As the NBA playoffs are in full swing, the leading figures for the 2020-21 season are starting to receive material for their performances.
The NBA announces the winners of its main awards through playoff coverage on TNT, naming who will win MVP, Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Sixth Man of the Year, Player Most Improved and Coach of the Year.
Voting was conducted by members of the media and is based on the 2020-21 regular season.
AFTER: 2021 NBA Playoff Schedule
Who will win the biggest prizes? And what did each player do to be recognized during the season? Find out below:
NBA Awards 2020-21
Winners in bold
Most Valuable Player
- Stephen Curry, warriors
- Joel Embiid, 76ers
- Nikola Jokic, Nuggets (winner)
Jokic delivered exactly the campaign the Nuggets were hoping for when they signed him for a five-year, $ 148 million extension before the start of the 2018-19 season. Jokic filled the stat sheet averaging 26.4 points, 10.8 rebounds, 8.3 assists, 1.3 interceptions and 0.7 blocks per game. He did it all shooting 56.6% from the field and making 92 of 237 3-point attempts. By winning the 2020-21 MVP, Jokic became the least drafted player in NBA history (41st overall in the 2014 NBA Draft) and the first Nuggets player to win the award.
Rookie of the Year
- LaMelo ball, Hornets
- Anthony Edwards, Timberwolves
- Tyrese Haliburton, Kings
Defensive player of the year
- Rudy Gobert, Jazz
- Draymond Green, Warriors
- Ben Simmons, 76ers
- Jordan Clarkson, Jazz (winner)
- Joe Ingles, Jazz
- Derrick Rose, Knicks
In his first full season with the Jazz, Clarkson had the best campaign of his career to help Utah clinch the No.1 seed in the Western Conference. He averaged 18.4 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists for the Jazz while appearing in 68 contests – starting just one – and playing in 26.7 minutes per game.
Most Improved Player
- Jerami Grant, Pistons
- Michael Porter Jr., Nuggets
- Julius Randle, Knicks (winner)
Randle continued to solidify as an important piece in New York with a huge 2020-21 season. He averaged a career-high 24.1 points per game and tied a high score with 10.2 rebounds per game. He also recorded the best assists (6.0 per game), free throw success rate (81.1%), interceptions (0.9 per game) and 3-point shooting percentage (41, 1%).
Coach of the Year
- Quin Snyder, Jazz
- Tom Thibodeau, Knicks (winner)
- Monty Williams, Suns
Thibodeau narrowly edged Williams to claim Coach of the Year honors for the second time in his career. He ended the Knicks’ seven-year playoff drought – and delivered them their first winning season in as many years – with a 41-31 record and fourth place in the Eastern Conference.