NBA Awards Odds

Pegging favorites for every award entering the All-Star break.

Pegging favorites for every award entering the All-Star break.

The All-Star break is upon us, and over half the season is done. We are all witnesses to LeBron James’ continued greatness—and the mess out in Los Angeles.

We’re also witnesses to some newcomers to relevance. A warm welcome is extended to the oddly competent Golden State Warriors and the surprisingly title-contending Los Angeles Clippers.

Much has changed since the lockout season. Expect the biggest surprises to reap the biggest awards.

Coach of the Year

Tom Thibodeau

Yeah, he’s won this one before. But guess what? New circumstances can make this a repeat.

With Derrick Rose out and nearly all the 2011-12 bench in other uniforms, Thibodeau helped make Chicago an upper-seeded East team.

Now, they’re just a Derrick Rose return away from title contention. Voters will likely take notice at how Thibs kept a theoretical lottery team near the top.

COY chances: 30 percent

Mark Jackson

Mark Jackson’s team is slumping, but don’t underestimate his chances if they start winning again. If the season ended today (Note: The season does not end today), the Warriors would be in the playoffs.

Getting the Warriors to a playoff berth is something few thought possible this year. Combine that with Jackson’s bravado and charisma, and we have a great candidate for COY.

COY chances: 25 percent

Mike Woodson

Carmelo Anthony has been dinged up, and his efficiency has ebbed. Still, the Knicks remain a top offensive team.

Based on all their spread-floor action and three-point barrages, you might call these guys the Phoe-Knicks Suns. Bad puns aside, Woodson has capably handled a job Mike D’Antoni couldn’t.

COY chances: 25 percent

Defensive Player of the Year

Joakim Noah

True story: Joakim Noah has never won this award. Despite all the media praise, despite all of Charles Barkley’s odes to his toughness, despite Chicago’s consistently awesome defense, Noah has never gotten his individual due.

Perhaps it changes this year, with the Bulls competing despite losing their bench and Derrick Rose. Noah is the unique player who can switch onto a guard, block shots and rebound. He’s playing more minutes than last year and playing quite well in that increased time.

DPOY Chances: 40 percent

Marc Gasol

Memphis has a top defense, and Marc Gasol is the main reason why. He doesn’t impress in blocks and steals, but Gasol moves well and constantly communicates assignments to his perimeter teammates.

Though he’s been one of the best defensive players this season, it will be hard for Gasol to triumph without blocking more shots. Perhaps if Lionel Hollins gets fired (a real possibility due to his friction with management), Gasol will get more playing time and rack up better raw defensive numbers.

DPOY Chances: 20 percent

Tim Duncan

Tim Duncan has helped elevate the Spurs to elite defensive status, if anyone’s paying attention. He got hurt recently, which also hurts his chances here. Even if he goes on to deserve this award, voters may ignore him on account of “been there, done that.”

DPOY Chances: 20 percent

Check out the rest of the article right here via our friends at Bleacher Report!