Blog Entry

The Baseline Awards 1.9.12

Posted on: January 9, 2012 1:11 pm
Edited on: January 9, 2012 5:06 pm

By Matt Moore

Welcome to the Baseline Awards, a weekly feature that goes over the biggest stories of the past week and hands out awards. Because awards are fun!

Eastern Conference Player of the Week: Best Overall performance by Eastern Player

Chris Bosh

Carmelo Antony is the easy choice here, but with the Knicks' struggles this week, and the Heat's overall success, Bosh gets the run. Bosh averaged 21 points and 7 rebounds over 4 games with the Heat this week, but more importantly, he was the rock for the Heat with Dwyane Wade and LeBron James missing time with injuries. Bosh has been more aggressive on both ends of the floor this season. He's allowing just .788 points per possession defensively this season and has been more aggressive in all phases of the game. It's still not a true "Big 3" but Bosh is changing his reputation this year. 

Western Conference Player of the Week: Best Overall performance by Western Player

Kobe Bryant

Welcome to the new Kobe. Bryant averaged 33.0 points per game this week with scoring totals of 37, 30, and 39 before Sunday night's 26-point performance against the Grizzlies. And yet the Grizzlies game may have been his best performance. He worked in the flow of the offense instead of breaking off in perimeter ISO. He played out of the post to get his array of moves going and created space against quality defenders, and he tallied nine assists. More than the numbers, though, he took his shots when he could create them and down the stretch, when faced with an open jumper at the top of the key versus a closing defender or reposting Andrew Bynum, he gave the big man the ball and let him draw the foul. A phenomenal performance from Bryant, outside of his game against Portland. 

Struggler of the Week: Player with worst performance qualified for expectations

Danny Granger

Granger had the worst percentage of any player over the past week, shooting just 24.5 percent from the field. He nabbed just 3.3 rebounds and dished just over one assist a game. Those are numbers you show to your kids at night to scare them into being good NBA players. Granger's clearly affected by the ankle injury he's struggled through, but right now a Pacers offense that needs him to carry his share of the load is missing him. Granger, for his part, isn't worried about it, and says it's a bunch of layups rattling halfway down and out. 

DOMINATOR AWARD: Most dominant performance

Andrew Bynum

Bynum averaged 16 rebounds per 36 minutes of play this week, and that only begins to describe his impact since returning from suspension. Bynum is unstoppable right now. It's not just the tip-ins after tip-ins, it's how he's altering shots, finishing lobs, creating space, working in the block. Bynum is Godzilla right now. Dwight Hward was still better overall (one more point in twelve fewer shots) but Bynum is unquestionably the second best center in the league right now. 

The Puzzling Enigma Award: Strangest week from player or team

Atlanta Hawks

Beat the Heat in Miami, with Wade and James playing by eight. Lose to Chicgo by two. Lose to the Heat, at home, on national television, without James or Wade, in double overtime, then have the Bobcats take you to overtime the very next night... and then on the third game of a back-to-back-to-back, beat the same Bulls team by 15. 


The Hawks are that sibling that shows up for random family functions. Sometimes they bring toys for the kids. Sometimes they drunkenly stumble into the cake table. Sometimes they're not there at all. Sometimes they're solid as a rock. There's just no way of knowing what you're going to get form them on any given night. They're winning, and yet you can't watch them consistently and believe they're going anywhere. It's perplexing. I need to lie down. 

The Horde Award: Team you should fear

Portland Trail Blazers

No one is playing better overall ball right now. In a sluggish contest against Cleveland on a back to back Sunday, the Cavaliers had done a lot of things right and the Blazers couldn't throw the ball in the ocean. So what did they do? They came out after halftime and crushed them. This just three days after their biggest win of the season over the Lakers at home. 

And so much of it is Gerald Wallace. He is consistently the best player on the floor for Portland, and that's on a team with LaMarcus Aldridge. He's doing everything and doing it right. The Blazers are a buzzsaw right now. 

Cub Scout Troop Award: Team you should not fear

The Wizards are so easy it's painful. They're bad in every single phase of the game. Is it hot in here or it just Flip Saunders' seat? Wocka-wocka-wocka!

The McGavin Award: Best shooter

Paul George is hitting 73 percent from three-point range over the past five games. 

That's insane. 

