LeBron James, Anthony Davis among NBA Awards finalists


Los Angeles stars LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell have been announced as finalists for the NBA’s top individual honors, it was announced Saturday.

Winners for most valuable player, defensive player of the year and sixth man of the year, among others, will be announced in the upcoming weeks during TNT’s coverage of the NBA’s season reboot.

Voting for the awards by sportswriters and broadcasters was conducted before the start of the league’s seeding games.

James is one of three finalists for MVP, joining Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, the heavy favorite, and Houston’s James Harden, the league’s top scorer.

Before the coronavirus pandemic shut down the league in March, James led the Lakers to the West’s best record, navigating them through controversy and tragedy while averaging 25.7 points, a league-best 10.6 assists and 7.9 rebounds. James is a four-time MVP, trailing only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (eight), Bill Russell (five) and Michael Jordan (five) on the career list.

Antetokounmpo, though, led the Bucks to the league’s best record while averaging 29.6 points, 13.7 rebounds and 5.8 assists. He’s also a favorite, and a finalist, for defensive player of the year. He’ll get his biggest competition for votes from Davis, who has been touted by the Lakers all season as the best defender in the league. Two-time winner Rudy Gobert of Utah is also a finalist.

Williams and Harrell, the Clippers’ dynamic bench duo, are finalists for sixth man of the year. Williams averaged 18.7 points and a team-best 5.7 assists, while Harrell averaged 18.6 points and 7.1 rebounds before the stoppage. They’re competing with Oklahoma City’s Dennis Schroder.

Clippers forward Montrezl Harrell is congratulated by teammate Lou Williams after scoring a basket.

Clippers forward Montrezl Harrell is congratulated by teammate Lou Williams (23) after scoring against the New Orleans Pelicans earlier this season.

(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Former Laker Brandon Ingram of New Orleans, Dallas’ Luka Doncic and Miami’s Bam Adebayo are finalists for most improved player — expected to be one of the tightest races. Memphis’ Ja Morant is expected to easily outdistance New Orleans’ Zion Williamson and Miami’s Kendrick Nunn in voting for rookie of the year.

Milwaukee’s Mike Budenholzer and Oklahoma City’s Billy Donavan, who tied in a vote for coach of the year among their peers, will join Toronto’s Nick Nurse, who was a close third in that voting, as finalists for the media’s coach of the year award.





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