NBA awards finalists 2020: NBA MVP and five other major honors
Reigning NBA MVP Giannis, four-time winner New York Lakers player LeBron James and winner of MVP in 2018 James Harden listed finalists for NBA’s six major individual awards.
- LeBron James, Giannis and James listed finalists for the NBA MVP.
- Giannis is a heavy contender to win the NBA MVP.
- NBA to announce winners during the league’s restart due to unusual circumstances.
Antetokounmpo, LeBron James and Harden were the three listed finalists for NBA MVP’s individual awards, with the finalists for each of the six awards — MVP, Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Sixth Man of the Year, Most Improved Player and Coach of the Year — is determined based off voting results from a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters from the all-across-the globe to vote a winner.
Defensive Player of the Year Award:
Antetokounmpo, the clear and heavy favourite contender to win the NBA MVP award for a second consecutive year, also has a chance to join the list of Hakeem Olajuwon and Michael Jordan as the only players to win both the MVP and Defensive Player of the Year awards in the same season. The other two finalists for that award were Utah Jazz centre Rudy Gobert and Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis.
If Gobert is named a winner, he would surely join the seat of Dwight Howard as the only players to have won the award in three consecutive seasons in the history of NBA.
Most Improved Player Award:
Three first-time All-Stars this season — Bam Adebayo, Luka Doncic and Brandon Ingram — were all also named finalists for the league’s Most Improved Player award.
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Rookie of the Year Award:
New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson and Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant — were named as two of the three finalists for Rookie of the Year, along with undrafted guard Kendrick Nunn from the Miami Heat.
Sixth Man of the Year Award:
LA Clippers guard Lou Williams, who has been named Sixth Man of the Year three times — including each of the past two seasons — is a finalist and named for the award yet again, and is joined by teammate Montrezl Harrell and Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder in the list. Williams and Jamal Crawford are the only three-time recipients of the award.
Coach of the Year Award:
Last year’s selection for Coach of the Year, Mike Budenholzer of the Milwaukee Bucks, also was nominated again, as was Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse and Thunder coach Billy Donovan. Budenholzer would tie Pat Riley, Gregg Popovich and Don Nelson as the only coaches to have won the award three different times with another victory.
In past recent years, the NBA has shifted away from presenting all of its awards individually during the playoffs, as it always did, in favour of having a single awards show on TNT after the season was over. Because of the unusual circumstances, this season has presented, however, the league will be shifting back to the old format and announcing award winners during the league’s restart.