2022-23 NBA awards watch — Who’s main for MVP, DPOY, ROY

Getting into the season, the Nets had been thought-about a shoe-in to make the playoffs. The had been -2000 to make the playoffs at Draft Kings and +1000 to overlook the playoffs. The Knicks alternatively had been +180 to make the playoffs and -225 to overlook the playoffs.

Occasions have began altering, however I feel there’s nonetheless worth available for each groups.

As of right this moment, the Knicks are +165 to make the playoffs and -205 to overlook at Caesars Sportsbook, whereas I discovered the Nets at -370 to make the playoffs and +280 to overlook.

Listed here are some key details:

• The Knicks, at 5-5, are presently tied for the Sixth-best report within the Japanese Convention
• The Nets, at 4-7, are presently tied for the Eleventh-best report within the Japanese Convention
• Each the Nets (Sixth) and the Knicks (tenth) are among the many top-10 within the East at current, in keeping with ESPN BPI

Looker nearer on the Nets

The Nets really feel like a group on the point of doubtlessly drastic measures. We’re within the fourth season of the Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving period and third since Durant returned from his torn Achilles tendon. Whereas many predicted championship-level, if not dynasty-level success, the Nets have gone solely 7-13 within the playoffs with a single collection win and two sweep losses.

This offseason, each Durant and Irving reportedly requested to be traded. Ben Simmons, the All Star on the middle of the commerce package deal they acquired for James Harden, did not play in any respect final season and was a significant unknown. Barely three weeks into the season, the Nets fired head coach Steve Nash and Simmons has missed 4 of 11 video games with a knee problem and has averaged solely 5.6 PPG, 6.0 RPG and 6.6 APG, all of that are on tempo to be career-lows.

And, after all, Irving is within the midst of an indefinite suspension that has forged a cloud over the complete group and brings into query his future with the group.

On Wednesday, the group named Jacque Vaughn their new head coach, however there stays an growing rumble that it might be time for the group to chop their losses, give Durant and Irving what they requested for this summer season, and commerce them away to provoke a rebuild. That might be a stunning consequence for people who had been positive this group would win rings, but it surely may very well be that sufficient is sufficient.

I am not going to prognosticate what the Nets will resolve about their future… knowledge can not help me with that. However, they had been a play-in group final season and are off to a sluggish begin this season, with their three enigmatic superstars on the court docket collectively for almost all of the video games to date.

Even when they do not make trades, they’re removed from a assure to make the playoffs. And, if the group brass does resolve to blow it up, which BPI simply cannot account for, they’re virtually assured NOT to make the playoffs. So, to me, the futures play right here is the Nets to NOT make the playoffs at +280. That pays out practically 3-to-1 and I might say there is a larger than one in three likelihood that the Nets are on the skin wanting in as soon as the postseason begins.

Looker nearer on the Knicks

The early returns on their huge offseason acquisition of Jalen Brunson have been constructive. As we predicted, Brunson has averaged 19.7 PPG and seven.3 APG to date this season. He is creating group offense whereas taking good care of the ball with just one.7 TO/G. Within the present ESPN Actual Plus Minus stats, which roll out later this week, Brunson has the best RPM on the group and is thirty second within the NBA total.

In the meantime, former All Star Julius Randle has bounced again from final season’s taking pictures debacle that resulted in a seven-year low in True Taking pictures Proportion (50.9 TS%) to a 57.2 TS% mark that will signify his highest since becoming a member of the Knicks.

RJ Barrett has continued final season’s scoring breakout, but in addition at a better scoring effectivity. The group has been aggressive with constructive vibes to begin the season, regardless of a tricky early schedule, with all of their losses towards championship-caliber groups and stable highway wins over the 76ers and Timberwolves.

They’re getting contributions from younger gamers which are nonetheless enhancing, and so they’re having fun with the return of veteran Derrick Rose after he missed most of final season. I, personally, have them amongst my top-8 groups within the Japanese Convention. So, getting them at plus cash to make the postseason is an efficient wager, in my e-book.

Now, let’s take an early have a look at how the NBA Championship and Awards races have a look at this level within the season.

NBA Championship Winner


Milwaukee Bucks (+500)

Worth play

Cleveland Cavaliers (+1500)

I had the Bucks as my preseason favourite to win the championship, and their 9-1 begin whereas nonetheless lacking All Star Khris Middleton solely helps that stance. That stated, the Cavaliers are an issue this season! I anticipated them to be, and the early outcomes are even higher than expectation. They sit at 8-2, the second finest report within the NBA, with a +10.7 scoring margin differential that leads the league. The Cavs have three younger All Stars and a Rookie-of-the-year runner up of their beginning lineup, with robust depth throughout the board.

Regardless of their youth, they’ve playoffs expertise amongst their key guys with new star Donovan Mitchell already having 39 postseason video games on his resume and sixth man Kevin Love having gained a championship. In keeping with BPI, the Cavaliers presently sit because the second-best group within the NBA. So, getting them at +1500, tied with the Nets for the sixth-longest odds, is nice worth.

Most Worthwhile Participant


Giannis Antetokounmpo (+225)

Within the hunt

Luka Doncic (+290)
Jayson Tatum (+600)


Joel Embiid (+1800)
Donovan Mitchell (+2200)
Nikola Jokic (+2800)
Devin Booker (+4000)

Excessive lengthy shot

LeBron James (+10,000)

Antetokounmpo is the most effective participant on the earth. I used to be arguing for this years in the past, but it surely’s now turn out to be a consensus opinion. Enjoying on the degree that he’s, if the Bucks keep at or close to the highest report within the NBA, this race is Antetokounmpo’s to lose.

