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FlagrantFlop Award Predictions '16-'17 Revisited

Published by Yoshi on 14th April - 18:18 (CET)
At the start of the '16-'17 season the FlagrantFlop crew chimed in on individual award and Finals predictions with nothing more than the pre-season and intuition to support our claims. Now that the regular season is over and all cards are on the table we revisit the predictions to see if we stand by our original claims or adjust.

Oh, how embarrassing it would be to get it wrong at this point!

Original prediction in brackets.

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

Axel [Joel Embiid] - Embiid dominated the rookie class - for 786 minutes... Other than him I'll go with Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon. If that's the case, he will the be first Buck to win the award since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar did so in 1969-70. Selected 36th overall, Brogdon would also be the second lowest pick in history to win the award, behind Woody Sauldsberry who won the award in 1958 as the 60th overall pick.

Yoshi [Kris Dunn] - Well, the comfort for me is that my major blunder on this prediction will be just as wrong as the other guys' guesses despite their best efforts. I'll go with Malcolm Brogdon in this two-man-race due to his higher efficiency and bigger impact on a better team than Dario Saric.

David [Joel Embiid] - I haven't really been all that impressed with the rookie class of this year. If it weren't for Embiid's knee injury he would definitely be rookie of the year (that sentence can be copy/pasted to a lot of cases). But I would agree with the other guys' predictions and go with Malcolm Brogdon, which will make his 10.2 PPG the lowest ever for a ROY-winner.

SIXTH MAN OF THE YEAR

Axel [Zach Randolph] - "I don’t do awards... My son enjoyed that moment more and that was the coolest part. To me, it’s like whatever. An award’s an award." - That was Andre Iguodala's take on winning the NBA Finals MVP trophy in 2015. Claiming that he's since changed his perspective on awards in general, I'd say Iguodala has a pretty good chance of being selected as the best 6th man in the league. He may not grab a lot of rebounds or score huge amounts of points, but he's one of the most effective players in the league. Iguodala averages a very respectable .605 in eFG% over the season while shooting .528 percent in field goal percentage. Aside from that, he's absolutely destroying the league in AST/TO ratio, with 4.52. Second placed Chris Paul holds a 3.83 ratio. While I still believe that Randolph is a pretty good pick, Iguodala has been a huge part of the Warriors success and could very well be this years' winner.

Yoshi [Enes Kanter] - I really wish I could double down on the only other scorer in OKC, but I'll have to give the nod to Eric Gordon with his 16.3 PPG and ridiculous 3.3 threes per game off the bench for the Rockets who have impressed way beyond my expectations this year.

David [Brandon Knight] - I hoped that the three guard combo in Phoenix would make some impact this year but I was way off! Eric Gordon would be my pick with his impressive shooting on a top-seeded playoff team. Honorable mentions are Kanter and Randolph.

MOST IMPROVED PLAYER

Axel [Myles Turner] - Turner had a very good season, but there's just too many other candidates this year. James Johnson has improved a lot this year, increasing his season averages with 7.8 points, 2.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and .5 blocks and steals per game since last season. Another player who has stepped up a lot is Boston's energy packet Isaiah Thomas, but above them all - Giannis Antetokounmpo. I don't even need to motivate this one, Giannis has grown from a developing talent into a legit top 10 in just one season, he deserves this award.

Yoshi [Myles Turner] - While Turner did improve across the board from his rookie season, he will not be the recipient of the MIP award this year. The honor will be going to Giannis Antetokounmpo for adding 6.2 points to his scoring average while actually improving his FG% from an already incredible .506 a year ago to an elite .522 this year. Throw in increased assist, rebound, steal and block averages combined with only 0.3 more turnovers per game than last year, and you've got yourself an MVP-level performance from the fourth-year pro from Greece.

David [Hassan Whiteside] - Whiteside has led the league this year with an impressive 14.1 rebounds per game, increasing by 2.7 rebounds from the previous season. I would have stayed with Whiteside if it weren't for the Greek Freak Giannis Antetokounmpo's spectacular season. Antetokounmpo made history becoming the fifth player all-time to lead all five categories in his team joining Scottie Pippen, LeBron James, Kevin Garnett and Dave Cowens.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Axel [Kawhi Leonard] - This is a tough one. Kawhi has had a great season, but it feels like his quiet ways make him somewhat less notable, which would make me wrong again... I don't like it, but I think the Defensive Player of the Year for 2016-17 will be named Draymond Green, he really wants it.

