Midseason survey: Mavs star Luka Doncic wins two awards

The NBA has released its traditional mid-season poll. Who will be the champion, who will take home the MVP trophy and who is actually the most unpleasant opponent? Here are the results.

30 journalists working in the league’s 30 different markets (two each from New York and Los Angeles) were interviewed

Who are the top five teams in the NBA right now?

place team 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th In total
1 Boston Celtics 250 27 16 293
2 Milwaukee Bucks 10 117 28 18 15 231
3 Denver Nuggets 36 112 49 18 224
4 Brooklyn Nets 40 81 32 28 18 218
5 Memphis Grizzlies 9 24 63 48 186

First place was worth 10 points, and tenth place was down by one point. The New Orleans Pelicans (148 points), Cleveland Cavaliers (131), and the Philadelphia 76ers (117) also made the top five.

Who will win the Eastern Conference?

place team percent
1 Boston Celtics 57 percent
2 Milwaukee Bucks 33 percent
3 Brooklyn Nets 10 percent

No other team from the East otherwise received a vote.

Who Will Win the Western Conference?

place team percent
1 LA Clippers 34 percent
2 Denver Nuggets 30 percent
3 Memphis Grizzlies 23 percent

That’s a bit of a surprise, after all, the Clippers are sixth in the west with an almost even record of 22-21. However: With a few exceptions, Coach Ty Lue never had the full squad available. The Golden State Warriors (10 percent) and the Dallas Mavericks (3 percent) were also mentioned.

Who will win the NBA Finals?

place team percent
1 Boston Celtics 57 percent
2 Milwaukee Bucks 30 percent
3 Brooklyn Nets 10 percent
4 LA Clippers 3 percent

The East is the better conference this year, and the experts agree. Only the Clippers are considered outsider chances for the title. The reigning champions from Golden State, on the other hand, were not named at all.

Who had the best offseason?

place team percent
1 Cleveland Cavaliers 67 percent
2 Utah Jazz 10 percent
3 Boston Celtics 7 percent
3 Denver Nuggets 7 percent

Curious: At the top there are two teams that traded with each other. The Cavs brought in Utah’s Donovan Mitchell, while the Jazz received Lauri Markkanen, among others, and also traded Rudy Gobert for five first-round picks. Brooklyn, Sacramento and Philadelphia also received votes.

Which rookie has the biggest steal?

place player (team) peck percent
1 Andrew Nembhard (Pacers) 31 30 percent
2 Walker Kessler (jazz) 22 23 percent
3 Bennedict Mathurin (Pacers) 6 17 percent

That was a good draft for the Pacers, who found two rotation players in Nembhard and Mathurin. Tari Eason, Jalen Duren, AJ Griffin, Jaden Hardy, Christian Koloko and Shaedon Sharpe also received votes.

Who will be MVP?

place player (team) percent
1 Luka Doncic (Mavs) 43 percent
2 Nikola Jokic (Nuggets) 40 percent
3 Jayson Tatum (Celtics) 7 percent
3 Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks) 7 percent
5 Kevin Durant (Nets) 3 percent

Head-to-head race at the top. The Mavericks’ recently improving form has catapulted Doncic into pole position and could thus prevent Jokic’s threepeat. Jayson Tatum is the best player on the best team in the league.

Who will be Rookie of the Year?

place player (team) percent
1 Paolo Banchero (Magic) 97 percent
2 Bennedict Mathurin (Pacers) 3 percent

That’s a clear thing. Paolo Banchero appears to be the only rookie with all-star potential, and the Magic forward is also having by far the best season of any rookie.

Who will win the Sixth Man of the Year award?

place player (team) percent
1 Jordan Poole (Warriors) 33 percent
2 Malcolm Brogdon (Celtics) 23 percent
3 Bennedict Mathurin (Pacers) 13 percent
3 Christian Wood (Mavericks) 13 percent

Let’s face it, THE bench player doesn’t exist this season. Jordan Poole started in the absence of Stephen Curry but is now likely to return to the bench. His form is improving after a poor start to the season. Russell Westbrook (Lakers), Malik Monk (Kings), Norman Powell (Clippers) and Bobby Portis (Bucks) also received votes.

