Thursday, May 23, 2024

The Bulls’ Best Chance At An NBA Regular Season Award

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Finalists for the NBA’s regular season awards were revealed last night, with two Chicago Bulls hearing their names called. Coby White was announced as a top-three candidate for the league’s Most Improved Player of the Year award, while DeMar DeRozan was named in the trio of nominations for the NBA’s Clutch Player of the Year honor. The Most Improved Player award is given to the player who “shows the most progress compared to years prior,” while the Clutch Player of the Year goes to whoever “best comes through for his teammates in the clutch.” Chicago’s fanbase knows that both candidates should find themselves hoisting hardware on the night of the ceremony, but sportsbooks see it differently. Tyrese Maxey is heavily favored to bring home the Most Improved Player trophy, with his first All-Star nod and carrying the burden of Philadelphia while his MVP running mate was sidelined much of the season, while White is next in line according to the oddsmakers. Where does DeRozan sit in the eyes of the bettors, and will the Bulls be represented at all on award night?

Continuing To Make History

The inception of the NBA’s Clutch Player of the Year award was last season, when all the existing trophies were remodeled after prior victors and players who best represented each honor. The first edition of this award went to Sacramento’s De’Aaron Fox, but DeRozan was named a finalist for his second-place finish in fourth-quarter scoring on the season. This year, with DeRozan again being named one of the top three most worthy candidates, he’s the only player in NBA history to receive nominations in back-to-back seasons. He has never finished lower than the top three in the award’s final voting. As an unrestricted free agent this offseason, that will undoubtedly put a hefty price tag on the clutch six-time All-Star.

By the numbers, DeRozan should be the easy selection. Unfortunately, of the 99 media members who vote on the NBA Awards, many do not refer to statistics or metrics and use the eye test or the general consensus when voting, as evidenced by Charles Barkey’s comments last night on TNT. The standings are the only thing standing in the way of Chicago’s forward. Golden State finished 46-36 in a more challenging conference than the Bulls, and while they were eliminated in the first game of the Play-In Tournament, Chicago’s 39-43 regular season finish doesn’t endorse DeRozan too well.

Coin Flip By The Odds

While most sportsbooks have Curry as the favorite to win this award, it’s not by much. Many have he and DeRozan within a few hundred points on the odds scale, equating to a few points in a basketball game for reference. Some oddsmakers even give the Bulls’ veteran the edge due to his continued prowess for the clutch and fourth-quarter dominance for three consecutive seasons. Since Maxey is expected to run away with the Most Improved Player stamp, this is Chicago’s last hope of finding themselves on the podium for the NBA’s regular season awards.

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The NBA’s KIA Clutch Player of the Year will be announced on Thursday at 6:00 CST on TNT.

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ElwoodNotJake
ElwoodNotJake
Apr 23, 2024 5:51 am

This is all the Organization can hang their Hat on? Sad how the mighty have FALLEN!!!

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