Mid-season awards for NBA's Eastern Conference
With the NBA All-Star break festivities taking place this weekend, it is time to give out some mid-season awards for the Eastern Conference.
Most Valuable Player: At the half waypoint, the most valuable player in the Eastern Conference is LeBron James. No player is able to do more for their team than the reigning two-time MVP and best basketball player in the world. James once again has out of this world production but what stands out the most is his 57 field goal percentage. LeBron has clearly made an effort to improve his post-presence, which has resulted in efficient scoring that looks almost effortless at times.
Most Improved Player: The most improved player award goes to Andre Drummond of the Detroit Pistons. Drummond has taken a significant leap from his rookie season. He has increased his scoring from 7.9 points per game to 13.0 points per game while also becoming a force on the boards. Drummond has been grabbing 13 rebounds per game up from 7.6 rebounds per game. He has taken advantage of his increased role in the offense and shown that he has the talent to one day be a premiere center in the league. Drummond, however, still needs to work on his free-throw shooting. Drummond shoots only 40 percent from the line, which he needs to improve in order to help his team in late game situations.
Biggest Disappointment: There have been so many disappointments so far this season that it is hard to decide on just one. However, both the play of Iman Shumpert of the Knicks and Kyrie Irving of the Cavaliers will leave you scratching your head.
There has been the underwhelming play of Iman Shumpert, or the Knicks as a whole for that matter. However, anybody who watched Shumpert help bury the Boston Celtics last post season saw a player with immense potential finally hitting his stride. That version of Shumpert has not shown up this season. Shumpert has looked out of sync on the offensive end throughout most of the season and has struggled with his jump shot. Shumpert has also been in trade rumors throughout the season and has seemed to be on a short leash with Coach Mike Woodson for unknown reasons. The situation in New York as a whole has turned into a mess. They do not look like a team ready to compete for a playoffs spot.
Kyrie Irving was expected to lead Cleveland to a playoff appearance this season. Many even believed Cleveland was in position to court LeBron in the offseason. The exact opposite is happening to this team, and some of the blame has to fall upon the shoulders of their young point guard. Irving has the most talent on the team and with that comes the responsibility of being a leader. Irving's stats have not decreased too much this season, but in his third year he was expected to start leading his team to victory-the stat that matters the most. Cleveland is currently in 11th place and is giving up 102.3 points per game, not ideal qualities for a team that was supposed to take a step in the right direction this season.
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