2017 NBA awards finalists – NBA
Finalists for the 2017 NBA awards are being announced on Friday night prior to Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals. Three finalists each will be announced for the following awards: Kia NBA Most Valuable Player, Kia NBA Rookie of the Year, Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year, Kia NBA Sixth Man Award, Kia NBA Most Improved Player and NBA Coach of the Year. Rapper/entertainer Drake will help reveal the winners of these awards when he hosts the first-ever NBA Awards show on Monday, June 26.
Here is a running list of the award finalists:
MOST IMPROVED PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Milwaukee PG/F Giannis Antetokounmpo: Became just the fifth player in NBA history to lead his team in points, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals, joining LeBron James, Kevin Garnett, Scottie Pippen and Dave Cowens. Antetokounmpo has increased his points per game, rebounds, assists, blocks, steals and field goal percentage averages in each of his four seasons.
Denver C Nikola Jokic: Saw significant increases in his scoring average, rebounding, assists and field goal percentage from last season to this season. Averaged 16.7 points, 9.8 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 57.8 percent shooting while posting six triple-doubles. He was the only player to post averages of 18-11-6 since the start of February.
Utah C Rudy Gobert: Increased scoring average from 9.1 points to 14.0 ppg and averaged a career-high 12.8 rebounds (fourth in NBA) while contesting 14.2 shots per game.
SIXTH MAN OF THE YEAR
Golden State F Andre Iguodala: Iguodala posted his highest player efficiency (14.4) in four seasons in Golden State. Iguodala averaged 7.6 points and came off the bench every game this season for the team with the best record in the NBA (67 wins).
Houston G Eric Gordon: Gordon made the fourth-most 3-pointers (246) this season with 206 made off the bench, the most in a season off the bench in the 3-point era (since 1979-80), according to ESPN Stats and Info. The guard averaged 16.3 points per game off the bench, second most in the NBA.
Houston G Lou Williams: Williams averaged an NBA-best 17.6 points per game off the bench and made 161 3-pointers off the bench this season. He averaged a career-high 17.5 points.