MVP SI HARDEN

James Harden

TINANGGAP ni Houston Rockets point guard James Harden ang unang Most Valuable Player Award sa kanyang career sa NBA Awards show noong Lunes sa  Santa Monica, Calif.

Tinalo ni Harden sina four-time MVP LeBron James ng  Cleveland Cavaliers at Anthony Davis ng New Orleans Pelicans para sa award, kung saan tumapos siya na runner-up noong nakaraang season kay Russell Westbrook ng Oklahoma City Thunder at noong 2015 kay Stephen Curry ng Golden State Warriors.

Si Harden ang ikatlong player sa kasaysayan ng Rockets na itinanghal na MVP, matapos nina Moses Malone, na nanalo ng dalawang beses (1979, ‘82), at Hakeem Olajuwon (1994).

Sinamahan siya ng kanyang ina sa pagtanggap sa award mula kay NBA commissioner Adam Silver.

“I’m not getting emotional, I’m not doing all that, but she’s my backbone,” wika ni Harden.  “Good times, bad times. … We only get one life and I’m happy she’s my mom. I wouldn’t have it any other way, for real.”

Nanguna si Harden, 28, sa liga sa scoring noong nakaraang season kung saan may average siya na 30.4 points per game. Nagdagdag siya ng 8.8 assists at 5.4 rebounds per game sa paggiya sa Rockets sa No. 1 seed sa Western Conference playoffs, kung saan yumuko sila sa eventual champion Warriors sa Game 7 ng conference finals.

“Sixth Man of the Year to MVP,” ani Harden, na nakopo ang naunang award noong 2012 bilang miyembro ng Thunder. “Shout out to all the youngins’ man that got a dream and the vision out there to go take it. Go chase that dream. I’ll see you all next year.”

Samantala, itinanghal na Rookie of the Year si Philadelphia 76ers point guard Ben Simmons makaraang tulungan ng dating No. 1 overall pick ang koponan na pawiin ang five-year playoff drought.

Ginapi ni Simmons sina Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell at Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum.

“I’d like to thank my family, to start off with,” wika ni Simmons. “My family, friends, you know I wouldn’t be here without them, and my teammates of course and my great coach (Brett Brown), and the city of Philadelphia for really embracing me.”

Ang 6-foot-10 guard ay may average na 15.8 points, 8.2 assists, 8.1 rebounds at 1.7 steals sa 81 games noong nakaraang season.

Tinulungan ni Simmons ang 76ers na umusad sa Eastern Conference semifinals, kung saan natalo sila sa Boston Celtics sa five-game series. May  average siya na 16.3 points, 9.4 boards, 7.7 assists at 1.7 steals sa playoffs.

Nasikwat naman ni Pacers guard Victor Ola­dipo ang NBA’s Most Improved Player award matapos ang maningning na first season sa Indiana na nagtapos sa playoff showdown kay LeBron James at sa Cleveland Cavaliers.

Tinalo niya sina fellow finalists Clint Capela ng Houston Rockets at Spencer Dinwiddie ng Brooklyn Nets.

Si Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert naman ang nagwagi ng NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award, kung saan ginapi niya sina Anthony Davis ng New Orleans Pelicans at Joel Embiid ng Philadelphia 76ers.

Ang Frenchman ay may average na 13.5 points, 10.7 rebounds at 2.3 blocks sa 56 games upang kunin ang kanyang ikalawang sunod na NBA All-Defensive first-team selection. Nanguna si Gobert sa liga sa blocks noong 2016-17 na may 2.6 per game.

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