The NBA has announced the NBA Awards Finalists for 2020-2021.
The NBA Award finalists are the top performers for the 2020-21 regular season for the following awards:
Kia NBA Most Valuable Player, Kia NBA Rookie of the Year, Kia NBA Defensive Player Year, Kia NBA Sixth Man Award, Kia NBA Most Improved Player and NBA Coach of the Year.
There are three finalists for the six annual awards. The NBA Awards finalists are selected and based on voting results from a global panel of sportswriters and broadcasters.
The 2020-2021 NBA awards are listed below:
Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Finalists
Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers
Nikola Jokić, Denver Nuggets
Last Year’s Winner – Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks)
2020-2021 Winner: Nikola Jokić
Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokić won the Most Valuable Player award.
Jokić becomes the first player to earn the honor as a member of the Nuggets. He is the first player from Serbia to be selected as the NBA MVP and joins Dirk Nowitzki and Giannis Antetokounmpo as MVP winners from Europe.
Jokić received 91 first-place votes and earned 971 total points from a panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters and the NBA Most Valuable Player Award fan vote, making for 101 ballots. Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (586 points) finished in second place, followed by Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (453 points) in third place.
Surprisingly, Knicks Derrick Rose received a single 1st place vote lol!
Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz
Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors
Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers
Last Year’s Winner – Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks)
2020-2021 Winner: Rudy Gobert
The Stifle Tower does it again! The last of the true big men?
This is the third NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award for Gobert, who also won in 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons. The 7-1 Frenchman is the fourth player to win the award at least three times, joining Dikembe Mutombo (four), Ben Wallace (four) and Dwight Howard (three).
Gobert got 84 first-place votes and 464 points 76ers guard Ben Simmons finished in second place with 287 points (15 first-place votes). Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green, the 2016-17 Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year, finished in third place with 76 points.
Kia NBA Rookie of the Year
LaMelo Ball, Charlotte Hornets
Anthony Edwards, Minnesota Timberwolves
Tyrese Haliburton, Sacramento Kings
Last Year’s Winner – Ja Morant
2020-2021 Winner: LaMelo Ball
Ball is the youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double and the youngest player in franchise history to score 30 points in a game.
Kia NBA Most Improved Player
Jerami Grant, Detroit Pistons
Michael Porter Jr., Denver Nuggets
Julius Randle, New York Knicks
Last Year’s Winner- Brandon Ingram
2020-2021 Winner: Julius Randle
Julius Randle won the 2020-21 Kia NBA Most Improved Player Award.
Randle received 98 first-place votes and earned 493 total points. Pistons forward Jerami Grant received the other two first-place votes and finished in second place with 140 points. Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. finished in third place with 138 points.
Randle averaged 24.1 points, 10.2 rebounds and 6.0 assists in an NBA-high 37.6 minutes in 71 games. He ranked in the top 20 in the NBA in all three categories. Randle is the sixth player in NBA history to average at least 24.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists in a season, joining Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlain, Nikola Jokić (who also did it this season), Oscar Robertson and Russell Westbrook.
Randle made a career-high 160 three-pointers in 2020-21, eight fewer than his total for the previous five seasons combined (168). He shot 40.1% from three-point range, well above his career 29.5 average.
Kia NBA Sixth Man
Jordan Clarkson, Utah Jazz
Joe Ingles, Utah Jazz
Derrick Rose, New York Knicks
Last Year’s Winner – Montrezl Harrell
2020-2021 Winner: Jordan Clarkson
Jordan Clarkson has won the 2020-21 Kia NBA Sixth Man Award. This is the first Sixth Man honor for Clarkson, who becomes the first Jazz player to win the award.
Clarkson received 65 first-place votes and earned 407 total points from a global panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters.
Utah forward Joe Ingles finished in second place with 272 points (34 first-place votes), making this the first time that teammates hold the top two spots in voting for the Kia NBA Sixth Man Award. New York Knicks guard Derrick Rose finished in third place with 77 points (one first-place vote). His scoring average of 18.3 points as a reserve was the highest in the NBA.
NBA Coach of the Year
Quin Snyder, Utah Jazz
Tom Thibodeau, New York Knicks
Monty Williams, Phoenix Suns
Last Year’s Winner – Nick Nurse
2020-2021 Winner: Tom Thibodeau
Has there ever been a more underrated coach in NBA history than Tom Thibodeau? Completely overlooked for so many years, the Bulls thought they created their “culture of winning” in the early 2010’s but alas, it was Coach Thibs!
This is the second NBA Coach of the Year Award for Thibodeau, who earned the honor in the 2010-11 season with the Chicago Bulls in his first season as an NBA head coach.
Now honored in his first season as the Knicks’ head coach, Thibodeau has become the first person to be named NBA Coach of the Year in his first season as head coach with two different franchises. (Cotton Fitzsimmons won the award in his first season as the Kansas City Kings’ head coach, 1978-79, and again in the first season of his second tenure as the Phoenix Suns’ head coach, 1988-89.)
Thibodeau earned 351 total points to edge Phoenix head coach Monty Williams, who finished in second place with 340 points by eleven points! The 11-point difference between the first- and second-place finishers marks the smallest margin ever, since since the format began in the 2002-03 season.
The 2020-21 All-NBA First Team:
🏀 Giannis Antetokounmpo
🏀 Stephen Curry
🏀 Luka Dončić
🏀 Nikola Jokić
🏀 Kawhi Leonard
The 2020-21 All-NBA Second Team:
🏀 Joel Embiid
🏀 LeBron James
🏀 Damian Lillard
🏀 Chris Paul
🏀 Julius Randle
The 2020-21 All-NBA Third Team:
🏀 Bradley Beal
🏀 Jimmy Butler
🏀 Paul George
🏀 Rudy Gobert
🏀 Kyrie Irving
Other NBA Awards You Probably Don’t Care About
I had never heard of these until 2020-21:
NBA Sportsmanship Award
Winner – Jrue Holiday
2020-21 Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award
Winner – Damian Lillard
The winners for the awards will be announced during the NBA playoffs on TNT during its coverage of the 2021 NBA Playoffs.