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Ever since LeBron, Wade and Bosh joined forces in Miami, the progression has been toward superstars teaming up together, a trend reflected in this year's All-NBA selections where four of the five first teamers have teammates on the second or third team.
The awards and accolades for the 2011-12 NBA season continue to roll out. Art Garcia, Director of Athletic Communications at UT Arlington, reports that the full selections for the All-NBA teams have been decided.
The All-NBA First Team consists of Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul and Dwight Howard. Second Team for 2012 is Kevin Love, Blake Griffin, Andrew Bynum, and Russell Westbrook. The third team is Dirk Nowitzki, Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler, Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo.
The only difference between the First Team between last season and this season is the swapping out of Derrick Rose for Chris Paul. Rose had an injury-plagued season to follow up his MVP year in 2010-11. This is the second time Paul has made First Team, with his first appearance following the 2007-8 season.
James led all players with 118 First Team votes and 596 total points. Durant was second, with 117 First Team votes and 591 points. Bryant received 104 First Team votes and 568 points, Howard received 75 First Team votes and 476 points, while Paul received 74 First Team votes and 484 points.
Parker received the most First Team votes among all other players, with 41, while Bynum received the highest points total among all other players, with 400.
The 2012 NBA All-Defensive Teams were announced, and Miami Heat star LeBron James is the leading vote-getter for the squads. James picked up 24 first-team votes and five-second team votes to earn the most points. The rest of the first team includes Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka, Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard, Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul and Memphis Grizzlies guard Tony Allen.
Curiously, New York Knicks center Tyson Chandler, who won the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year, did not make the first team. There's a different voting body for the two honors -- the media votes on the Defensive Player of the Year, while NBA coaches vote on the All-Defense teams -- but it's odd to see there be this big of a difference. Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo, Luol Deng and Kobe Bryant joined Chandler on the second team.
Larry Bird won the 2011-12 NBA Executive of the Year Award as president of basketball operations for the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday, the team reports. The Pacers finished third in the Eastern Conference with a 42-24 record during this past regular season, and are currently tied 1-1 in their second round NBA Playoff series against the Miami Heat.
BREAKING NEWS: Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird is the recipient of the 2011-12 NBA Executive of the Year award.— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) May 16, 2012
Bird has been in charge of the Pacers' player personnel and coaching moves since 2003, and has overseen a marked improvement in the team recently. One year ago, the Pacers went just 37-45 during the regular season and were knocked out of the first round of the playoffs by the Chicago Bulls as an 8-seed. One year prior to that, they didn't even make the postseason.
The Pacers have been one of the league's best defensive teams all year. They ranked fourth in the NBA with 43.9 rebounds per game, and 10th allowing 94.4 points.
To the surprise of nobody, Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving was officially named the 2012 NBA Rookie of the Year on Tuesday. The No. 1 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft received 117 of 120 first-place votes to win the award in a landslide.
In a press conference announcing the win, Irving said that the award is not only for him, but also "for the city of Cleveland."
Irving failed to become the fifth rookie to win unanimously, but still easily took home the crown. San Antonio's Kawhi Leonard, New York's Iman Shumpert and Denver's Kenneth Faried picked up the other three first-place votes. Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio finished second despite not earning any first-place votes. Faried, Leonard and Shumpert finished third, fourth and fifth overall.
Irving averaged 18.5 points and 5.4 assists per game and emerged as a top option in crunch time in just his rookie season, so he is a deserving winner.
Now ESPN.com's Mark Stein reports the seemingly-inevitable, citing a league source who says Iriving, the Cavs point guard and No. 1 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, will be named Rookie of the Year on Monday.
Irving had the best statistical season of any NBA rookie and seemed to lock up the award when the aforementioned Rubio -- his closest competition -- went down for the season with an ACL injury.
Irving finished his first NBA season averaging 18.5 points, 5.4 assists and 3.7 rebounds. Just as important as those raw numbers, he shot 46.9 percent from the field and 39.9 percent from three.
Our Cavs blog, Fear the Sword, could only offer ... a bunch of sarcasm:
In a stunning, shocking turn of events, Kyrie Irving will be named the NBA's Rookie of the Year on Monday, according to ESPN. I know you guys are as stunned as I am. Kyrie Irving was a total beast all season and emerged as the Cavaliers' best player pretty early in the season.
