With 82 games in the books and the playoffs getting started this weekend, Dime presents our ’08-09 NBA regular-season awards. These are the consensus picks from our editorial team; not necessarily who we think is going to win, but who we think should win.
In voting for sports awards, nobody likes the easy choice. (For the most part, that is. Handing an ESPY to somebody like J-Mac makes everyone feel good.) We all like unearthing the diamond in the rough, thinking outside the box, and looking like a genius next to the clowns at rival publications. When picks come along that are too easy, it’s almost like it makes you look lazy.
So as we picked this year’s NBA awards, Rookie of the Year wasn’t fun. Derrick Rose did everything that could have been expected of him and more: Starting from Day One at the toughest position in the League, he took an ’08 Lottery team to the ’09 playoffs (and not as one of those sub-.500 eighth seeds) while making himself a fixture on the nightly highlight reel. Rose averaged 16.8 points and 6.3 assists, leading all rookies in dimes and finishing second in scoring.
There were other rookies who put up better numbers in some categories, but none had the impact on their team’s fortunes like Rose did on the Bulls. He was his team’s MVP, and rightfully should win R.O.Y. almost unanimously.
* DIME’S ALL-ROOKIE TEAM *
G – Derrick Rose, Chicago
G – O.J. Mayo, Memphis
F – Michael Beasley, Miami
F – Kevin Love, Minnesota
C – Brook Lopez, New Jersey
Bench – Russell Westbrook (OKC), Eric Gordon (LAC), Marc Gasol (MEM), Jason Thompson (SAC), Mario Chalmers (MIA).
* DIME’S ANTI-ROOKIE OF THE YEAR *
Danilo Gallinari, New York