2018 JBA Player Awards
Before we begin we’d like to say that these aren’t our rankings or opinions on who is most deserving of the award, these are rankings that we believe will be the most likely outcome. Surprise Player of the Year is an award we have created based on the fact we can’t have a MIP player award, so we created our own award based on players who have come out of no where to become fan favorites or that have even received MVP recognition as of late.
Defensive Player of the Year
- Cameron Massey
Reasoning: He may be one of the 2 best wing defenders in the JBA. He has struggled at times on the offensive end which has led to reduced playing time. But once he figures out his role and how he can properly contribute to his team he’ll see he can show out by producing an all-around game. Needs to be efficient and take defensive matchups personally. Dallas may also have a chance at being the best defensive team this season as whole, which would typically give Massey the nod if he had more eye-popping stats. Since no one on Dallas has overly impressive defensive stats we are using the eye test on which defender stands out the most on their loaded defensive team.
Stats: Rebs 8.4 Stls 1.87 Blks .33
- Montrell Dixson
Reasoning: He has an impressive stat line this season as well, however he isn’t helping his team win games. He has also gotten abused during different matchups with opposing centers/Pfs. At one point even having a coach get face to face with him calling him a B**** after pushing him twice. He has the defensive potential but at times he just either isn’t engaged, too tired, or just gets shown up by superior offensive players. Whatever the case is he hasn’t been good enough to win the award, but he deserves recognition for his abilities.
Stats: Rebs 13.5 Blks 2.1 Stls 1.33
- Corey Boyd
Reasoning: He has been a huge part of Atlanta does on both ends of the court, he doesn’t look like he’d be the best defender aside from his massive frame. But he has been exceptional all year long and the only reason he isn’t winning DPOY is because he wasn’t on the help side D enough and didn’t stop LA from putting work in on them. His stat line is by the far best out of the defensive candidates and if this is a stat based league than he will win the award.
Stats: Rebs 11.8 Blks 2.15 Stls 1.67
- Isom Butler
Reasoning: The focus by most media after their game against Los Angeles was Gelo had to take 54 shots to score 48 points, and they weren’t giving any credit to the defensive effort by Isom in that game. Mostly because LA scored 170 and most people will scoff that there wasn’t even defense being played but go look at who guarded Liangelo for most of his misses. Showtime did his part against Liangelo, he needed someone to keep Lamelo under lock and key and they would have had a ball game if they didn’t get blown out in the first quarter. Not to mention he has been superb the rest of the season we may just be wrong here on who the JBA will give the award too if it was up to us Isom is your DPOY.
Stats: Rebs 8.8 Stls 2.0 Blks .87
- Melvin Davis
Reasoning: He was a great defender for Seattle and he is without a doubt the best rim protector in the JBA. Once he joined the Los Angeles team their defensive outlook has been leaps and bounds better. He helps them play their style and not give up 150 points themselves. Was also huge against Chicago in continuing their pressure and win streak, on the defensive end of the court. I believe his defensive contributions have helped the most for his team’s successes this season, for that reason and the fact he is currently on Los Angeles we believe he’ll end up with the award.
Stats: Rebs 9.0 Blks 3.33 Stls .87
Coach of the Year
- Doyle Bahlthazar
Team: Los Angeles
Reasoning: They have the second-best record in the JBA and may win the championship. However, he was given more talent than anyone else I the league and still had a rocky start. Then he was given the best rim protector and what should be the best player in the JBA. Meaning it becomes hard to give him the award when he was already given the most talent.
- Ray Johnson
Reasoning: They struggled to start the year but between switching team captains and play styles Ray Johnson has turned this Dallas team around to what could be the best Defensive team in the League. They will need to further prove that in the playoffs as someone you do not want to meet along the way. Also, being one of the two teams and coaches able to say they have beaten Los Angeles could give them even more consideration.
- Marvin McCulloug
Team: New York
Reasoning: Having played LA twice prior to the change in players and having taken home a win is a big feat. Especially given the fact New York is one of the most undersized basketball teams in the JBA, they have gotten better at their guard positions but still need work on the inside, outside of relying on just MVP candidate Calvin Brown.
- Charles O’Bannon
Reasoning: Seattle is winners of three straight and has continued to improve even after having DPOY Melvin Davis traded from their team mid-season. They have 3 dynamic guards that are going to be a problem in the postseason, that are all well coached in a system where everyone seems to be sharing the ball and sharing the scoring load.A very well coached team who we had high in the power rankings initially before they dropped three straight games, now having bounced back to expectation we want to applaud the job coach O’Bannon has done.
- Douglas Byrd
Reasoning: This award can still be lost over the final two games if Coach Byrd can’t manage to get his team back on track and forget what just happened against Los Angeles. If Atlanta drops these final two games Charles O’Bannon will take this award right out from under him. We are predicting the outcomes for these awards so with that being said we do predict Atlanta to win at least one of their final two games if not both.
