Feb 19, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Washington Wizards small forward Trevor Ariza (1) drives past Atlanta Hawks shooting guard Louis Williams (3) along the baseline in the first quarter at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

RWB Power Rankings: 2014 Season Awards Race

As the title would suggest, this is a special edition of the RWB Power Rankings. Today, we’ll look at the season awards. Just as we keep track of the league with MVP, ROY, and more, we’ll be keeping tabs on the RWB division. Remember, the teams are the Clippers, Sixers, Hawks, Pistions, and Wizards. First, individual awards.

Most Valuable Player

I think this one is probably the easiest to decide on. I took Chris Paul. This season is the first since 08-09 where he’s averaging a double double in points (19.0) and assists (11.1). If he can keep this assist rate up, it’ll be his second highest assist per season mark of his career. Yes, he was out for an extended period of time but, looking at the rest of the division, I can’t see who really blows Paul out of the water. When he’s on the court, the Clippers shoot, pass, rebound, take better care of the ball, and basically perform better than with him off the court.

Rookie of the Year

Another easy one. Michael Carter-Williams has been a beast on the court. He’s playing on a high level consistently sharing historic rookie moments with other great players. And he came out flying against the mighty Miami Heat. Clearly, he’s got game. He leads all rookies in points, assists, and rebounds per game. His shooting percentages could be better though as his eFG% is just .428. Still, he’s the fav for not only this division, but for the league.

Defensive Player of the Year

I have to go with DeAndre Jordan here. He’s been great. In terms of the league, he’s 9th in defensive rating and he’s second in defensive win shares. Only Blake Griffin comes in the top 20 in either of those categories when looking at the rest of the division. Jordan leads the division in blocks per game with 2.4. In terms of rebounding he leads the division as well, although Andre Drummond of the Pistons actually has a larger rebound percentage rate. Still, Jordan does what a good defender needs to do.

Most Improved Player

Tony Wroten of the Sixers went from a barely used guy on the Grizzlies to a regular off the bench, with a few starts as well when MCW was out with injury. Yes, 7.8 minutes per game to 24.0 minutes per game. And Wroten took advantage of each second. His stats across the board shot up. The biggest jump? Probably the 2.6 points per game to the 12.9 points per game this season.

Sixth Man

So, who’s the best off the bench? It’s gotta be Jamal Crawford. Sure, he’s started in 20 of his 57, but, as you can see, most of his damage came off the bench. Even so, he’s third on his Clippers team in scoring. He scores the most out of anybody else coming off the bench consistently in the division.

Okay, time for team awards.

RWB First Team

PG Chris Paul

SG Jamal Crawford

SF Josh Smith

PF Blake Griffin

C DeAndre Jordan

Well, the Clippers dominate and that’s not too surprising. And though Josh Smith is struggling in terms of his career, I’d say he’s the best “SF” right now in the division. The SF’s in this division are probably the weak point. Perhaps the second team will look better.

RWB Second Team

PG Michael Carter-Williams

SG Bradley Beal

SF Trevor Ariza

PF Thaddeus Young

C Andre Drummond

Would you agree with that lineup? You could argue John Wall should be the PG here but, I feel like MCW has been playing better. Other than that, I can’t really see where I went wrong. But, it’s all in the fun. Hit the comments to let me know what you think of the awards. Here’s one last team that I made myself:

Favorite RWB Players

PG Michael Carter-Williams

SG Jamal Craford

SF Kyle Korver

PF Thad Young

C Marcin Gortat

I just like watching these guys play. MCW is awesome (plus he and one of my sisters share a birthday!). Crawford? I could watch him break ankles all game. I loved Korver when he was on the Sixers and yeah, it was his shooting. But, he was also a charge taker and, I can only say this from watching him in Philly, but he’s a guy that dives for the ball. Thad Young is all energy and just a good guy. Gortat seems like a really solid Center. Ever since it was reported that he didn’t want to come off the bench behind Dwight Howard in Orlando, I’ve kinda wanted him on the Sixers. He’s not an elite center, but, I like his game.

So there you have it. And again, hit the comments. Let me know what you liked and disliked. Love or hate. And give me your picks if you don’t agree with mine. It’s an interesting challenge as we’re on a five team scale.

Lastly, stay tuned because next week the rankings will be back and have a little more flavor to them.

Thanks for reading!

Tags: Atlanta Hawks Detroit Pistons Los Angeles Clippers Philadelphia 76ers Washington Wizards

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