The 2020-21 regular season has come to a close and as the play-in tournament wraps up with the two remaining battles for the 8-seed in the East and West, the focus has shifted to the playoffs and who will walk away with the 2021 NBA Championship.
There is also the matter of sorting out who will win the NBA’s annual end-of-season awards, which, as a reminder, are regular season only awards that have already been voted on by the members of the media who are given a vote. The winners of those awards aren’t announced until later in the playoffs, but on Thursday they unveiled the finalists for the six regular season awards on TNT — finalists listed in alphabetical order.
Rookie of the Year
Sixth Man of the Year
Defensive Player of the Year
Coach of the Year
Most Improved Player
Michael Porter Jr.
There aren’t any real surprises on the list, although the TNT broadcast had plenty of debate including Shaq screaming at Chuck for daring question whether Steph was MVP — with Chuck, sagely, noting that Jokic is going to win the award. We’ll learn the winners of each award as the playoffs wear on because, like last year, there is no NBA Awards ceremony planned this season.