The race for the NBA awards and accolades was not necessarily about who was the best, but it focused heavily on who was actually eligible for this year's awards. Between the whole 65-game minimum requirement for all awards other than Rookie of the Year and Most Improved, as well as the 20-minute requirement for games, so many worthy players of this year's honors were ultimately left off of these lists.

Joel Embiid, the reigning MVP, was ruled ineligible because of an injury that was out of his control. Donte DiVincenzo, who played in 81 out of 82 games for the New York Knicks, was ineligible for Most Improved Player because of a chunk of games early on in the season in which he played less than 20 minutes. Again, this was an instance of something that was out of his control. Of course, several star players such as Donovan Mitchell, Julius Randle, Jimmy Butler, Draymond Green, and Kyrie Irving are all ineligible as well due to crossing the 65-game minimum threshold.

The only good change the league made this year was the fact that All-NBA teams are now positionless, allowing voters to truly choose the 15 best players during the 2023-24 season. Still, many outdated voters will adhere to the old rules, unwilling to change with the times they are in.

At the end of the day, the race for the MVP award could not have been better, as Nikola Jokic, Luka Doncic, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Jalen Brunson, and so many others are deserving of such a distinction. Although I do not have an official ballot for this year's honors, here’s a look at how I would vote for MVP, All-NBA, and the rest of the 2023-24 NBA awards.

Most Valuable Player Award – Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets)

 Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) before the game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Ball Arena.
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

1. Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets)

2. Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks)

3. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Oklahoma City Thunder)

4. Jalen Brunson (New York Knicks)

5. Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics)

As great of a season as Doncic and Gilgeous-Alexander have had, Jokic is the MVP this season. When looking at the NBA's MVP award, the first question that comes to mind is, “Who is the best player in the league?” The answer to this question is very clearly Jokic, and his metrics back this up.

Missing only three games this year, Jokic averaged 26.4 points, 12.4 rebounds, 9.0 assists, and 1.4 steals per game while shooting 58.3 percent from the floor and 35.9 percent from three-point range. He finished the season ranking 10th in scoring, fifth in total points, fourth in total points scored in the clutch, third in total rebounds, second in total assists, and first in total plus-minus. As far as advanced statistics go, Jokic led the way in Win Shares, Value Over Replacement Player, and Player Efficiency Rating.

The fact of the matter is that with Jokic on the court, the Nuggets are statistically the second-best team in the league this season behind the Celtics. Without Jokic, the Nuggets are a fringe play-in team in the Western Conference, even with their championship group of Jamal Murray, Aaron Gordon, Michael Porter Jr., and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

The case for Doncic being this season's MVP is definitely focused on what he achieved during the second half of the season. In the 23 games Doncic was a part of after the All-Star break, he led all players in scoring (33.2 points per game), was first in assists (10.3 assists per game), and the Dallas Mavericks star recorded 11 total triple-doubles in this span. The Mavs were 17-6 in these 23 games with Doncic, and they went from being a play-in team to the 5-seed in the conference.

Nothing has been more impressive than what the Oklahoma City Thunder achieved this year. From missing the playoffs with 40 wins to claiming the 1-seed with 57 wins, this is a true testament to the talent and coaching this organization has. A little more on the coaching aspect of all of this later. Gilgeous-Alexander led all players in the league with 51 games with at least 30 points, and he finished tied for first with De'Aaron Fox for total steals (150). The Thunder defeated Jokic's Nuggets on three different occasions during the regular season, and claiming the 1-seed definitely holds a lot of weight for Shai.

Ultimately, Jokic's metrics and impact on winning are just too much to overlook in this year's race. Shoutout to Jalen Brunson for becoming an All-NBA performer this season and leading the New York Knicks to the 2-seed in the East, despite Julius Randle going down with a season-ending shoulder injury.

