the rookie class with 23.6 points per game. However, 19 games played in pales in comparison to Morant’s 59.
Most Improved Player – Devonte’ Graham (24 pts)
Up to this point, each award has been won rather definitively. In the case of the MIP-award, seven different players earned a first-place vote, making for a competitive race. In the end, Devonte’ Graham came out on top with 18.2 points and 7.5 assists per game this season. A year ago, those numbers were 4.7 and 2.6, respectively. Jayson Tatum and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander grew into leaders this year, both of whom brought their teams to playoff spots. Behind them, Bam Adebayo, Brandon Ingram, and Trae Young each earned at least 11 points total.
Sixth Man of the Year – Dennis Schroder (34 pts)
This year, the NBA’s Sixth Man award winner might as well be picked out of a hat. Dennis Schroder, Lou Williams, and Montrezl Harrell all make a strong case for the award. Schroder’s 19.0 points per game led all bench players this season. Alternatively, Williams registered the most assists per game with 5.7. Finally, there’s Harrell, who dominates the two guards in defense and rebounding at 7.1 boards per game. Schroder came out on top, but the scores could have been swung by one changed vote.
Coach of the Year – Nick Nurse (46 pts)
Runners-Up: Mike Budenholzer (21) Billy Donovan (15)
When Kawhi Leonard departed from the Toronto Raptors, most fan’s hopes for a repeat title left with him. Down two starters (Danny Green signed with the Lakers), Vegas set the Raptors over-under win total at 46.5. Shockingly, the Raptors were on pace to win 59 games this year, ending the 64-game season one win shy of the over. Head coach Nick Nurse deserves credit for the 46-18 record, and voters clearly agree. Behind Nurse, Mike Budenholzer of the Bucks had 21 points, followed by the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Billy Donovan.
All-NBA First Team
Guards: James Harden (55) and Luka Doncic (51)
Forwards & Center: Giannis Antetokounmpo (55), Lebron James (53), and Anthony Davis (47)
Similarly to the MVP-award, there was little disagreement in the All-NBA First Team. Every voter recognized all of these players as first or second-team nominations. Giannis and James Harden earned perfect scores of 55 points, with Lebron and Luka close behind. Few surprises come from the first team. Even Anthony Davis, a power forward on paper, has won this award previously as a center.
All-NBA Second Team
Guards: Damian Lillard (25) & Russell Westbrook (18)
Kawhi Leonard represents the only player outside of the first team to make all eleven ballots. However, only one ballot voted Kawhi to the first team, limiting his score to 35. Nikola Jokic also finished with 35 total points, though The Joker had four first-team nominations. Another player to earn a first-place vote is Damian Lillard. Even so, his final score of 25 points wasn’t even half of Harden or Doncic. After those three names, the diversity in players nominated exploded. Russell Westbrook‘s 18 points put him in the second-team backcourt, and Jimmy Butler won his job by just one point.
All-NBA Third Team
Guards: Trae Young (16) & Bradley Beal (11)
This team consists entirely of players age-26 or younger, a sign that basketball’s future will be bright. Joel Embiid led the team with 20 points, which includes one first-team nomination. Also, Joel Embiid represents the only player here who has previously won this award. Trae Young, Jayson Tatum, and Pascal Siakam all made their first all-star games this season, while Bradley Beal was considered a snub by many. Those four all have a good chance to make a name for themselves this summer through the All-NBA Team.
All-NBA Rookie Team
Guards: Ja Morant (11) & Kendrick Nunn (11)
Alongside Ja and Zion, undrafted-rookie Kendrick Nunn was a unanimous choice. Nunn scored 15.6 points per game this year for the Miami Heat, the third most by any rookie. After those three, Brandon Clarke and RJ Barrett received the most votes. Barrett followed Kendrick Nunn in scoring for rookies, averaging 14.3 points plus 5.0 rebounds per game. Finally, Brandon Clarke scored 12.0 points per game for the Memphis Grizzlies on 62.3% shooting, making him a frequent pick.
All-NBA Defensive Team
Guards Marcus Smart (10) & Ben Simmons (6)
Forwards & Center: Anthony Davis (10), Giannis Antetokounmpo (10), & Rudy Gobert (4)
Last but not least, the best defenders in the league are the same top-five players voted for the DPOY-award. All of the big men have previously been voted to this team, which is also true for Marcus Smart. Ben Simmons has not won this award yet, but shows an ability unlike any other point guard to defend outside the position.
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