The Heat's LeBron James was officially announced as the winner of the 2012 NBA Most Valuable Player award on Saturday afternoon. Reports leaked out on Friday that James would be named MVP for the third time in his career and the league made it official one day later. He was presented with the trophy at a press conference in Miami.
At the press conference, James was emotional, stating that he hadn't been that nervous in a long time as he took the podium with butterflies in his stomach. He brought his teammates up on the stage to thank them and referred to the MVP as a team award for the Heat. James was also reflective on his past, and where he's come from to get to where he is today:
Where I come from -- Akron, Ohio -- they automatically think you're going to be a statistic...You're either going to fall in the streets or end up in prison, there's no way you're going to make it and be successful.
This is my ninth year in the NBA. Less than 10 years ago, I had dreams of being in the NBA. I dreamed of putting on an NBA uniform. I never dreamed about being the Most Valuable Player...It's something I never thought would happen.
James joins an elite group of players who have won three MVP awards. He is only the eighth player in NBA history to win it at least three times. The other seven on the list all have NBA titles on their resumes -- something LeBron is still gunning for in this 2012 Playoffs. LeBron addressed the outstanding goals for this season and the chase for his first title:
Heat nation, we have a bigger goal. I want you to know that. This is very overwhelming to me as an individual award. This is not the award I want. I want that championship and that's all that matters to me.
Here's the full list of three-time winners:
6 - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
5 - Michael Jordan
5 - Bill Russell
4 - Wilt Chamberlain
3 - Larry Bird
3 - Magic Johnson
3 - Moses Malone
3 - LeBron James
James was a heavy favorite and won a convincing share of the first place votes for the award. He received 85 votes with the Thunder's Kevin Durant coming in second with 24 votes. Chris Paul (6), Tony Parker (4), and Kobe Bryant (2) were the other players to receive first place votes.
The 2012 NBA Playoffs are still rolling along, but the regular season awards continue to trickle out. One player in the hunt for a championship is about to receive the top prize in the league, according to a report.
This would be the third MVP award for James, who also took home the trophy in 2009 and 2010. His string of MVP awards was broken only by Chicago's Derrick Rose last year, who was plagued by injuries throughout the lockout-shortened 2011-12 NBA season, including a knee injury that knocked him out of the postseason after just one game.
While James' Miami Heat team is still dominating early in the playoffs, his team and his fans would certainly not argue about his impact on the league during the regular season. James averaged 27.1 points per game, 7.9 rebounds per game and 6.2 assists per game.
Oklahoma City's James Harden was officially announced as the winner of the NBA's Sixth Man Of The Year award. As expected, Harden won the award convincingly, receiving 115 of 119 first-place votes.
The Thunder guard led the league in bench scoring with 16.8 points per game, making 62 appearances for OKC and coming on a reserve in all but two. As he accepted the award, Harden talked about his development coming off the bench for Scott Brooks. Via Daily Thunder's Royce Young:
And Scotty did a great job of making me become that sixth man off [the] bench. Helping me figure my role out. At first as a rookie, I didn't get it. I just thought I was going to go in there and score and do all the things that every other players thought. But learning, three years it took me to embrace that role.
The Oklahoma City Thunder has scheduled a news conference for Thursday afternoon, during which time James Harden is expected to be formally introduced as the NBA's 2011-12 Sixth Man of the Year, The Oklahoman has learned.
The official announcement by the NBA is expected later on Thursday, but Harden led all bench players in the NBA in scoring with 16.8 points per game, which is also a career high for Harden. Harden also averaged just over 30 minutes per game with 4.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game. Last season Harden finished seventh in voting for the award, but was a big part of the Thunder's second place record in the Western Conference this season.
Harden is the first player in Thunder/Sonics history to win the award.
Orlando Magic forward Ryan Anderson is the 2012 Most Improved Player, the NBA announced in a press release on Friday. Anderson wins the award after upping his scoring average from 10.1 points per game to 16.1 points per game while hitting more three-pointers than anyone in the league. He emerged as a top player for the Magic after spending several years as a bench guy.
Anderson won the award with 260 vote points, beating out Ersan Ilyasova of the Milwaukee Bucks, who had 159. Nikola Pekovic of the Minnesota Timberwolves finished third and Greg Monroe of the Detroit Pistons and Andrew Bynum of the Los Angeles Lakers tied for fourth.