All-NBA Teams

Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) speaks with Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) during the second half at American Airlines Center.
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

First Team

1. Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets)

2. Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks)

3. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Oklahoma City Thunder)

4. Jalen Brunson (New York Knicks)

5. Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics)

The best change the NBA made compared to last season was making the All-NBA teams positionless. Now, we will truly be able to see the All-NBA honors reflect who the top 15 players during each season were. This year, the All-NBA First Team should be reflective of the MVP voting, as the five best players in the league should be the ones that received the most votes for MVP.

Jokic, Doncic, and Gilgeous-Alexander are all locks for this distinction, as they have been the three best players in the league all season. The question of whether or not the All-NBA First Team looks different than the top five of the MVP voting comes down to Brunson, Jayson Tatum, and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Brunson, who led the Knicks to the 2-seed in the East with a magical offensive season, was the third-best guard in the league this year behind Gilgeous-Alexander and Doncic. The Knicks guard ranked fourth in scoring, ninth in total assists, and seventh in player efficiency rating.

The case for Tatum being voted to the All-NBA First Team revolves around the fact that he is the best player on the best team in the league. Voters for the NBA awards always seem to reward winning in tiebreaker scenarios, and this will likely be the case with Tatum despite his numbers dropping from last year.

The argument of Tatum vs. Antetokounmpo can absolutely be had here. The same can be said about the two stars in the MVP conversation. Giannis became the first player in league history to average at least 30 points and 10 rebounds per game while shooting 60 percent from the floor, and he has once again been a dominating force on both sides of the court.

It is going to be a close race for the final two spots on the All-NBA First Team.

Second Team

1. Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks)

2. Anthony Edwards (Minnesota Timberwolves)

3. Kevin Durant (Phoenix Suns)

4. Anthony Davis (Los Angeles Lakers)

5. Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns)

Whoever gets snubbed on the All-NBA First Team between Brunson, Tatum, and Antetokounmpo will headline the All-NBA Second Team. Anthony Edwards will also be a lock for this spot, given his contributions to the Minnesota Timberwolves this year. In 79 total games, Edwards averaged 25.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 5.1 assists per game while shooting 46.1 percent from the floor. Edwards is on his path to becoming one of the new faces of the NBA.

There also shouldn't be much discussion surrounding Anthony Davis making the All-NBA Second Team. This may have been the most impressive season of Davis' career, not only due to his production on the court but also due to the fact that he only missed six total games. Durability has always been a problem for Davis. The Los Angeles Lakers star is still one of the best defenders in the league, and he made sure to take care of his body throughout the course of the last year in order to be there for his team. Davis finished the regular season ranking fourth in total rebounds, fourth in blocked shots, and fifth in player efficiency rating.

The last two spots for the All-NBA Second Team go to a pair of teammates from the Phoenix Suns: Kevin Durant and Devin Booker.

The Suns were an up-and-down team all year due to injuries. However, when all three of their stars were on the court, Phoenix showcased their championship potential. In regards to the seasons both Durant and Booker had, these two ranked fifth and sixth in scoring, respectively. At 35 years old, Durant continues to be one of the most efficient scorers in the league, shooting 52.3 percent from the floor and 41.3 percent from three-point range. He also played in 75 of 82 games, his most since suffering an Achilles injury in 2019.

Although Booker's shooting numbers are slightly lower than those of Durant, the Suns' guard was one of six players to average at least 27 points per game this season. He did so while shooting 49.2 percent from the floor and 36.4 percent from three-point range. The biggest advancement in Booker's game was averaging a career-high 6.9 assists per game, proving that he can be a primary facilitator and playmaker for his team in addition to being the top scoring option.

Third Team

1. Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors)

2. LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers)

3. Tyrese Haliburton (Indiana Pacers)

4. Kawhi Leonard (Los Angeles Clippers)

5. Domantas Sabonis (Sacramento Kings)

The five players who are my picks for the All-NBA Third Team are the five players who hold arguments for the All-NBA Second Team. There is no debating that Stephen Curry, LeBron James, and Tyrese Haliburton should be All-NBA selections.

