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NBA Player Awards Watch: Week 4

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James Harden is cooking!

NBA: Houston Rockets at New York Knicks Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

MVP

James Harden

Another season, another award run for James Harden. With a historic performance against the Utah Jazz where Harden scored 56 points on 76% shooting (which also included shooting 7/8 from three), Harden has put a major stamp on this season.

Nobody expected Harden to get better than his MVP run last year, but that’s exactly what he’s done. With career highs in points and three point percentage, Harden has led the Houston Rockets to the best record in the West, and all this with Chris Paul on the bench.

Kristaps Porzingis

With the worst owner in the NBA, questionable management, bad contracts and a rookie point guard, the New York Knicks are back baby! And it’s all because of the Unicorn, Kristaps Porzingis. KrisDABS is tearing up the Eastern Conference scoring 30 points a game and carrying the knicks on his back as he catches lobs right and left. The Knicks have a bonafide superstar and look out when they have some cap space to sign players to play with Porzingod. It’s going to be scary!

Rookie of the Year

Ben Simmons

Ben Simmons continues to be incredible this year. I might start putting this one in ink because it’s hard to see any rookie overtaking him. Simmons continues his incredible stats with a 17.4 point/9.0 rebound/7.8 assist line. The best of all is the Sixers are 6-6 and very relevant in the East once again.

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Golden State Warriors Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Jayson Tatum

Jayson Tatum has been a serious contributor to the Boston Celtics and their #1 seed in the East. Tatum is an effortless scoring wing that makes it look easy. For example, his corner three point shooting is an insane 70%, which leads the league! If he keeps this up and the Celtics are making a serious run, he has a chance at that ROY over Simmons.

Defensive Player of the Year

Rudy Gobert

Sadly, this may be the last time this year that the Stifle Tower is atop the DPOY rankings. With Dion Waiters’ dirty play, Rudy will be out for 4-6 weeks. And at his return, the Jazz record could be pretty abysmal. It may also be difficult for Rudy to come back and play at the same level Jazz fans are accustomed to while recovering. But up to this point, the Stifle Tower has been dominant in in the paint keeping all would be dunkers at bay.

Marcus Smart

Marcus Smart has been an electric defender for the Celtics being a major part of their best defense in the league. Smart combines incredible defensive instincts with a high I.Q., insane effort and athleticism. It’s the reason he changes the game when he gets on the court even though he doesn’t have the greatest percentages on offense.