Surprise Player of the Year
- Jordell Ross
Reasoning: He has shown signs of being a great shooter in his short time with this Houston squad. However, he hasn’t helped them win any additional ball games than their replacement lineup. He’s going to have to continue to produce to show us were wrong. Until that point there have just been other standout surprise layers more notable.
- Cameron Clark
Reasoning: He is often compared to a JBA Julius Randle, he is the most ripped player on the court. He has gotten limited time with this Seattle team and hasn’t had any huge box score outings due to their 3-guard combo. But he is a stud and is a matchup problem to watch come playoff time
- Caleal Walker
Reasoning: Out of all the players on this list he’s gotten to play in the most games and has the best stat line. The only reason he made this list is because we started the season high on Cameron Massey and didn’t even have a player profile for Walker until the 3rd game of the season. We felt like we slept on this player all season long and so for that fact we wanted to mention him here. The next two players on this list are more deserving for this award though because they had to earn their spot onto the traveling roster.
- Capris Uzan
Reasoning: He has absolute flair and should be a fan favorite. His interaction with fans and his celebrations after making shots is a sight to see. He has been the spark plug this Seattle team needed, giving them another player to handle the ball and make plays for themselves as well as creating for the rest of the team. Uzan has been exactly that from fancy assists to splashing down 3’s but he gets beat out on our list by someone who we are excited to his growth and potential now that he has surfaced and made a name for himself in the JBA.
- Nyang Wek
Reasoning: He has solid pro potential due to his size and athletic ability, but without a growth spurt he’s going to need to develop his game a lot more between this year and next. Calling up Luol Deng for advice probably wouldn’t be a bad idea either, at 6’9 220 Deng doesn’t have much more size than the 6’6 205-pound Wek. But without a growth spurt Wek will need to show an ability to shoot and create from any spot on the court. Improving his handles and decision making and shooting off the dribble will be huge in his development. He also has already scored 30+ this season, so he is doing plenty right with less basketball ability and more basketball potential. We look and hope to see him improve. AhWAhhWAhh.
Most Valuable Player
- Curtis Hollis
Reasoning: After having lost in a matchup with Je’Rell Springer he is starting to lose MVP of his team let alone the league, if he can have a better showing against LA in Vegas he can remain in this top 5 standing at seasons end. He dropped after not being able to come up with many quality wins on the season against teams or players of note outside of an early season victory over New York and Calvin Brown.
- Calvin Brown
Reasoning: He has been the most consistent player on the season from having his FG% and any game he doesn’t have it going he stops shooting. However, this is one of his faults too as he hasn’t shown ways to contribute outside of scoring at a high clip and being a highlight play possibility. His rebounding is good but many guards in the JBA outrebound him. With games over Atlanta and last place Philly he has a chance to really get consideration if he can have 2 monster games to end the year. However, we don’t believe he’ll have the overall impact as the 3 players ahead of him on this list.
- Je’Rell Springer
Reasoning: He is a certified baller. Many believe he is the best or second-best player in the JBA, considering his size at position and potential for growth he is one of our favorite players to watch and talk basketball with. However, we can’t be biased as good as he has been these other two players have overwhelming stats and team success that bolster their odds of winning the award. Springer only has a game against Chicago left to make his case which won’t be enough to give him the nod. He did have the best single game performance of the year against Los Angeles on the second night of a back to back; scoring 48 Points after flying from Houston, Texas to Seattle, Washington to play the Los Angeles team that started their losing streak. Was in a losing effort or else these MVP awards would be very different.
- Nigel Chaney
Reasoning: Going to get a lot of hate for not having Chaney as the MVP, but with two games to go I’m half expecting either one cold game from Chaney or another loss to end the year. This won’t bolster his MVP odds as part of his case was that Atlanta was undefeated with the best record In the League. If they can remain undefeated and he shoots above 50% from 3 in his final 2 games like he has averaged all season than he can make us eat these words. He is the best shooter in the JBA and is hitting at a ridiculous clip, but he doesn’t have nearly the highlight real or fan fare as who we expect to win the award. If we had a vote and Atlanta finishes the season 7-1, I would vote for Chaney as MVP but for him to get the award from someone averaging a triple double he’ll have to end on a high note.
- Lamelo Ball
Reasoning: Lamelo Ball’s last regular season game is in Las Vegas against a talented Houston team, where we expect him to put on a show in what could be another star-studded affair. He is averaging a triple-double and while the efficiency hasn’t been great the overall numbers are overwhelming and if Atlanta loses one of their final 2 games allowing Los Angeles to finish as the one seed Lamelo Ball wins the award without question. Not saying he should win the award, but we must think he’s the most likely person to take home the trophy unless Chaney really does something to standout these final two games more so than he already has. The standings will play a huge part in deciding this award, as Lamelo may be inefficient but if it helped get to the best record in the league its hard to argue against 40-12-10.