Curry again ranked inside the top 10 in scoring, and he led the league in threes for the eighth time in the last 12 seasons. In fact, Curry made 357 total threes, the most this league has seen since Steph hit 402 triples during the 2015-16 season. The next closest player to Curry this year in terms of three-point shooting was Luka Doncic, with 284 made perimeter shots. Aside from his shooting numbers, the Golden State Warriors star also led the league in clutch time scoring with 189 total points.

Another year gone by means we get to see LeBron on the All-NBA list. This season will mark LeBron's 20th time on one of the three All-NBA teams, making him the first player in league history to earn this distinction in 20 different seasons. At 39 years old, James averaged 25.7 points, 8.3 assists, 7.3 rebounds, and 1.3 steals per game while shooting 54.0 percent from the floor and 41.0 percent from three-point range. This was the highest three-point shooting percentage of James' illustrious career.

There should be no debate about Haliburton making the All-NBA Third Team. Haliburton took a major step towards stardom this season with the Indiana Pacers, averaging a league-high 10.9 assists per game. During the early part of the 2023-24 season, the Pacers star was a legitimate MVP candidate, but then he suffered a hamstring injury that set him back. Between his three-point shooting abilities and ability to set his teammates up for offensive success, Haliburton is going to be a problem in this league for many years to come.

Kawhi Leonard and Domantas Sabonis are also All-NBA-worthy players this season. Shooting 52.5 percent from the floor and 41.7 percent from three-point range, Leonard was the main reason why the Los Angeles Clippers were able to turn things around in the middle of the season. It is also not hard to still call Kawhi one of the best two-way players in the entire league.

Even though the Sacramento Kings finished the regular season as the 9-seed in the Western Conference, this was an amazing season for Domantas Sabonis. The big man led the league in rebounding for the second straight season at 13.7 boards per game, and he had a streak of 61 consecutive double-doubles, the seventh-longest streak of double-doubles in NBA history. His 77 double-doubles and 26 triple-doubles led the league this season.

Rookie of the Year Award – Victor Wembanyama (San Antonio Spurs)

 San Antonio Spurs center Victor Wembanyama (1) dribbles the ball up court in the second quarter against the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena.
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

1. Victor Wembanyama (San Antonio Spurs)

2. Chet Holmgren (Oklahoma City Thunder)

3. Brandon Miller (Charlotte Hornets)

There is zero debate as to who the Rookie of the Year is this season. Quite honestly, Victor Wembanyama should be the unanimous Rookie of the Year, but there are always a few voters who think they are cool going against the rest of the pack.

Aside from averaging 21.4 points and 10.6 rebounds per game, Wemby also led the league with 3.6 blocks per game. Many will point to the San Antonio Spurs rookie and say he should be blocking shots at 7'4″, but Wembanyama is truly an elite defender with the way he impacts the game. His opponents never want to try and score in the paint against him, and the French phenom alters every shot his opponents take.

Offensively, Wembanyama looks like a guard trapped in a big man's body at times. To be as skilled as he is at 7'4″ is scary for the rest of the league. Once Vic gets his three-point shot going and the Spurs get him an All-Star to play alongside, it won't be long until he enters the MVP conversation.

Chet Holmgren and Brandon Miller both had really great rookie seasons as well. They will both be honored on the All-Rookie team.

All-Rookie Teams

San Antonio Spurs center Victor Wembanyama (1) celebrates a three point shot in the second half against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Frost Bank Center.
Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

First Team

1. Victor Wembanyama (San Antonio Spurs)

2. Chet Holmgren (Oklahoma City Thunder)

3. Brandon Miller (Charlotte Hornets)

4. Amen Thompson (Houston Rockets)

5. Brandin Podziemski (Golden State Warriors)

Wembanyama, Holmgren, and Miller are all unanimous All-Rookie selections. The last two spots for the All-Rookie First Team are open for interpretation. Jaime Jaquez Jr. from the Miami Heat has built a very strong case for himself. But, Amen Thompson of the Houston Rockets and Brandin Podziemski of the Golden State Warriors stood out this season as underrated and overlooked positive assets for their respective teams.

