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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

The NBA and its awards

Por MRod

James Harden, at 28 years old and after nine years in the NBA, has been chosen the MVP of the season. The Houston Rockets star has won the coveted prize for the first time in his career by beating the other two finalists LeBron James and Anthony Davis and becomes the third player in the history of the Rockets to win the award, after Moses Malone and Hakeem Olajuwon.

Harden was the top scorer of the championship with an average of 30.4 points and led his team, the best in the regular season and with the best record in the history of the Tejano franchise with 65 wins. The Rockets were about to beat Golden State in the Western Conference finals. They came to dominate 3-2, but the Warriors came back in the last two games of the series that Chris Paul could not play because of the injury he suffered in the fifth. Harden overtook LeBron James, who was aiming for the fifth MVP trophy of his career season.

The Cavaliers star averaged 27.5 points, 9.1 assists and 8.6 rebounds in the regular season, in which for the first time in his career he played all 82 games. In addition, he was with his team in the final for the eighth consecutive time. Anthony Davis aimed also for the prize, averaging 30.2 points, 11.9 rebounds and 3.2 blocks since his teammate in New Orleans, DeMarcus Cousins, was injured on January 28. "Thanks to everyone who helped me get this award, especially to all teammates and an organization that always helped me, as my family did, especially my mother," said Harden, after receiving the award from the commissioner of the NBA, Adam Silver.

One of the most paradoxical awards was that received by coach Dwane Casey. He completed an extraordinary season with the Toronto Raptors, which won the regular phase of the Western Conference with 59 wins, the best balance in the history of the franchise. However, the Raptors, after overtaking Washington in the first round of the playoffs, were eliminated in the semifinals of the Conference. Cleveland, despite having the unfavorable court factor, swept them (4-0). The Raptors, after the setback, dismissed Dwane Casey on May 11.

A month later, Detroit signed him with a contract for the next five years. The Sixers' Australian base, Ben Simmons, was awarded the best rookie of the year award, one of the most fierce competition awards, after beating Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell. Simmons received 481 points, Mitchell, 323, and Jayson Tatum, of the Celtics, 101. Other outstanding prizes were those that received the French pivot of Utah Jazz, Rudy Gobert (the best player in defense). Los Angeles Clippers guard Lou Williams was the Sixth Player of the Year award winner and another guard, Victor Oladipo of the Indiana Pacers, received the Player's Most Progress during the regular season compared to the previous one.