NBA mid-season Oscars

 

This past Sunday night, Feb. 26, televisions across America were either tuned into to the Oscars or the NBA All-Star Game. As we get ready for the second half of the NBA season, Cynic Sports decided to give out our own mid-season awards in a unique way: in Oscar format. Here are your mid-season Oscars broken down by Western and Eastern Conference.

 

Best Western Conference player in a leading role (MVP): Tony Parker

       The upset! I bet you are shocked to see Parker win this award because Kevin Durant is putting up monster numbers out in OKC and the Spurs are somewhat boring to watch. But, no player has meant more to their team in the first half of the season than Parker. What the Spurs are doing in the Western Conference is nothing short of remarkable. With Tim Duncan averaging just 14.8 ppg and Manu Ginobili missing all but nine games in the first half of the season, Parker has led the Spurs to a 24-10 record — which is good enough for fourth best in the NBA and second best in the Western Conference. Parker’s outstanding numbers — 19.4 ppg and 8.1 apg — has forced San Antonio into a conversation for contenders in the West. Is Parker the best player in the Western Conference? No. Is there a player in the West who means more to his team than Parker? Not even close.

 

Best Eastern Conference player in a leading role: LeBron James

       As much as I hate to admit it, LeBron James is the best player in the NBA. Some may argue that LeBron has so much talent around him and that there are other players in the East who are individually more valuable to their team. But, if you look up and down the Eastern Conference there really aren’t any teams that blow you away besides Chicago and Miami. And even in Chicago, Derrick Rose has been hampered by injury all season and hasn’t been the dominating presence he was in his 2011 MVP campaign. LeBron is simply dominating on both sides of the court for Miami and putting up one of the most statistically impressive seasons of all time — 27.4 ppg, 8.1 rpg, and 6.8 apg.

 

Best Western Conference player in a supporting role (most underrated player): LeMarcus Aldridge

       The Portland Trailblazer’s collective psyche must be torn to shreds at this point. Brandon Roy’s career is over — a shame — and Greg Oden can’t bend down to pick up the morning paper without tearing a knee. Yet, Portland is one of the most pleasant surprises of the season thus far. Portland has an 18-6 record and is currently in the playoff field of eight — due in large part to the play of Aldridge who has carried the club. Aldridge’s stat line — 22.3 ppg and 8.3 rpg — will need to be sustained in the second half if Portland wants any hope of making the playoffs.

 

Best Eastern Conference player in a supporting role:  Ryan Anderson

       Anderson has taken and made the most threes in the NBA this season and is shooting 43 percent from deep. He averages 16.1 ppg and 7.3 rpg and is the second best player on the fifth place Orlando Magic. You probably have never heard of him and probably have never seen him play. Anderson has emerged as the best piece of talent to keep Dwight Howard interested in Orlando and I don’t know whether this is a good thing or a bad thing for the Magic. If I were Orlando, I’d package Anderson and Howard together and get a boatload of talent and draft picks back in return. As long as they remain on the same team, the Magic will be a difficult match-up in the first round of the playoffs.

 

Best picture in the NBA (title favorites): Miami Heat

       I swear I cringed a little when I wrote ‘Miami Heat’. Nothing is better and worse at the same time than watching LeBron, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh succeeding. They are the best and most entertaining team; they are the best defensively and the best offensively, the best at causing turnovers and the best at converting transition buckets. After losing three in a row in early January the Heat have won 19 of their last 23 games and have won by double digits in 15 of those victories. LeBron is having one of the greatest individual seasons of all-time, D-Wade is the second best player on the heat team and the eighth leading scorer in the NBA. Hell, even Chris Bosh is averaging 18 ppg and 8 rpg. But if we’ve learned anything about LeBron it’s that he shrinks when the lights are brightest. Let’s hope, for the sake of all things good in this world, he continues that trend come June.