While other rookies may have had better scoring numbers, Thompson really turned himself into a vital part of the Rockets' core with his two-way play. Not to mention, he finished the year strong by averaging 15.8 points, 11.0 rebounds, and 6.0 assists per game in his final four contests. Thompson recorded a triple-double in his final game of the year, sealing his status on the All-Rookie First Team.

Podziemski was the ultimate “glue guy” for the Warriors this season. He provided the spark Golden State needed in their secondary unit, and the rookie guard ended up being one of the better defenders in the league. In total, Podz drew 38 charges, the most in the league this season. He also averaged 9.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 3.7 assists while shooting just under 40 percent from deep.

Second Team

1. Dereck Lively II (Dallas Mavericks)

2. Jaime Jaquez Jr. (Miami Heat)

3. Keyonte George (Utah Jazz)

4. Scoot Henderson (Portland Trail Blazers)

5. GG Jackson (Memphis Grizzlies)

If Jaquez is not on the All-Rookie First Team, he will undoubtedly be on the All-Rookie Second Team. When Jimmy Butler and others were dealing with injuries, it was Jaquez who stepped up into a big role for the Heat. He finished the year ranking eighth in scoring out of all rookies, and Jaquez's best month came in January when he averaged 16.1 points and 3.8 rebounds per game while shooting just under 50 percent from the floor.

Dereck Lively II and Keyonte George are two other no-brainer picks for All-Rookie honors. In terms of effectiveness, Lively provided the Mavericks with stability by shooting 74.7 percent from the floor. George stepped up into a huge role for the Utah Jazz and is now the face of their backcourt after averaging 13.0 points and 4.4 assists per game. There is a lot of optimism in Utah that George can be their next-best guard, following in the footsteps of Mike Conley and Donovan Mitchell.

There are a few other rookies who will receive consideration for the All-Rookie Second Team, but the final two spots must go to Scoot Henderson and GG Jackson. Henderson was injured most of the year, but he really finished his rookie season strong, averaging 19.4 points and 9.7 assists per game in the month of April to silence his doubters.

Jackson is the wildcard for All-Rookie, as he wasn't even supposed to play for the Memphis Grizzlies this season. Due to their elongated injury report over the course of the year, Memphis was forced to call up basically their entire G League team, including Jackson. The 19-year-old made the most of this opportunity, averaging 14.6 points and 4.1 rebounds per game while shooting 42.8 percent from the floor and 35.7 percent from three-point range. He ranked 14th in rebounding, eighth in field goals made, and fourth in scoring among all rookies.

Defensive Player of the Year Award – Victor Wembanyama (San Antonio Spurs)

San Antonio Spurs forward Victor Wembanyama (1) blocks the shot attempted by Houston Rockets guard Jalen Green (4) during the second half at Frost Bank Center.
Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

1. Victor Wembanyama (San Antonio Spurs)

2. Rudy Gobert (Minnesota Timberwolves)

3. Derrick White (Boston Celtics)

The narrative for a while has been that Rudy Gobert should be the Defensive Player of the Year, seeing as the Minnesota Timberwolves were the best defensive team in the league. While that argument definitely holds some weight, the question that needs to be asked here is: What does it really mean to be the Defensive Player of the Year? Should this award be given to a player who was the anchor for a great defensive team, or should it go to the player whom nobody around the league wanted to challenge because of how great of a defender he is?

If you chose the second option, then it shouldn't be a surprise to see Victor Wembanyama at the top of this list. Wemby should be the Defensive Player of the Year this season simply because he was the most dominant defensive player in the league. This is not to disrespect Gobert in any way, but why should his team's success automatically translate to him having an edge over Wembanyama? No player in the league really fears Gobert, and Denver Nuggets youngster Christian Braun exemplified that when he consistently attacked Gobert at the rim late in the season.