Our NBA bloggers got together to choose their picks for the various league awards. There was little consensus and possibly some blackmail. But in the end, there was no question about the major prizes.
Orlando Magic power forward Ryan Anderson will be named the NBA's 2012 Most Improved Player award winner, reports Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel. Anderson led the NBA in both three-pointers attempted and made and was one of the league's best offensive rebounders and most efficient scorers.
He increased his per-game scoring from 10.6 to 16.1 points, but that was actually due to a big increase in playing time, as Anderson became the starting power forward when Brandon Bass was traded to the Boston Celtics. Anderson earned an extra 10 minutes per game this season; the only area in which he improved on a per-minute basis over last season is in offensive rebounding. Otherwise, he was almost exactly the same player as in 2010-11 -- which is to say, a very good player -- but just with more of an on-court presence.
For more on the Magic, visit Orlando Pinstriped Post.
As is custom, the NBA presented San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich with his NBA Coach of the Year Award trophy during the San Antonio Spurs' blowout win over the Utah Jazz in Game 2 of their 2012 NBA playoffs first-round series. Normally, this is a time for the award-winner to be happy, thank his players and/or fans, throw in some self-deprecating humor and rile the crowd up.
These kinds of things don't appear to be Popovich's cup of tea. Even with star Tim Duncan and former star David Robinson up there with him, Popovich looked like he was about to get a root canal.
Don't ever change, Pop.
For all news and information regarding the San Antonio Spurs, please visit Pounding the Rock. For updates and perspective on the Utah Jazz, head on over to SLC Dunk. For complete coverage of the 2012 NBA playoffs, stay tuned to SB Nation's dedicated NBA hub.
To say that the New York Knicks have had a roller-coaster season would be a severe understatement. This season has seen the rise of Linsanity, the departure of Mike D'Antoni and -- even though the Knicks are only down 2-0 in their playoff series against the Miami Heat -- the recent bizarre injury to Amar'e Stoudemire which could be the most unfortunate ending ever to a Knicks season.
Still, the Knicks and their fans will have at least one more happy memory to take with them this season. Early reports indicated that center Tyson Chandler would be winning one of the top awards in the league this week. Now it appears that it will become official.
According to Howard Beck of the New York Times, the Knicks have announced a press conference at 3 p.m. ET on Wednesday to officially announce Chandler as the 2012 NBA Defensive Player of the Year.
In his first season with the Knicks in 2011-12, Chandler averaged 9.9 rebounds, 1.4 blocks and 0.9 steals per game.
For more announcements of the end-of-the-season award winners, please keep checking this StoryStream. For more on Tyson Chandler and the New York Knicks, head on over to Posting and Toasting. For complete coverage of all things pro hoops, stay tuned to SB Nation's dedicated NBA hub.
Tyson Chandler will be named the NBA Defensive Player of the Year on Wednesday, according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports. A year after winning an NBA title with the Dallas Mavericks, Chandler got a large raise to go play for the New York Knicks, and he's anchored their defense in 2011-12.
Knicks center Tyson Chandler to be named NBA Defensive Player of the Year tomorrow at team practice facility, source tells @YahooSports.— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) May 2, 2012
Chandler finished the regular season averaging 9.9 rebounds, 1.4 blocks and 0.9 steals per game, all up from last season when he was named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team. Last season the Knicks were 28th in scoring defense, but with the addition of Chandler to their frontcourt, they've jumped all the way up to 11th in the league in that category this season.
It's now official: San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is your 2012 NBA Coach of the Year. Popovich won the award for the second time in his career and first since the 2002-03 season, the league announced on Tuesday. Popovich beat out Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau to take home the honor.
Popovich wins the award after guiding the Spurs to a 50-16 record and the West's No. 1 seed for the second straight year. Prior to the season, many counted the Spurs out, worried that their core was getting old. Instead, Tony Parker had his best year, Tim Duncan had another strong season and Popovich's bench developed better than anyone expected.
Thibodeau loses the award despite guiding the Bulls to a 50-16 record without star Derrick Rose for 27 games. Indiana Pacers coach Frank Vogel finished third, Memphis Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins was fourth and Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers was fifth in the voting.
For more on the Spurs, visit Pounding the Rock.
San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is expected to be named the NBA's Coach of the Year, according to a report. Popovich beats out Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau for the honor.
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