Yoshi [Kawhi Leonard] - I mentioned in the pre-season prediction that voter fatigue might stop Kawhi from receiving his third straight DPOY award, but now that the season is wrapped up I have to say that Rudy Gobert and his stellar defensive performance all year long will be a bigger factor than the voter fatigue. Gobert is the only non-Warrior in the top five of defensive win shares this year and will be the rightful owner of the DPOY trophy.

David [Kawhi Leonard] - Rudy Gobert is leading the league in blocks per game with 2.6 blocks per game, places in the top five in rebounds and is the leader in defensive win shares, which determine how many victories a player contributed to his team each year. Numbers don't lie!

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER

Axel [Russell Westbrook] - This years' MVP-race has been somewhat of a roller coaster. One day it's James Harden and the other it's Russell Westbrook. If I got to pick I'd go with Kawhi Lenoard, but I don't get to pick. The ones who do will select Russell Westbrook who has had a monster season. James Harden is by far the more effective player as he beats Russell in most individual categories and has brought his team to a third seed in the challenging Western Conference. But I have a strong feeling that this whole triple double ordeal will turn out in Russell's favor, so I'm sticking with my pick.

Yoshi [Kawhi Leonard] - Well, if this was about who deserves the MVP, I'd still say Kawhi as he has had a way bigger impact on defense than the other candidates - while kicking ass on offense as well - and his team has a better record, but we all know that this is a race between Westbrook and The Beard, and I'll have to go with James Harden. Sure, averaging a triple double is sexy, but should Westbrook's +2 rebounds really trump a better team record, higher eFG% (52.4 vs 47.5) and a 14.7 to 12.7 advantage in win shares? Listen, I don't like it either, but the award has to go to The Beard over Russ.

David [Russell Westbrook] - It is a very even race but I have to ditto Yoshi and go with James Harden on this one. Even though Westbrook managed to take his team to the sixth seed, the Rockets did not have a good team to start with either but managed to clinch the third seed with almost similar stats as the mighty Westbrook.

COACH OF THE YEAR

Axel [Mike D'Antoni] - Even as a Bulls fan, I can't do this one without laughing at Dave's selection. Mine though, that's the winner, folks! I'm sticking with my pick again, Mike D'Antoni should get this one.

Yoshi [Gregg Popovich] - I feel like Popovich is to Coach of The Year what LeBron is to the MVP award - he deserves it every year, but everyone knows he won't get it. I have to say I'm mightily impressed with what Brad Stevens has done in Boston and Quin Snyder in Utah, but it's tough to see anyone but Mike D'Antoni getting this one after turning the Rockets into a scoring hurricane on their way to the third best record in the league.

David [Fred Hoiberg] - I am blaming Axel's constant Bulls propaganda for this terrible pick. Mike D'Antoni has made a great impact with his team but I wouldn't be shocked if it goes to Brad Stevens as the Celtics unexpectedly clinched the top spot in the East.

CHAMPIONSHIP

Axel [Warriors in seven over Cavs] - The Cavs are fading and we're heading in for a short final series. Whichever teams comes out of the East, they will have nothing to put up against which ever team comes out of the West. I still have the Warriors beating the Cavs, but in five games, not seven.

Yoshi [Cavs in seven over Spurs] - I'm doubling down on the Spurs coming out of the West after they won the season series against the Warriors 2-1 (and yes, I know one W was the DNP-bowl) and just match up really well with the Dubs. In the East the King will prolong his rule, but the way the Cavs have played lately I just don't see them beating any team coming out of the West this year. Spurs beat the Cavs in six games.

David [Warriors in seven over Cavs] - Sticking with my prediction despite the recent playing slump from Cavs. Warriors in seven over James and Friends.

For the first time ever, we will get the awards presented to us during an Awards Show on June 26th instead of sporadically during the Playoffs, so we will have to hold tight for a while before getting the final verdicts on the awards.

Let us know your thoughts on our predictions and make your own in the comments below!

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