Nobody is throwing down dunks like that over Wembanyama, and nobody in the league is dumb enough to even challenge Wemby like this because they know the ball will end up five to six rows deep in the stands. Wembanyama ranked ahead of Gobert in defensive box plus/minus, and his 254 total blocks are hard to overlook. While Gobert led the league in defensive rating, Wemby finished right behind him in second.

Gobert will probably win this award, but everyone in the NBA knows that Wembanyama is the best defensive player. This will be his award for a very long time.

All-Defensive Teams

San Antonio Spurs forward Victor Wembanyama (1) drives to the basket against the Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert (27) during the first half at Frost Bank Center.
Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

First Team

1. Victor Wembanyama (San Antonio Spurs)

2. Rudy Gobert (Minnesota Timberwolves)

3. Derrick White (Boston Celtics)

4. Jalen Suggs (Orlando Magic)

5. Herb Jones (New Orleans Pelicans)

Gobert and Wembanyama are both no-doubt All-Defensive First Team selections. Three perimeter players make up the remaining spots, as Derrick White, Jalen Suggs, and Herb Jones are all very deserving of this distinction. The jump Suggs has made for the Orlando Magic has been remarkable. He is a big reason why they finished the year ranked second in defensive rating, and the third-year guard is an absolute menace as an on-ball defender. Good luck trying to get around this guy.

White made his first All-Defensive appearance last season, and he continued to be one of the best guard defenders this league has alongside Jrue Holiday, another elite defensive guard. The Boston Celtics finished the year ranked third in defensive rating, and White averaged over one block and one steal per game. Out of all guards in the league, the Celtics guard ranked first in contested two-point shots, first in blocked shots, and third in overall contested shots.

Down in New Orleans, Herb Jones continues to be one of the most overlooked players in the entire league. As good as he is at keeping opponents in front of him as an on-ball defender, Jones is extremely smart as an off-ball defender in the sense that he knows when to leap in for a block or steal. The fact that he hasn't made the All-Defensive team goes to show how little media members watch the Pelicans play. To say Herb is not a Top 10 defensive player in this league is utterly laughable.

Second Team

1. Bam Adebayo (Miami Heat)

2. Alex Caruso (Chicago Bulls)

3. Anthony Davis (Los Angeles Lakers)

4. Isaac Okoro (Cleveland Cavaliers)

5. Aaron Gordon (Denver Nuggets)

Bam Adebayo, Alex Caruso, and Anthony Davis should all earn All-Defensive honors this season. Both Adebayo and Davis continue to be two of the better rim protectors in this league at the center position, and Caruso is an absolute pest while defending the ball. From forcing turnovers to disrupting passing lanes, Caruso was one of the only bright spots for the Chicago Bulls this season because of his defensive instincts.

The final two spots for All-Defensive honors should go to Isaac Okoro and Aaron Gordon. Every team in the league needs a guy who is willing to do the dirty work in order for the entire group to find success. While his numbers may not always reflect it, Okoro was quietly one of the best wing defenders in the NBA this season. If you don't understand the little nuances of the game, then you'll be puzzled as to why Okoro is on this All-Defensive list.

From keeping the ball out of certain players' hands to constantly guarding the opposing team's best player Okoro was one of the main reasons why the Cleveland Cavaliers finished the regular season as the league's sixth-best defensive team. Much of the same can be said about Gordon and the Nuggets' eighth-best-rated defense.

Gordon's evolution from an athletic forward to one who can guard every position is a direct testament to the developmental staff in Denver. Since his arrival in Denver, Gordon has worked hard on his lateral quickness and defensive instincts. Now, he is one of the few players in the league that can guard anyone from Stephen Curry to LeBron James. His defensive contributions helped lead the Nuggets to a championship last year, and now he has put them in a position to once again make a deep postseason run.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jaden McDaniels, and Jarrett Allen are also possible All-Defensive picks this year.

