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2013-14 Fantasy Basketball Awards
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - The 2013-14 NBA regular season is in the books, and I have some extra-special fantasy awards to distribute.

You'll notice that the criteria for these awards differ slightly from the NBA's actual honors.

For example, LeBron James is a lock to finish in the top two for NBA MVP but (Spoiler Alert!) he didn't make my top three for fantasy MVP.

Let's get to the lucky winners and esteemed runners-up.

Most Valuable Player

3) Kevin Love, PF, Minnesota Timberwolves - Love provided his usual production in points and rebounds (26.1 ppg, 12.5 rpg) and he also added a career-high 4.4 assists and 2.5 threes per game while shooting 45.7 percent from the field and 82.1 percent from the free-throw line. James lagged far behind Love in rebounds, threes and free-throw percentage and averaged a career-low 0.3 blocks per game, so Love gets the edge for third place.

2) Stephen Curry, PG, Golden State Warriors - For the second consecutive season, Curry increased his scoring average (22.9 to 24) and dominated the 3- point category (One of five players with 200 threes and 38 more than anyone else). The Splash Bro also upped his assists to a career-high 8.5 per game, collected an average of 4.3 rebounds and 1.6 steals and shot .885 from the foul line on a career-best 4.5 attempts per contest. The guard ended up with the sixth most field-goal attempts and hit 47.1 percent of them.

1) Kevin Durant, F, Oklahoma City Thunder - Like Curry, Durant set career highs in both scoring (32 ppg) and passing (5.5 apg). He led the league in both field-goal and free-throw attempts and had percentages of .503 and .873, respectively. Durant threw in 7.4 rebounds, 2.4 triples, 1.3 steals and 0.7 blocks per game to easily finish as fantasy's No. 1 player. Now if Durant and the public could only agree on a nickname. Slim Reaper, the Servant, Durantula, KD; seriously, Durant has more nicknames than Lil Wayne.

Honorable mentions: LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Dirk Nowitzki

Rookie of the Year

3) Trey Burke, PG, Utah Jazz - Burke broke his finger during the preseason and then shot 38 percent from the field in 70 games. However, he averaged 12.8 points, 5.7 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 1.6 threes and this season's rookie class was one of the weakest ever, so he was still the third-best first-year player.

2) Victor Oladipo, SG, Orlando Magic - Oladipo had his ups -- triple-double on Dec. 3, 35 points and eight assists on Jan. 15, 30 points, 14 assists, nine rebounds on Feb. 21 -- and his downs -- 18 games with less than 10 points, 30 games with at least four turnovers -- but it was a mostly successful rookie season from a fantasy standpoint. He averaged 31.1 minutes, 13.8 points, 4.1 assists, 4.1 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 0.9 threes per game.

1) Michael Carter-Williams, PG, Philadelphia 76ers - This was an easy pick. Carter-Williams did everything Oladipo did but with more volume. He played 34.5 minutes and produced 16.7 points, 6.3 assists, 6.2 rebounds and 1.9 steals over 70 games.

Honorable mention: Tim Hardaway Jr.

Most Improved Player

3) Jodie Meeks, SG, Los Angeles Lakers - An increase in minutes by about 12 per game from 2012-13 to 2013-14 was the main reason why Meeks' numbers increased so dramatically, but he also improved as an offensive player. Meeks made just 38.7 percent of his shots last season and 40.4 percent in his first four seasons in the NBA, but he drained 46.3 percent of his field-goal attempts and averaged 15.7 points this season. The 26-year-old shooting guard also knocked down 40.1 percent from behind the arc, made an average of 2.1 threes and sustained a high free-throw percentage (.857) despite taking more foul shots than ever before (3.4 per game).

2) DeAndre Jordan, C, Los Angeles Clippers - Coach Doc Rivers arrived in Los Angeles and gave Jordan 10.5 more minutes per game than last season so he increased his points by 1.6, his rebounds by 6.4 and his blocks by 1.1 per game. The 25-year-old led the NBA with 1,114 board and was second with 203 rejections.

1) Gerald Green, SG/SF, Phoenix Suns - Gerald Green played in Russia from 2009-10 before revitalizing his career in a 31-game stint with the then-New Jersey Nets in 2011-12. The Green we saw last season with the Indiana Pacers looked like he belonged back overseas. He shot 36.6 percent from the floor and 31.4 percent from 3-point range while averaging 7.0 points. The Pacers dumped him on the Suns along with Miles Plumlee and a first-round pick for Luis Scola and he ended up displaying the talent that influenced the Boston Celtics to take him 18th overall in the 2005 NBA Draft. Due to Eric Bledsoe's torn meniscus, Green ended up starting 49 games and averaged 17.1 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.5 threes in that role. Overall, he played all 82 games and produced a career-high 15.8 points on .445 shooting, 3.4 rebounds and 2.5 treys per game.

