On Thursday, the NBA today announced the finalists for six awards that honor top performers for the 2020-21 regular season: NBA Coach of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Most Improved Player, NBA Most Valuable Player, NBA Rookie of the Year, and NBA Sixth Man.
The three finalists for each annual award are based on voting results from a global panel of sportswriters and broadcasters.
TNT will announce the winner of each award during its coverage of the 2021 NBA Playoffs.
Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid, and Steph Curry are the three finalists for MVP. Jokic, who played all 72 regular-season games for the Nuggets, is the favorite. He had 16 triple-doubles this season and averaged 26.4 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 8.3 assists per game. Embiid, who averaged 28.5 points and 10.6 rebounds per game, led the 76ers to the best record in the NBA. However, he’s missed 21 games, and while Curry ranked first in the NBA in scoring (32.0 ppg) and 3-pointers made (337), fifth in free throw percentage (.916 FT%), the Warriors are still fighting to make the playoffs.
Jokic will probably walk home with the award.
Below are the finalists for the five other awards in the NBA:
Coach of the Year
Quin Snyder, Utah Jazz Tom Thibodeau, New York Knicks Monty Williams, Phoenix Suns
Defensive Player of the Year
Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers
Jordan Clarkson, Utah Jazz Joe Ingles, Utah Jazz Derrick Rose, New York Knicks
Most Improved Player
Jerami Grant, Detroit Pistons Michael Porter Jr., Denver Nuggets Julius Randle, New York Knicks
Rookie of the Year
LaMelo Ball, Charlotte Hornets Anthony Edwards, Minnesota Timberwolves Tyrese Haliburton, Sacramento Kings