Sixth Man of the Year Award – Malik Monk (Sacramento Kings)

Sacramento Kings guard Malik Monk (0) dribbles top the court during the first half against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena.
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

1. Malik Monk (Sacramento Kings)

2. Naz Reid (Minnesota Timberwolves)

3. Norman Powell (Los Angeles Clippers)

The NBA's Sixth Man of the Year race may just be the craziest out of all the awards races. Between Malik Monk and Naz Reid, the race for this award may just come down to a handful of votes.

Whereas Monk led the league in points scored off the bench (1,110), Reid evolved into a key part of the Timberwolves' core, helping guide them to a 56-win season. Reid also stepped up in a huge way when Karl-Anthony Towns suffered a knee injury late in the year, which has led to a little bit of recency bias for this award.

The main reason why Monk is ahead of Reid here is due to the fact that he was the best bench player in the league prior to his knee injury on March 29. Even though he only missed a few games to close out the regular season, injuries always seem to scare voters away. Monk came off the bench in all 72 games this season, compared to Reid coming off the bench in 67 of his 81 games.

The Kings' guard averaged 15.4 points per game off the bench while shooting 35.0 percent from three-point range. Reid averaged 12.6 points per game while shooting 41.4 percent from three-point range off the bench. As an instant impact scorer, Monk changes the dynamic of the Kings' offense next to De'Aaron Fox. His value can't be overlooked, despite Sacramento being much lower in the Western Conference standings than the Timberwolves.

Bench production matters, and Monk was clearly the better offensive sixth man compared to Reid. Bogdan Bogdanovic, Norman Powell, and even Jonathan Isaac should receive some love for this award. Isaac, when healthy, helped the Orlando Magic get to 47 wins this season.

Most Improved Player Award – Tyrese Maxey (Philadelphia 76ers)

Philadelphia 76ers guard Tyrese Maxey (0) dribbles the ball against the Orlando Magic during the fourth quarter at Wells Fargo Center.
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

1. Tyrese Maxey (Philadelphia 76ers)

2. Coby White (Chicago Bulls)

3. Alperen Sengun (Houston Rockets)

The NBA's Most Improved Player award should be renamed the first-time All-Star award because that is what it has become in recent years. In fact, each of the last four seasons has seen a first-time All-Star receive the league's Most Improved Player award. This season, the pattern will continue with Tyrese Maxey adding his name to those receiving NBA awards.

Last year, Maxey showed glimpses of his full potential alongside James Harden and Joel Embiid. With Harden out of the picture and Embiid injured, Maxey became the face of the Philadelphia 76ers. While the Sixers guard is very deserving of this award after increasing his scoring production by over 25 percent, there have definitely been other players who have improved drastically this season.

Coby White and Alperen Sengun are two others who deserve to be in the running for Most Improved Player. After signing a new deal with the Chicago Bulls, White returned and went from averaging 9.7 points per game to 19.1 points per game this season. He has also become the Bulls' featured guard, with Zach LaVine and Lonzo Ball injured.

The Houston Rockets went from winning 22 games to going 41-41 this season, in large part thanks to Sengun's contributions. Unfortunately, Sengun's season was cut short due to a devastating leg and knee injury that could have been much worse than it was. Houston was looking to find an upgrade at the center position last offseason, but that is no longer the case with Sengun's emergence as a borderline All-Star. In 63 games, he averaged 21.1 points and 9.3 rebounds per game while shooting 53.7 percent from the floor.

Oklahoma City Thunder swingman Jalen Williams and Indiana Pacers wing Aaron Nesmith are also two of the league's most improved players. New York Knicks guard Donte DiVincenzo can be thrown in the mix as well, but the league's dumb rules make DiVincenzo ineligible despite playing in 81 of 82 games. Yes, you read that right.

Maxey's assentation to becoming a superstar for the 76ers is the reason why he will be the Most Improved Player.

