NBA Awards: One Big Dallas Mavericks Miss
The Dallas Mavericks had a few players that could have been considered for a handful of different awards from this past season. Although Dirk Nowitzki came home with some hardware, the Mavs that were overlooked are a little surprising.
It is not surprising or shocking news to anyone at this point, but the Dallas Mavericks did not have a great NBA season. Finishing near the bottom of the Western Conference with the first losing season since the turn of the century, Dallas had a very disappointing year.
Despite the disappointment, however, Dallas had some positive moments of the season. Every day it seemed that Harrison Barnes made his case for the Mavs front office being smart enough to let Chandler Parsons walk. Seth Curry got better as the season went on and the Mavs found some gems in undrafted free agency.
Of those gems, Dallas wound up with a guy by the name of Yogi Ferrell. Yogi came in on a 10-day contract and ended the season on a 2-year deal. His play was so impressive that he ended up making the NBA All-Rookie 2nd Team, despite only playing in 46 games, 36 of them with Dallas. The Mavs also ended up with a trade deadline steal getting Nerlens Noel from Philly.
These are all great moves and pieces to the puzzle that will be the Mavericks going forward. The inclusion of Ferrell on the NBA All-Rookie team was big for a guy that didn’t play a complete season, but many believed he deserved to finish even higher in the voting. However, that is not the big miss that I am talking about here.
The biggest disappointment actually comes in the NBA Most Improved Player Award, taken home by Milwaukee Bucks star forward, Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Greek Freak was a deserving winner of the award after making a huge jump in play from last year to this one. This is not a surprise.
The runner-up to the reward was Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets. Anyone who watched this kid knows that him even at runner-up seems like a disservice to his incredible play. Third was Utah Jazz center, Rudy Gobert. The Stifle Tower had a great season as well, becoming the anchor of possibly the best defensive team in the league last year, as well as expanding his offensive game a little bit.
More from The Smoking Cuban
- Dallas Mavericks: Tyrell Terry injures groin in summer league loss to Jazz
- Mavericks: How to maximize Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis pairing
- Dallas Mavericks: Did they do enough this offseason to jump into title contention?
- Mavericks: What to watch for as Dallas faces Utah Jazz in summer league
- Dallas Mavericks rumors: Bulls want first round pick for Lauri Markkanen
Obviously these two players had their case for the award and could easily be picked where they were in the results. However, it is no secret that Harrison Barnes was, at one point, considered a contender for this award. In fact, us MFFLs thought for sure his name would be somewhere near the top.
For those who are unfamiliar with how the voting works for these awards, there is a point system to calculate the total. Each first place vote a player receives is worth 5 points, each second place vote is worth 3 points, and each third place vote is worth 1 point. Giannis ended with 428 points, while Jokic had 161 and Gobert got 113.
Harrison Barnes ended the vote with 2 points.
This seems crazy to me, but Barnes ended the results tied for 16th overall, along with fellow teammate, Seth Curry. The results were as follows: Giannis (428), Jokic (161), Gobert (113), Otto Porter Jr. (43), Isaiah Thomas (35), James Johnson (34), Bradley Beal (19), Devin Booker (18), Tim Hardaway Jr. (14), Mike Conley (5), Dion Waiters (4), Kristaps Porzingis (3), Dennis Schroder (3), Jusuf Nurkic (3), and Gordon Hayward (3). How does this happen?
Clearly there is a link between the success of the team and the voting, as with most awards. It is hard to believe that Booker could be that low after his season, but the lack of success for Phoenix brought him way down.
On the other hand, Mike Conley and Dion Waiters don’t seem like great options as improved players, but both of their teams excelled this year, bringing them forward a little bit. All this kept Barnes, not from winning the award, but just being relevant in the results.
Next: Dirk Nowitzki: 2017 NBA Teammate of the Year
The NBA is always going to have unique results when it comes to their rewards, but it is hard to believe that Harrison Barnes did not end up higher in the Most Improved Player result. Maybe next year will be his year.