Honorable mentions: DeMarre Carroll, Terrence Jones, Andre Drummond

Coach of the Year

3) Rick Carlisle, Dallas Mavericks - Carlisle convinced Monta Ellis to stop taking so many threes and go to the hoop more often, and the guard led the NBA both with 827 drives and 596 points on drives, according to stats.nba.com. No other player had more than 771 drives or 504 points on drives this season. Ellis averaged 19 points, 5.7 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 1.7 steals and shot 45.1 percent from the field, his best shooting percentage since 2010-11.

2) Jeff Hornacek, Phoenix Suns - Hornacek's two-point-guard offense allowed Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe to flourish, and when Bledsoe went down Gerald Green stepped in and put up terrific numbers. We'll overlook Hornacek bringing Markieff Morris off the bench the entire season and playing him just 26.6 minutes per game because at least the starting frontcourt of Channing Frye and Miles Plumlee did things to help fantasy owners.

1) Doc Rivers, Los Angeles Clippers - Rivers took over for Vinny Del Negro and immediately increased the minutes of all of Los Angeles' star players. Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan both had their best seasons and Chris Paul averaged 19.1 points and 10.7 assists per game. Rivers realized Jared Dudley wasn't good enough to start and made the switch to Matt Barnes at small forward. He also managed to get Jamal Crawford 30.3 minutes per game and made Darren Collison his starting shooting guard when both Crawford and J.J. Redick were out. Collison generated 16.4 points, 4.0 assists, 2.3 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 1.7 threes from March 1 to April 3.

Honorable mentions: Scott Brooks, Kevin McHale

Bust of the Year (at least 50 games played)

3) Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs - Parker's per-36-minute averages declined in a season when he played four minutes and 34 seconds per game less than he did in 2012-13. His numbers -- 16.7 points, 5.7 assists, 2.3 rebounds, .499 shooting percentage -- were adequate, but he was a third-round pick on average in Yahoo! leagues. Parker gave fantasy owners subpar production in threes (0.4) and steals (0.5). The veteran averaged 20.3 points, 7.6 assists and 3.0 rebounds per game last season.

2) Ersan Ilyasova, Milwaukee Bucks - Ilyasova averaged 8.9 ppg on .405 shooting over his first 36 games last season but roped fantasy owners into drafting him again by recording 17.3 ppg on .496 shooting his last 37. This season, there was no turnaround. Ilyasova sprained his ankle in the preseason and never got over the injury. Drafted just seven picks on average after Blake Griffin, four after David Lee and eight in front of Thaddeus Young, Ilyasova finished with 11.2 points on .409 shooting and 6.2 rebounds per game.

1) Josh Smith, Detroit Pistons - Smith still had fantasy value because he averaged 16.4 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.4 blocks and 1.4 steals, but his .419/.264/.532 (FG/3P/FT) shooting percentages basically made him the anti-Dirk Nowitzki. The 28-year-old Smith attempted 3.4 threes per game despite shooting less than 27 percent on them. With Smith and Brandon Jennings attempting more than nine threes per game combined and making just 2.8, the 2013-14 Pistons gave us a glimpse at what a team would look like if it was coached by Nick Young. He was selected one pick ahead of the man who replaced and outperformed him this season with the Atlanta Hawks, Paul Millsap.

Dishonorable mentions: Brandon Jennings, Roy Hibbert

Bargain of the Year

3) Robin Lopez, Portland Trail Blazers - Lopez, who went at an ADP of 115.7 in Yahoo! leagues, played a career-high 31.8 minutes per game and blocked the fifth-most shots in the NBA (139, 1.7 per game). The 26-year-old chipped in 11.1 points and 8.5 rebounds, plus a .551 shooting percentage and just 1.0 turnovers per contest. He was the rare center that could actually make a free throw and hit 81.8 percent of his 3.0 attempts per game.

2) Isaiah Thomas, Sacramento Kings - Fantasy owners weren't high on Thomas -- his ADP was 132.3 -- because the Kings acquired Greivis Vasquez from the Hornets in the offseason. Thomas came off the bench behind Vasquez for the first 18 games of the season but still averaged 27.7 minutes, 17.8 points and 4.9 assists per game, and Sacramento dealt Vasquez in a package both to acquire Rudy Gay and give Thomas the starting gig on Dec. 9. Thomas produced 21.2 points, 6.8 assists, 3.1 rebounds, 1.9 threes and 1.2 steals in 54 starts.

1) Trevor Ariza, Washington Wizards - Ariza's fantasy prospects weren't great heading into 2013-14 -- he averaged 9.5 ppg last year, plus the Wizards re- signed Martell Webster and drafted Otto Porter Jr. with the third-overall pick -- so he ended up with a 130 ADP. However, Ariza started 77 games for the Wiz and had his best shooting percentage in five years (.456). He averaged 14.4 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 2.3 threes and 1.6 steals. Ariza was one of four players with at least 100 threes, 100 steals and 400 rebounds; LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Paul George were the others.

Honorable mentions: DeAndre Jordan, Jodie Meeks, DeMarre Carroll




Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Thomas Harrigan at tharrigan@sportsnetwork.com.


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