Coach of the Year Award – Mark Daigneault (Oklahoma City Thunder)

Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Mark Daigneault gestures to his team during a play against the Dallas Mavericks in the second half at Paycom Center
Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

1. Mark Daigneault (Oklahoma City Thunder)

2. Jamahl Mosley (Orlando Magic)

3. Tom Thibodeau (New York Knicks)

There is only one right name for Coach of the Year this season, and that is Mark Daigneault. Entering the 2023-24 season, many expected the Thunder to take a step forward from what has been one of the league's most documented rebuilding processes. After winning 40 games and being the 9-seed in the West last season, the Thunder have completely changed the trajectory of their future by winning 57 games this year and claiming the 1-seed in the conference.

Daigneault deserves a lot of credit for the job he has done, not only directing the youngest team in the league, but continuing to develop them every single game. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has gone from a versatile combo guard to the league's best-scoring guard. Jalen Williams has gone from a potential role player when he was drafted to being a borderline All-Star talent moving forward. So many other players, such as Isaiah Joe, Aaron Wiggins, and rookie Cason Wallace, have been able to make an impact because of the way Daigneault runs his system.

Oklahoma City sets their players up for success, directly resulting in them being a powerhouse at the top of the NBA standings. It is only fitting that Daigneault hears his name associated with the 2023-24 NBA awards.

Jamahl Mosley and Tom Thibodeau are two other candidates who will receive votes for Coach of the Year. The Orlando Magic have gone from a 34-win team that missed the playoffs to a 47-win team that was in contention for the 2-seed in the Eastern Conference. Mosley has been responsible for the development of Franz Wagner and first-time All-Star Paolo Banchero, as well as the Magic's second-rated defense.

Thibodeau and the Knicks claimed the 2-seed in the East despite things looking bleak in the middle of the year with Julius Randle's shoulder injury. Once again. Thibs has New York in a position to contend in the playoffs, and they're still the hard-nosed, gritty team we are accustomed to seeing.

I do want to give a quick shoutout to Taylor Jenkins and the job he did with the Memphis Grizzlies. Ja Morant, Desmond Bane, Jaren Jackson Jr., Marcus Smart, Brandon Clarke, and so many others were injured all year for the Grizzlies, yet this organization still competed until the very last game. They ultimately finished with 27 wins despite having a team full of G League players. Jenkins is one of the best coaches in this league, and he certainly deserves a round of applause for the job he did, given the little talent he was working with.

Clutch Player of the Year Award – Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors)

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) reacts after hitting a three-ppont shot in the last second against the Phoenix Suns during the second half at Chase Center.
John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

1. Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors)

2. Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets)

3. DeMar DeRozan (Chicago Bulls)

The final award of the year, the Clutch Player of the Year award, goes to Stephen Curry. Although the season did not end the way the Warriors liked, Curry single-handedly kept Golden State in every single game they played because of his fourth-quarter theatrics. In the final quarter of play, Curry averaged 7.3 points per game while shooting 45.6 percent from the floor and 40.5 percent from three-point range. His 506 total fourth-quarter points ranked fifth in the league, and he made 90 total threes in the fourth, an average of 1.3 triples per game.

What makes Curry this season's Clutch Player of the Year is what he did in the final minutes of games. Clutch time in the NBA is defined by the final five minutes of the fourth quarter or overtime when the score is within five points. In such games, Curry scored 189 total points in 143 total clutch time minutes, shooting 49.6 percent from the floor and 45.7 percent from three-point range. His true shooting percentage in the clutch was exactly 69 percent, with a usage rate of 40.5 percent.

These are video game-like numbers for Curry with the game on the line, which is why he is going to be the recipient of the Clutch Player of the Year.

Nikola Jokic is also a viable candidate for this award, seeing as he always seems to hit that one-legged fadeaway at the buzzer. The Nuggets' MVP ranked fourth in total clutch points this season. DeMar DeRozan is another name associated with this award after he finished just seven points behind Curry in clutch scoring.