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Old 02-17-07, 04:42 AM
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2007 All-star Break Awards

All-star Break Awards - Saturday February 17, 2007 12:09 am

(Sports Network) - It's hard to believe, but the NBA's All-Star break is here. This season has been filled with plenty of rim-rattling dunks and exciting finishes.

The trade deadline is near, and soon the playoffs will be here. When the postseason arrives, the NBA will hand out hardware to the players who are deserving of individual honors.

Here is a look at the front-runners for the season-ending awards that will be given out during the postseason.

MVP: DIRK NOWITZKI (Dallas Mavericks)

Nowitzki is playing like a man on a mission for the Mavericks, who are an NBA- best 44-9. A six-time All-Star, Nowitzki leads the Mavericks in scoring (25.3 ppg) and rebounding (9.4 rpg).

The Mavericks are a deep and talented team. But, Nowitzki has managed to do the things on the court that makes all of his teammates better. He is shooting over 50 percent from the floor, including an amazing 42.5 percent from beyond the arc. Nowitzki has been the catalyst for the defending Western Conference champions outstanding play. Right now, he deserves to unseat his good friend Steve Nash, who has won the award the last two seasons,

HONORABLE MENTION: Gilbert Arenas (Washington Wizards), Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers), LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers), Tracy McGrady (Houston Rockets), Steve Nash (Phoenix Suns).

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: BRANDON ROY (PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS)

The rookie class of 2006 has not had a very strong showing. Portland's Roy has been solid and has shown that he could be a future All-Star. He has posted 15.4 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 34 games for the young Trail Blazers.

Roy can play both guard positions and has a chance to develop into a deadly outside shooter. He is shooting just over 43 percent from the field, including 30.9 percent from three-point range. The 6-6 Roy is one of the pieces to the puzzle in Portland and his future is extremely bright.

HONORABLE MENTION: Andrea Bargnani (Toronto Raptors), Rudy Gay (Memphis Grizzlies), Adam Morrison (Charlotte Bobcats).

COACH OF THE YEAR: JERRY SLOAN (UTAH JAZZ)

Sloan has put it all together once again in Utah. The Jazz, who have missed the playoffs three straight years, are in first place in the Northwest Division, and own a comfortable 8 1/2 game lead over the second place Denver Nuggets.

The Jazz have talent, but Sloan has put together a system that has helped it mesh. Point guard Deron Williams is shining in his second year, while Carlos Boozer and Mehmet Okur have developed into All-Star under Sloan's tutelage.

HONORBALE MENTION: Avery Johnson (Dallas Mavericks), Eddie Jordan (Washington Wizards), Sam Mitchell (Toronto Raptors), Jeff Van Gundy (Houston Rockets).

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: MARCUS CAMBY (DENVER NUGGETS)

The Nuggets are not a defensive team, but Camby is the reason that they do make some big stops. The 6-11 veteran is averaging an impressive 3.0 blocks per game, which leads the league, in 42 contests.

Camby is averaging 11.9 points and a team-best 11.9 rebounds per game. He has defended the middle and the paint in a big way for Denver. The Massachusetts product uses his long arms and athletic ability to defend some of the NBA's best. He is the catalyst for Denver's transition game and his defense leads to a lot of easy baskets for the Nuggets.

HONORABLE MENTION: Tayshaun Prince (Detroit Pistons), Jermaine O'Neal (Indiana Pacers) Josh Smith (Atlanta Hawks), and Ben Wallace (Chicago Bulls).

MOST IMPROVED PLAYER: KEVIN MARTIN (SACRAMENTO KINGS)

The 24-year-old Martin has shined for Sacramento this season. He has been one of the bright spots for the Kings, who are in danger of having their eight- year playoff run halted.

Martin, who is playing in his third year, leads the Kings in scoring (21.0 ppg). He has pulled down 4.3 rebounds, handed out 2.1 assists and has drained 49.4 percent of his field-goal attempts, including 42.0 percent from three- point land. The 6-7 Martin has raised his game to the next level and is definitely a big part of the Sacramento franchise.

HONORABLE MENTION: Andre Iguodala (Philadelphia 76ers), Hakim Warrick (Memphis Grizzlies), and Deron Williams (Utah Jazz).

SIXTH MAN OF THE YEAR: LEANDRO BARBOSA (PHOENIX SUNS)

Barbosa could start on most teams in the NBA. He has averaged 16.8 points and 4.1 assists per game for the free-wheeling Phoenix Suns. The 6-3 Barbosa spells the reigning MVP Nash and also plays next to him. Head coach Mike D'Antoni is lucky to have the luxury of a player like Barbosa, who can play both guard spots and fits in perfectly in his system.

When Barbosa, who is shooting over 40 percent from beyond the arc, steps on the court for Nash, the Suns don't skip a beat. He pushes the ball up the court with tremendous speed and has the uncanny ability to get to the hoop and find his open teammate with a pass.

HONORABLE MENTION: Manu Ginobili (San Antonio Spurs), Jerry Stackhouse (Dallas Mavericks).

EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR: BRYAN COLANGELO (TORONTO RAPTORS)

Toronto's team president and general manager, Colangelo was brought in to change the environment and make the Raptors a winner. Colangelo, who was hired by the Raptors on February 28, 2006, was general manager of Phoenix for 11 years, and team president for seven before taking over in Toronto. He helped build the Suns into a contender and one of the most exciting teams in the league with smart personnel moves.

During last offseason, Colangelo added Bargnani, who was the first overall pick in the 2006 draft, and lightning quick point guard T.J. Ford, who was acquired from the Milwaukee Bucks in a trade for Charlie Villanueva. The Raptors are a surprising 29-24 and own a 4 1/2 games lead over the second place New Jersey Nets in the Atlantic Division.

HONORABLE MENTION: Joe Dumars (Detroit Pistons) and Ernie Grunfeld (Washington Wizards).

http://www.wjla.com/news/stories/0207/398198.html
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Old 02-17-07, 10:40 AM
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IMO..I think if Prince can get honorable mention in this article, Bowen can too. I might be a little bias, but I personally dont really think Prince has that good of D.
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Old 02-17-07, 10:49 AM
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Like every year, has Manu started too many games this season? I wish if Pop was going to bench him every year he would just go ahead and do it from the start of the season so that Manu could win the 6th Man of the Year Award. On the other hand I remember Manu saying that he didn't want to be called a 6th man so I don't think it'd matter.
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Old 02-17-07, 12:26 PM
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There is absolutely no respect for Timmy. He didn't get mentioned for anything.
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Old 02-17-07, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joshtd1 View Post
IMO..I think if Prince can get honorable mention in this article, Bowen can too. I might be a little bias, but I personally dont really think Prince has that good of D.
Prince is a great defender.
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Old 02-17-07, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carnac The Magnificent View Post
Prince is a great defender.
Well I dont watch enough of him, but every time I see him on TV, there is nothing I see that makes him a "great" defender.
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