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Rose, Griffin two of the five award winners
Athlon Sports names its winners for the NBA's MVP, Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Sixth Man of the Year and Coach of the Year.
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls
He led Chicago to the league’s best record and the No. 1 seed in the East. On the way, he was the only player to finish top 10 in scoring (25.0, 7th) and assists (7.7, 10th), and he quieted all doubters about his 3-ball by hitting 128 after having made all of 32 his first two seasons.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Blake Griffin, L.A. Clippers
Can you be a rookie in your second year? Sure, why not? Griffin is a slam-dunk choice for Rookie of the Year. The All-Star finished as the league’s 10th-best scorer (1,845), third-best rebounder (989), third-best in double-doubles (63) and fifth in minutes played (3,112).
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic
He was tops in the league in defensive rating (94.0) for the third straight year, defensive win shares (7.7) for the fourth straight year, first in defensive boards (789), second in total rebounds (1,098), third in blocks (186). No one dictates the game on defense like Superman.
SIXTH MAN OF THE YEAR
Lamar Odom, L.A. Lakers
He’s Mr. Consistency for the Lakers. He shot a career-high 53 percent from the field and a career-high 38 percent from 3-point range to average 14.4 points per game. That goes along with 8.7 rebounds a game and 28 double-doubles this season.
COACH OF THE YEAR
Tom Thibodeau, Chicago Bulls
The first-year coach, without his full starting lineup for 57 games — winning 43 of them — guided Chicago to the NBA's best record, its second-best scoring defense (91.3) and were tops in field goal percentage allowed (.430). The Bulls never lost more than two in a row.
— Corby A. Yarbrough @AthlonCorby on Twitter