With the NBA playoffs just a few days away, the league has officially released the list of finalists for this season’s individual awards.
There aren’t too many surprises here. Most of the names included on the lists have long been expected. The coveted NBA Most Valuable Player Award will feature Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets, Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers, and Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors.
The Charlotte Hornets’ LaMelo Ball is the clear front-runner for this season’s Rookie of the Year title. Most expect him to come away with the award. Anthony Edwards of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Tyrese Haliburton of the Sacramento Kings round out the list.
The Utah Jazz duo of Jordan Clarkson and Joe Ingles leads the race for the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award, with Derrick Rose of the New York Knicks also making the final list.
This might be the third time Rudy Gobert wins NBA Defensive Player of the Year with his name atop the final shortlist. Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors is also there, alongside Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Jazz own the best record in the NBA for the regular season, which is why Quin Snyder is likely going to come away with the season’s Coach of the Year honor. Tom Thibodeau of the New York Knicks is also a finalist, as well as Phoenix Suns shot-caller Monty Williams.
Finally, the Most Improved Player trophy will involve a tightly-contested race among Jerami Grant of the Detroit Pistons, Michael Porter Jr. of the Denver Nuggets, and Julius Randle of the New York Knicks.
The awards will be given out by the NBA toward the latter part of the playoffs.