May 19, 2021

2021 NBA awards

Nikola Jokic, the second-round draft pick from Sombor, Serbia, is this season’s easy MVP selection. The Denver Nuggets point center averaged 26.4 points, 10.8 rebounds and 8.3 assists, shooting 60.6 percent on 2-pointers, 38.8 on 3-pointers and 86.8 from the free throw line. He led the league in Estimated Plus-Minus, Box Plus-Minus and 538’s RAPTOR WAR. In a season with more excused absences than any other, from COVID-19 protocols to schedule-induced injuries, Jokic played in every game. When guard Jamal Murray tore his left ACL against the Golden State Warriors on April 12, the Nuggets (47-25) kept rolling, winning 13 of their last 18 games.

Stephen Curry scored 46 points on the last day of the season to win the scoring title. The Phoenix Suns made the playoffs for the first time in 11 seasons, while the New York Knicks made the playoffs for the first time in eight seasons. Russell Westbrook chased triple-doubles, catching Oscar Roberson’s all-time record. James Harden joined Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn. They played eight games together. The Toronto Raptors played their games in Tampa, Fla. Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett were inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. Marv Albert will retire after the Eastern Conference finals.
— Kevin Brewer

My 2020-21 season in review, awards and All-NBA teams:

Best record | Utah Jazz, 52-20, a 59-win pace

Worst record | Houston Rockets, 17-55, a 63-loss pace

Best offense | Brooklyn Nets

Best defense | Los Angeles Lakers

Fastest pace | Washington Wizards

Slowest pace | New York Knicks


Most Valuable Player | Nikola Jokic, Nuggets

Defensive Player of the Year | Rudy Gobert, Jazz

Best offensive player | Nikola Jokic, Nuggets

Most clutch player | Damian Lillard, Trail Blazers

Coach of the Year | Tom Thibodeau, Knicks

Teammate of the Year | Chris Paul, Suns

Rookie of the Year | LaMelo Ball, Hornets

Sixth Man of the Year | Joe Ingles, Jazz


First team

Forward | Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks

Forward | Jimmy Butler, Heat

Center | Nikola Jokic, Nuggets

Guard | Stephen Curry, Warriors

Guard | Damian Lillard, Trail Blazers

Second team

Forward | Kawhi Leonard, Clippers

Forward | LeBron James, Lakers

Center | Joel Embiid, 76ers

Guard | Luka Doncic, Mavericks

Guard | Chris Paul, Suns

Third team

Forward | Paul George, Clippers

Forward | Julius Randle, Knicks

Center | Rudy Gobert, Jazz

Guard | Mike Conley, Jazz

Guard | Jrue Holiday, Bucks

Honorable mention

Forward | Zion Williamson, Pelicans

Center | Bam Adebayo, Heat


First team

Forward | Draymond Green, Warriors

Forward | Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks

Center | Rudy Gobert, Jazz

Guard | Ben Simmons, 76ers

Guard | Mike Conley, Jazz

Second team

Forward | Jimmy Butler, Heat

Forward | Julius Randle, Knicks

Center | Clint Capela, Hawks

Guard | Matisse Thybulle, 76ers

Guard | Fred VanVleet, Raptors


Box Plus-Minus | Nikola Jokic, 11.7

Real Plus-Minus | Stephen Curry, 7.2

Estimated Plus-Minus | Nikola Jokic, 7.9

Total RAPTOR | Nikola Jokic, 9.7

Scoring | Stephen Curry, 32.0

Rebounding | Clint Capela, 14.3

Assists | Russell Westbrook, 11.7

2-point percentage | Rudy Gobert, .680

3-point percentage | Joe Harris, .475

Free throw shooting | Chris Paul, .934

Steals | Jimmy Butler, 2.1

Blocks | Rudy Gobert, 2.7


Best shooter | Stephen Curry, Warriors

Best backcourt | Mike Conley and Donovan Mitchell, Jazz

Iron man | Julius Randle, Knicks

Tallest player | Tacko Fall, 7-5

Shortest player | Isaiah Thomas, 5-9

Best young player | Zion Williamson (20)

Best old player | Chis Paul (35)

Debut | LaMelo Ball

Farewell | LaMarcus Aldridge

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