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Blazersedge 2009-10 Season Awards: Results and Analysis

MVP?  Could be...
MVP? Could be...

The voting is now closed on the Blazersedge 2009-10 Season Awards.  Here are the results and my brief thoughts.

Most Inspirational Player

  1. Juwan Howard  45%
  2. Martell Webster 32%
  3. Andre Miller  8%

I would tend to go with Blazer Nation on this one.  I'd certainly mention Marcus Camby's effect on the late season.  His contributions went beyond blocks and rebounds.  The team regained much of its swagger after his first couple of games on the floor and started to believe they really could win big-time again.  But it's hard to give a season award to a short-timer.  My vote would go to Howard who not only came to the rescue of the team in its darkest days but also started to lay playoff-level hammers on opponents as the season wore on and the games became more critical.  Seeing the old guy out there giving his it best shot (in every sense of that last word) was something.

Most Improved Player

  1. Nicolas Batum  47%
  2. Greg Oden  24%
  3. Jerryd Bayless 23%

Oden made the biggest strides affecting the game.  Batum made some major offensive leaps.  But for my money Jerryd Bayless was the most improved player.  Despite the headlines and affection his progress all but stalled last season.  He wasn't slated for much time this year either.  After injuries opened the door he fought his way into the rotation, developed his passing game, coaxed a little more variety out of his heretofore paste-predictable offense, and made the team comfortable enough to trade away Steve Blake with the playoffs on the horizon.  Bayless also played well during said playoffs.  Coming that far from from next to nothing earns him my vote.

Biggest Disappointment

  1. Rudy Fernandez 46%
  2. Greg Oden 34%
  3. LaMarcus Aldridge 8%
  4. Brandon Roy 6%

I didn't expect as much from Rudy as some did.  It was an open question how well he'd perform with more minutes.  His injuries also dampened my expectations.  I was more disappointed with his lack of three-point-shooting consistency than anything else.  Neither LaMarcus nor Roy disappointed me at all even though neither had a thrilling season.  Martell could be mentioned here.  He improved defensively but couldn't follow through with a complete game night-to-night, let alone for the season.  With the door wide open he had one great month and a bunch of ups and downs.  But when you say "disappointment" you have to look at Greg Oden.  The fact that he was rounding into great form only heightens the tragedy of the injury.  You could argue (correctly) that injuries aren't his fault but the closer he gets to an injury-wracked career the closer that entire career gets to being labeled a disappointment.  This season was a microcosm of that effect.  Since it's his third go-'round with the stretcher, I'm going to bite the bullet and vote for him.

Most Valuable Player

  1. Andre Miller 62%
  2. Brandon Roy 25%
  3. LaMarcus Aldridge 5%
  4. Marcus Camby 3%

I'm in an odd place with Miller.  I appreciate what he did this year.  But if the vote is about consistency of production instead of just talent I also have to look at LaMarcus Aldridge.  Both players had strengths and weaknesses.  Both helped with and cost the Blazers some games.  Both were stalwarts when the tempest blew.  By these criteria I could consider either for MVP.  If the criteria involve talent, enduring importance to the team, and singular contributions to wins I'd have to go with Brandon Roy.  I could see the Blazers doing decently with another point guard.  In fact they'll have to pretty soon.  I can't see the Blazers going far without Roy or a player exactly as talented as he.  Heck, the Blazers didn't even do well that well this year in his absence.  The problem is that this wasn't another breakout year for Roy and the way the injuries went we really benefitted from 'Dre's presence.  Basically it comes down to the definition of "valuable".  By the first definition both Andre and LaMarcus might edge out Roy this year, if nothing else because they played more.  But Roy still played in 65 games so the gap isn't as large as it seems.  By the second definition Roy is head and shoulders above everybody.  For that reason I'm keeping my MVP vote with Roy. 

Thanks to all who voted.  This was easily the most interesting awards year ever.  Let's hope next year is somewhat boring because everything is going so obviously well and the Blazers win 70.

--Dave (