Ball Don’t Lie midseason awards:
Most Valuable Player
It’s not even close. No player combines all the important facets of an NBA game and performs them as well and as consistently as James. At this rate, anything outside of a unanimous win should be cause for concern from the voters.
Defensive Player of the Year
1. Anderson Varejao, Cleveland Cavaliers
Quick test. Whether you have League Pass, or are following the Cavaliers through that team’s 97 national TV appearances this season, count in your head how many times you’ve seen Varejao flop in a game. I’ve seen quite a bit of his minutes, and I can barely recall any, a far shot from the three flops per half that infuriated so much (infuriated even Cavs fans, because refs stopped giving him the benefit of the doubt) before this season.
If you’re lucky, you have a chance to block three shots (three possessions altered) a game. But every time down court, your ability to show on a screen-and-roll or protect the paint or close out properly or secure a defensive rebound can alter things completely and utterly. That’s what Varejao does consistently.
I almost got really pissed when Varejao was left off the Sixth Man of the Year section, but I’ll gladly take Defensive Player of the Year instead.
The idea that this team is all LeBron is ludicrous. Yes, he’s far and away the best player on the squad (as he would be on any team) but he’s not the sole reason the Cavs win games (only the biggest).