Westbrook headlines first NBA Awards

Posted on Jun 28 2017 - 4:30pm by Cameron Brooks

The first ever TNT NBA Awards took place on Monday night hosted by hip-hop star Drake.

Malcolm Brogdon took home the KIA NBA Rookie of the Year honor, becoming the first player in the common-draft era to win the award who wasn’t selected in the first round of the NBA Draft. Brogdon provided

Milwaukee with consistency throughout his first season in the league, averaging 10.2 points, 2.8 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game. Brogdon exceeded expectations and became the only rookie to shoot at least 45 percent from the field and 40 percent from the three-point line while still averaging more than 10 points a night.

In a field of strong contestants for the KIA NBA Sixth Man Award, Eric Gordon brought the gold home to Houston, becoming the first player in Rockets history to win the award. Averaging 16.2 points off the bench is impressive and helped the Rockets finish third in the Western Conference behind San Antonio and the 2017 Champions, the Golden State Warriors. Gordon’s first year in Houston was one to remember.

Milwaukee finished a great night for their organization with the Greek Freak, Giannis Antetokounmpo, winning the Kia Most Improved Player. Giannis truly made a name for himself this season, even if it might be one of the harder ones to pronounce. Antetokounmpo averaged nearly 6 points, 1 rebound and 1 assist more per game than the 2015 season. Antetokounmpo became the first player in NBA history to finish top-20 in all five major stat categories. The 22-year-old turned heads all season and brought life to a young Milwaukee Bucks team that has a lot to look forward to with this young all-star.

Houston reeled in their second award of the night when Mike D’Antoni was selected as the NBA Coach of the Year. D’Antoni became the 8th multi-winner recipient of this award after previously winning it with the Suns in the 2004-2005 season. D’Antoni’s system flourished in Houston as they improved from 41 wins to 55 in 2017. Houston set multiple three-point records in makes and attempts leading them back to the playoffs and third place in the extremely competitive Western Conference. After a few struggling years in previous coaching jobs, D’Antoni transformed the Rockets into one of the most exciting teams to watch this past year.

For the first time in his career, Draymond Green took home the Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award after a remarkable season that ended in his second NBA Championship since entering the league in 2012. Green is just the fifth player in NBA history to win a title and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season. Quite simply, Green guards all five positions the best in the NBA right now. Green led the NBA in steals per game and defensive box score plus/minus.

Quite possibly one of the biggest arguments in the past season was settled on Monday night as Russell Westbrook took home the Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Award. Westbrook became the second player in NBA history to average a triple double after racking up an unmatchable 42 triple-doubles and leading Oklahoma City to the playoffs after the departure of teammate Kevin Durant. Brodie also racked up the most points in a triple-double, 57, All-NBA First Team and was an All-Star for the sixth time in his career. The fairytale ending was finally achieved for Westbrook and it is safe to say we won’t see a season as explosive as his in a long time.