The Cleveland Cavaliers trio of Kevin Love, Darius Garland, and Evan Mobley should all win their respective awards.
The Cleveland Cavaliers found out that Kevin Love, Darius Garland, and Evan Mobley were all selected to be in the final three for their respective year-end awards. Love for the Sixth Man, Garland for the Most Improved, and Mobley for Rookie of the Year.
Despite stiff competition, all three should be the winners of their respective awards.
Mobley was the runaway favorite for many early on but the season took a toll on him. He played a lot in the paint, more so than the others (Cade Cunningham and Scottie Barnes), and that took a lot out of the young-big. Mobley, however, did more to single-handily change the franchise than either man. Barnes went to a playoff team, and Cunningham had little chance of affecting much change in Detroit. Mobley helped make Cleveland a playoff-caliber team.
For Garland, he has to prove why he deserves it over Ja Morant. While Morant’s scoring is up, his three-point shooting is still pretty bad, his turnovers went up, and his assists went down. He was a one-trick pony. Garland’s scoring went up, his assists went up, and his true-shooting went up as well while being the only real play-making ball-handler for 3/5 of the season. Morant improved in one area, but Garland improved in nearly all of them.
For Love, that’s the hardest argument to make, as Tyler Herro is clearly the real winner of the award, yet Herro was the centerpiece of the offense, even off the bench. While he’s technically a sixth-man, one could say he violates the spirit of the award, which is to give to a guy who isn’t as integral to the offense. Herro took the most shots on the team. Love, on the other hand, was a true sixth-man. He not only was the scoring catalyst off the bench but his efficiency was higher than it’s been in years.
JB Bickerstaff missing out on Coach of the Year is fair
While those three men have a real chance to win, two names not on their respective lists were Jarrett Allen for Defensive Player of the Year and JB Bickerstaff for Coach of the Year. Allen should have not only been in the final three but been the winner, he was that important to the Cavs defensively.
Yet, Bickerstaff? Sorry, that’s one that I don’t think the Cavaliers should’ve had. I think Bickerstaff was probably the 4th or 5th most deserving person for Coach of the Year, but what Taylor Jenkins and Monty Williams did in Memphis and Phoenix respectively was more impressive.
Had Bickerstaff kept the Cavs in the 4th seed despite the injuries, then it’s a no-doubt about it pick. He didn’t, unfortunately, and that had more to do with a depleted roster but still.
Maybe next year.