Who will win Defensive Player of the Year?

place player (team) percent
1 Brook Lopez (Bucks) 37 percent
2 Jaren Jackson Jr. (Grizzlies) 27 percent
3 Jarrett Allen (Cavs) 10 percent

Lopez was the clear favorite for the first few weeks, but the Bucks’ defense faltered and JJJ made a strong comeback from injury. The Grizzlies Big is a block machine, making Memphis the best defensive team in the league. Other votes went to OG Anunoby (Raptors), Joel Embiid (Sixers), Bam Adebayo (Heat), Dillon Brooks (Grizzlies) and Draymond Green (Warriors).

Who will win Most Improved Player?

place player (team) percent
1 Lauri Markkanen (jazz) 53 percent
2 Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Thunder) 33 percent
3 Tyrese Haliburton (Pacers) 7 percent
3 Anfernee Simons (Blazers) 7 percent

Markkanen leads surprisingly clearly in this category, SGA and Haliburton will certainly have a serious say in the end.

Who will win the new award Clutch Player of the Year?

place player (team) percent
1 Luka Doncic (Mavs) 47 percent
2 De’Aaron Fox (Kings) 13 percent
3 Kevin Durant (Nets) 10 percent

This award will be reintroduced at the end of the season. Luka Doncic has the edge here too – hardly surprising. But, under the radar, Fox is one of the best late-season players this year.

Who are the best players in their positions this season?

place PG SG SF PF C
1 Luka Doncic Donovan Mitchell Jayson Tatum Giannis Antetokounmpo Nikola Jokić
2 Stephen Curry Devin Booker Kevin Durant Zion Williamson Joel Embid
3 Yes Morant Jaylen Brown LeBronJames
4 Tyrese Haliburton Lauri Markkanen

Not only did Doncic have the honor of replacing the chef as the league’s top point guard, he also received votes for top small forward. The Mavs star even won the race among the point guards with 80 percent of the votes. Only in the centers (Jokic, 86 percent) was the result clearer.

Which player is most underrated?

place player (team) percent
1 Tyrese Haliburton (Pacers) 13 percent
2 Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Thunder) 10 percent
3 Brook Lopez (Bucks) 7 percent
3 Domantas Sabonis (Pacers) 7 percent

There were numerous other nominations in this category, funnily enough, LeBron James also received a vote.

Who is the hardest to defend?

place player (team) percent
1 Kevin Durant (Nets) 38 percent
2 Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks) 23 percent
3 Luka Doncic (Mavs) 20 percent

That’s not a big surprise, a seven footer with a guard’s skillset is almost impossible to defend. Durant is the master of heavy throws, on some days there is simply no remedy against the now 34-year-old.

Which player needs the most precautions?

place player (team) percent
1 Stephen CurryWarriors 24 percent
2 Luka Doncic (Mavs) 21 percent
3 Nikola Jokic (Nuggets) 17 percent
3 Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks) 17 percent

Curry has been at the forefront of this category for years, his game is too special with the mixture of the NBA’s best shot and his great play off the ball.

Who is the most unpleasant opponent?

place player (team) percent
1 Jose Alvarado (Pelicans) 31 percent
2 Marcus Smart (Celtics) 24 percent
3 Jrue Holiday (Bucks) 10 percent

Grand Theft Alvarado is now well-known – and yet the Pelicans guard always manages to use his tricks to get steals in the backcourt. There is no rest with Alvarado, who can defend skin-tight at the same time and always does so over 82 games.

Which team has the best home field advantage?

place team percent
1 Golden State Warriors 37 percent
2 Boston Celtics 27 percent
3 Denver Nuggets 17 percent

The Chase Center may not yet be surrounded by the myth of the old Oracle Arena, but the Warriors audience remains feared. Sacramento, Memphis, New Orleans and Philadelphia were also mentioned.

Which team has the best young core?

place team percent
1 Memphis Grizzlies 43 percent
2 Orlando Magic 20 percent
3 New Orleans Pelicans 17 percent

Yes Morant, Desmond Bane, Jaren Jackson Jr., plus other young role players. The Grizzlies already belong to the inner circle of the Contenders. It is only logical that they are number one here.


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