This is long time NBA analyst and fan chicagogr81 with my end of season awards. There are a lot of deserving candidates in each category, but each winner has earned the recognition.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Kevin Durant - 20.3 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 2.4 APG, 87% FT, he has the most potential of any rookie and was a leader in the midst of an awful situation in Seattle.
MOST IMPROVED PLAYER
Hedo Turkoglu - He improved in points, rebounds, assists, FG%, 3PT%, and FT%, and has become a clutch shooter at the end of games. Dwight Howard is a thoroughbred, but Hedo has become a floor general in his own right.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Kevin Garnett - Camby is a very close second with the most impressive defensive numbers, but I can't justify giving the award to a player who does not produce good team defense. Boston on the other hand leads the league in all the important team defense stats and Garnett is the captain of that ship.
SIXTH MAN OF THE YEAR
Manu Ginobili - This is a no brainer. He's very arguably had the best season of anyone on the Spurs and is rock solid at the end of games.
COACH OF THE YEAR
Byron Scott - He took a team from being in the lottery to winning the most competitive division in the NBA in one season. The Hornets played as well as anyone in the league during the regular season.
Kobe Bryant - Chris Paul has Kobe beat in a lot of categories by slim margins and is clearly the better passer. But the MVP isn't about statistics. It's about the player that makes the biggest difference to his team. Kobe's come a long way in a year from demanding to be traded to making his teammates believe that together they can beat anyone. Kobe is also the most dominant player in the league offensively and the most fearsome defender at his position.