At the end of every season the NBA gives out a number of awards to players who outperform their peers, in various situations, throughout the regular season. Unfortunately, none of these awards seem likely to be on their way to San Antonio this year. Nevertheless, it would be unfair to say that the Spurs have not worked hard this season and are not worthy of some awards of their own. So allow me to present to you the 2010-2011 San Antonio Spurs Awards.
Rookie of the Year
We'll start off with the easiest one of all the awards. This was an obvious choice seeing as only one of our three rookies received major playing time throughout the season so he sorta wins by default. In any event, this award goes to a man who, literally, came out of nowhere to surprise everyone with his stellar play. Many felt like he would be nothing more than a training camp hopeful who only role was to be available for injury replacement. Despite all the naysayers he has persevered and proven that he is more than just a Summer League superstar by draining a franchise best (for a rookie) 126 three pointers. This man has earned every single minute that he's gotten on the floor and has a veteran demeanor not seen by most rookies, which probably comers from the fact that he's 26. Your 2010-2011 San Antonio Spurs Rookie of the Year is Gary Neal.
Most Improved Player
The most improved player might not be easy to determine since, statistically, no one made a huge improvement from a season ago. The person made the biggest improvement, however, did it in areas that can't be seen on a box score. The Spurs' most improved player has made improvements to his approach to the game as well as his execution of plays on both ends of the floor. He just looks better than he looked a year ago and he's much more of an impact than he did then. One major statistical improvement that resulted from his new approach to the game is his increase in 3 point percentage from 31% to 44%. This guy has put in the effort to recreate himself for the benefit of the team and for that reason your 2010-2011 San Antonio Spurs Most Improved Player is Richard Jefferson.
Defensive Player of the Year
Defense is a major part of what the Spurs do but there is more of a team approach to defense, especially these days, rather than relying on one defensive stopper to carry the team on the defensive end. However, there has been one player who, more than any other, has made a major impact to the team's defense. He is the anchor to the team's defense and his impact can be seen from the moment he steps on the court. Despite playing the least minutes of his career and only possessing a 3 inch vertical, he leads the team in both blocks and rebounds which are both huge parts of a good defense. Your 2010-2011 San Antonio Spurs Defensive Player of the Year is none other than The Big Fundamental himself, Tim Duncan.
Sixth Man of the Year
Candidates: Gary Neal, George Hill, Matt Bonner
The Spurs have a fantastic bench with several players who make major contributions to the team. The player who has made the biggest contribution is the one who has also been the most consistent. He impacts the game on both ends of the floor and, although he doesn't start, he has been on the floor to finish out many close games. This man could start for almost every other team in this league but has accepted his role as sixth man on the best team in the entire league. The Spurs would not have their league-best record had it not been for the efforts of your 2010-2011 San Antonio Spurs Sixth Man of the Year, George Hill.
Coach of the Year
Candidates: Coach Pop, Coach B
As much as I appreciate all the Coach B has done for the team (whether it's the catchy music, the hilarious moments or the useful tips for life) I have to give credit to the man who did something unprecedented; he changed the style of play of his team. He deserves credit for putting his pride aside and adapting to the personnel that he was given. Most coaches force their players to adapt to their style of play but it takes a truly great coach to do it the other way around. Even with all the complaints and demands that he be fired, he remains strong, probably because he doesn't care about what anyone else thinks. Your 2010-2011 Coach of the Year is none other than Gregg Popovich.
Most Valuable Player
Candidates: Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, Tim Duncan
There are many different ways of defining what a team's MVP is. Some say that it's the best player on the team while others say that it's the player who the team depends on the most. Then there are those who say that an MVP is someone who helps the team in the most ways. The Spurs MVP, at this point, fits all three of these definitions. He does everything that is needed to be done and, if he were eligible, could win every other award that is given out, including coaching. This man is the heart and soul of the San Antonio Spurs and is the favorite of many across the world. There's no question that your 2010-2011 San Antonio Spurs Most Valuable Player is Manu Ginobili.
These awards are mostly my opinion and I expect, in fact, I want people to have disagreements. That's how debates start and I always enjoy hearing other people's ideas on things. So tell me what you think people. Who would you give your awards to and what other award would you give out?
Which award would you distribute differently? (explain in comments)
Rookie of the Year (0 votes)
Most Improved Player (7 votes)
Defensive Player of the Year (0 votes)
Sixth Man of the Year (4 votes)
Coach of the Year (6 votes)
Most Valuable Player (19 votes)
I'll do it the same way (35 votes)
71 total votes