Hoopscritic’s Staff Mid Season Awards

Hoopscritic’s Staff Mid Season Awards

by Oliver Maroney & Jacob Noble It’s just past the mid-way point in the NBA season and it feels like it just started! Here at HoopsCritic we had all of our contributors and writers vote on their mid-season awards favorites. From the MVP, to the Rookie of the Year, we all voted for respective players and while some were a landslide (MVP?), others were certainly closer. MVP – Stephen Curry Every one of us put Stephen Curry as our MVP. He’s been superb thus far in the season, producing a balance of offense and defense that’s hard for anyone to stop. Even with defenses focusing on how to stop him, he’s virtually continued to pick-apart defenses and make things that seem impossible, possible. Aside from what he does individually, he’s especially great at making all of his team better. His passing, ability to draw two or three defenders, and find the opening, is also key to his and the Warriors success. Rookie Of The Year – Karl-Anthony Towns This was close as Kristaps Porzingis came in second by a hair. I can see the reason for Kristaps, as he was slighted before the season and plays in the big apple, but Towns has been incredible with Minnesota. I think most people knew he’d be good on defense, but his offensive game has been more superior than most thought. His back to the basket moves, mobility, and aggressiveness have been extremely impressive. Almost averaging a double-double, Towns has a 21.13 player efficiency rating, while getting almost 2 blocks per game. While Porzingis isn’t far behind, I think he’d need to...
Top 5 Players Under 25

Top 5 Players Under 25

  By @OMaroney In this ranking, I based my criteria off the value that player has to his respective franchise. When you take this player off the team they are currently playing for, what is that team left with? 1. Kawhi Leonard Not only is Kawhi Leonard a great basketball player, he’s an even better example of what to be off the court. Following in the footsteps of Tim Duncan, he stays calm, humble, and has one of the best all-around games in the NBA. This is clearly his team and while he might not always look the part of a leader, he’s one who leads by example. He is averaging close to 22 points, two steals, and one block per game, while holding some of the NBA’s best scorers to under 25% shooting. The reigning defensive player of the year provides some of the best perimeter defense I’ve ever seen. In an age where we continue to see the backcourts “rule the roost”, perimeter defense has never been more vital. It’s clear the 24 year old has turned some heads, as he has progressively gotten better each and every year. But what has stunned me the most is his ability to score. Coming into the league, Kawhi was known as a defender and rebounder, but his shot was always criticized. Year over year, he’s improved in shooting and offensive efficiency, whilst taking more shots. This season, he’s averaging 52% field goal percentage while having a 56% eFG. His diverse all around skill set and his cool collected mentality, may lead him to MVP conversation this season. I think this year...
Making it Rain in Portland

Making it Rain in Portland

By Oliver Maroney. The Splash Brothers that No One is Talking about, The Rain-Brothers. We all know about the Golden State Warriors and their young dynamic duo in Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. They led the league in three pointers going first and second respectively a few seasons ago, which is why they received the nickname, Splash Brothers. But I believe we have a new floor wetting duo emerging, a duo that almost no one foresaw. Hello, C.J. McCollum and Damian Lillard. McCollum headed into season number three, Lillard headed into season number four, and coincidentally both coming out of mid-major schools are going to become household names during this NBA season. They’ve both been fasttracked to NBA stardom as their team underwent a significant overhaul this off-season. They’ll look to become the next “Splash Brothers” this season. The story for Lillard most already know, a two-time all-star, he’s regarded as one of the NBA’s best point-guards. After a $125 million-dollar deal, the Weber State standout is looking to achieve even more. The striking and charismatic guard averaged the most points per game in pre-season, even ahead of Curry, he’s looking to ride that same wave this regular season as well. Starting back-courts shots per game:McCollum/Lillard – 42.5Beal/Wall – 31.5DeRozan/Lowry – 30Klay/Curry – 29.5Harden/Lawson – 28.5 — Josh Eberley (@JoshEberley) October 31, 2015 With his shooting partner, McCollum, the pair have contributed 41.5 shot attempts per game in their first two contests. By comparison Thompson and Curry have only taken a combined 29.5 shots per game through their first two contests. They even made SI’s 70 reasons to watch the...