No disrespect to the Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo or the Toronto Raptors’ Nick Nurse for great regular season performances but the ‘Real’ MVP, DPOY, and COY are always determined in the NBA playoffs.
While LeBron James or Anthony Davis will win Finals MVP, the dubious logic that enables biased media prematurely crown the best defensive player and best coach before the games that really matter happen should be changed. Were the votes for the NBA’s best defender and coach taken after their championship caliber performances in the playoffs, there’s no question Anthony Davis would have easily won as DPOY and Frank Vogel as COY.
There’s something inherently dishonest and unfair about awarding defensive player of the year and coach of the year awards that didn’t include the most important part of the year, which is the second season or playoffs. What’s even more frustrating is the voting for the awards is completely the prerogative of the media, many of whom are fundamentally biased, inherently unqualified, and often don’t even watch games.
Most objective experts who closely watched and followed the regular NBA season didn’t need to watch the Lakers’ dominant playoff performances to know LeBron James was the ‘real’ MVP and Anthony Davis the ‘real’ DPOY. They could have just listened to the players and coaches themselves, who clearly understood, while Giannis Antetokounmpo may have had a great season, LeBron James and Anthony Davis deserved to win the awards.
While the playoffs showed James and Davis deserved the MVP and DPOY awards, Vogel did need four playoff rounds of brilliant defensive coaching moves shutting down superstars to prove he deserved the COY award. There’s no question Nick Nurse is an elite NBA head coach but, like Mike Budenholzer last year, his winning ignored the savvy decision making and adjustments needed to win in the intense pressure of the playoffs.
The NBA playoffs are where regular season pretenders are separated from the legitimate contenders, where it became crystal clear LeBron James was the ‘real’ MVP, Anthony Davis the ‘real’ DPOY, and Frank Vogel the ‘real’ COY. The league either needs to postpone voting on DPOY and COY until after the playoffs or create a seperate awards for best defender and coach in the playoffs. They also need to include players and coaches in the voting.
While the bubble exposed Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kawhi Leonard as MVP and DPOY candidates and Mike Budenholzer and Nick Nurse as COY candidates, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Frank Vogel shone bright. When the chips were down and legacies on the line, it was LeBron rallying the Lakers, Anthony Davis shutting down Miami’s Jimmy Butler, and the Lakers’ Frank Vogel out coaching the Heat’s strategic genius Erik Spoelstra.
The sad and unfortunate reality in today’s NBA is LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Frank Vogel have a major disadvantage in the NBA awards competition because they’re on the same team and that team is the Lakers. The NBA’s not going to change the requirements for MVP, DPOY, or COY, allow players and coaches to vote, or reward the best defender or coach in the playoffs but that’s not going to stop me from expressing my opinion.
The Lakerholics.Com Most Valuable Player is LeBron James, Defensive Player of the Year is Anthony Davis, and Coach of the Year is Frank Vogel. The trophy for their accomplishments will be the 2020 NBA Championship.