Doncic and Tatum are additionally off to excellent begins on profitable groups, and keep within the combine.

Jokic and Embiid have completed 1-2 within the MVP vote in every of the final two seasons, and it is nonetheless early sufficient for issues to show round, so getting them at such lengthy odds may very well be good worth. Mitchell and Booker each presently mission to be the most effective participant on groups that might finish with the most effective data of their conferences, which is a profile for a possible MVP finalist.

As for LeBron, if he stays wholesome he’ll turn out to be the NBA all-time main scorer this season to a lot fanfare. The Lakers are universally thought-about a little bit of a dumpster hearth, however they’ve quietly performed higher since shifting Russell Westbrook to the sixth man… and there is nonetheless each probability they might make a purchaser’s commerce if the group exhibits any indicators of life. It appears to be like unlikely now, but when the Lakers enhance to even a marginal playoffs group, LeBron might get some MVP hype. Lengthy shot? Sure. However, at 100 to 1, I am no less than protecting it on my radar.

Rookie of the Yr


Paolo Banchero (-950)

Within the hunt

Bennedict Mathurin (+800)

Longer shot

Keegan Murray (+2500), Jaden Ivey (+2200)

Barring damage, this race presently appears to be like like a landslide. Banchero is off to one of many higher begins we have seen for a rookie in a very long time, with an all-around model that produces wonderful fantasy numbers whereas additionally impacting his group’s means to win. Within the Actual Plus Minus stat that we’ll be rolling out this week, Banchero is by-far essentially the most impactful rookie to date with the Fiftieth-best RPM within the NBA.

Mathurin is second, effectively again with the 117th-highest RPM. Ivey is 178th, and Murray is 212th.

Defensive Participant of the Yr


Giannis Antetokounmpo (+300)

Within the hunt

Rudy Gobert (+500)
Bam Adebayo (+700)

Longer pictures

O.G. Anunoby (+2500)
Clint Capela (+30,000)

It is a wide-open race as a result of there are not any clearly dominant defensive campaigns to date. The present leaders come from among the many regular candidates, with each Giannis (as soon as) and Gobert (thrice) having gained the award earlier than.

Adebayo is a younger defender with a sterling popularity that may very well be a critical candidate if the Warmth protection picks issues up. However I might pay particular consideration to Anunoby as a longshot and Capela as a waaaaay longshot.

In keeping with the RPM stats we’re rolling out this week, Anunoby and Capela rank 1-2 in Defensive RPM. The Raptors are a stable defensive unit, and so they’re additionally a aggressive group. In the event that they replicate final season’s success and problem for 50 wins, with a powerful protection, Anunoby might sneak into the DPoY dialog.

The Hawks aren’t a powerful protection, and Capela is to date down the percentages checklist that he would possibly as effectively not be on there. With that stated, Capela is presently ninth within the NBA in blocks per recreation, thirteenth in rebounds per recreation, and the Hawks are on tempo to be a 50-win group and potential division winner. If Capela stays on the high of the DRPM checklist and any voters catch wind of it…I imply, he is a longshot, however at 300 to 1, he is value a glance.

Sixth Man of the Yr


Russell Westbrook (+160)

Within the hunt

Jordan Poole (+275)
Christian Wooden (+650)

Longer shot

Malcolm Brogdon (+2000)
Bobby Portis (+2000)
Collin Sexton (+2500)
Kevin Love (+4000)

Westbrook has been robust since shifting to his sixth man position, averaging about 19 factors, 7 assists and 6 rebounds in these 5 video games. However, the longer term is unsure sufficient for the Lakers that I am unable to predict for positive that Westbrook will keep within the position all season.

Poole might be the safer wager as favourite, whereas Wooden is not constant sufficient to stick with them.

Among the many longshots, I’ve already written about how a lot I feel Brogdon contributes to a Celtics group with title aspirations. Portis is a key determine on the group with the most effective report within the league. Sexton is contributing to the stunning rise of the Jazz (by the way in which, the Jazz are plus cash to make the playoffs at +175, although they presently have the most effective report within the Western Convention and present no indicators of slowing down), and has huge scoring upside (he averaged 24.3 PPG simply two seasons in the past) that might catch voter’s eyes.

And, I wished to shout out Love, who’s already had some robust video games for the Cavs off the bench, and the Cavs, as I stated above, are a downside!

Most Improved Participant


Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (+350)
Tyrese Maxey (+350)

Within the hunt

Lauri Markkanen (+600)
Tyrese Haliburton (+900)
Desmond Bane (+1000)


Bol Bol (+4000)
Alperen Sengun (+5000)
Jalen Brunson (+6000)

Gilgeous-Alexander is placing up some significantly absurd numbers to date this season, and Maxey is glowing up with the possibility for extra within the subsequent month with James Harden out.

I have been touting Markkanen, Bane and Sengun since earlier than the season started. I have been completely satisfied to see Bol Bol get a authentic likelihood to play in Orlando this season, and he is lived as much as the as soon as mega draft hype he bought in school earlier than accidents slowed his progress.

However, I like Brunson because the longshot right here. As talked about above, Brunson may very well be taking a look at a 20 and 8ish season, serving to lead the Knicks again to the postseason, in one of many extra main (and long-suffering) markets within the NBA. If the Knicks method 50 wins, with no different end-of-the-season awards in attain, Brunson for MIP might achieve some traction.