George went away for the lockout and came back as one of the best catch-and-shoot assassins in the league. He's been a huge part of the Pacers' success. His length allows him to create separation any time he rises to fire and his release is Sundance-Kid-esque at this point. He pops over the screen and the nanosecond the ball hits his hands it's going toward his shooting motion. 

Searching For Bobby Fischer Award for Stratagem: 

Erik Spoelestra

Managed to keep winning without Wade and for a game without James against a playoff team. Has not only had the team adjust to the zone that gave them problems against Boston, but crushed teams who pulled it out. Has everyone motivated and on the same page and kept a low profile. It's easy to cast off the Heat's success as just talent, but if you watch the games, you'll know Spo is doing a hell of a job. 

Awkward Water Cooler Conversation Award for Coaching Struggle: 

Scott Skies

Bogut's been out, so that's obviously a problem. But for the second year in a row, the Bucks have come stumbling out of the gate. There's going to continue to be concerns that Skiles has lost this team as has happened in his other stops until they put together a string of good games, and that means on both sides of the ball. They have to find some offense somehow, someway. 

Blog of the Week:

Sactown Royalty

The Kings have a lot of moving parts and a lot of complicated issues on both sides of the ball. For a team that's been so bad for so long, you won't find a better place for analysis than SR, headed by SBNation's Tom Ziller. 

Awards Watch:

MVP Five to Consider (no particular order):
LeBron James
Derrick Rose
Kobe Bryant
Dwight Howard
Gerald Wallace

ROY Five to Consider:
Ricky Rubio
Kyrie Irving
Markieff Morris
Kawhi Leonard
MarShon Brooks

6th Man of the Year Five to Consider:
James Harden
Al Harrington
Jason Terry 
Lou Williams
Jamal Crawford


Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: January 10, 2012 12:43 pm

The Baseline Awards 1.9.12

Entertaining article. I would add Tyler Hansbrough to the 6th man of the year watch list.

Since: Jul 26, 2009
Posted on: January 10, 2012 8:50 am

The Baseline Awards 1.9.12

Go Blazers. To note Aldridge has been dominating again now that he has his legs under him from the heart procedure. 

Since: Jun 18, 2009
Posted on: January 10, 2012 1:24 am

The Baseline Awards 1.9.12

so i guess norris cole is not consider for rookie of the year even dough he's played better then 3 or 4 guys on that list??

Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: January 9, 2012 8:05 pm

The Baseline Awards 1.9.12

I might be quick to call out a bad post here. But this analysis is pretty good. No, I don't care about the typos. There are a ton of factors to consider in these categories and Matt has watched far more ball than likely any of us have been able to watch. Examples of perceptiveness include Markieff Morris considered for ROY (he won't get it but he has been playing very well), Gerald Wallace considered for MPV (same caveat), Tom Ziller (is there a better writer on the NBA?) and Paul George (one of those draft picks that fans say 'oh, no!' Then a year later say 'where did he come from?').

Here is the thing - we actually have a really good league this year for starting so late. We have media-attractive teams such as the Heat and the Thunder (for opposite reasons). We have the defending champions losing early in the season. We have the vaunted Lakers trying to play catch-up in the West, we have teams such as Indiana, Minnesota and Cleveland climbing out of the cellar and liking the new challenges. We have the newly enhanced Clippers trying to pair two stars to make sweet music. We have Portland confounding the prognosticators and winning in OKC and against Denver and LAL. There is a lot to like as an NBA fan. Typos don't matter much when we have such a fun basketball season progressing. Perhaps the league would even consider the permanent change to a 66 win schedule? (No, of course not - it is all about the money.)

Since: Jul 5, 2010
Posted on: January 9, 2012 6:52 pm

The Baseline Awards 1.9.12

the vast majority of working people would be fired over work as poor as this, proofread this garbage.

also, the heat and hawks went to triple OT not double.

Since: Oct 5, 2007
Posted on: January 9, 2012 4:36 pm

The Baseline Awards 1.9.12

Too much cocaine before writing?  :)

Since: Mar 10, 2007
Posted on: January 9, 2012 4:27 pm

The Baseline Awards 1.9.12

Who is Kobe Bryent, Kyle Irving, and Al Harinngton?

Since: Oct 5, 2007
Posted on: January 9, 2012 4:18 pm

The Baseline Awards 1.9.12

Wow, Kobe had 391 points in a game and still only managed to average 3 for the week?  Impressive!

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