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My ballots

By admin Published: April 17, 2006

Boston -- I was in Washington on Tax Day and I'm now in Boston on Patriot Day.  Talk about experiencing the best and worst of America.

Anyhow, I have submitted my votes for the NBA Awards to the league office.  Anyone who is afraid to make public who they voted for shouldn't be voting.  The league decides who gets to vote on what, so I don't vote for everything.  So here they are:

Defensive Player of the Year
1. Ben Wallace, Detroit
2. Bruce Bowen, San Antonio
3. Marcus Camby, Denver

Comment: Wallace and Bowen were 1-2 on my ballot last year.

Most Improved Player
1. Boris Diaw, Phoenix
2. David West, NOK
3. Chris Bosh, Toronto

Comment: Many people think West should win, but I watched Diaw played five different positions this season.  I remember him looking scared and unathletic in Atlanta.

Rookie of the Year
1. Chris Paul, NOK
2. Raymond Felton, Charlotte
3. Channing Frye, New York

Comment: This is somewhat of a no-brainer, but I don't think many will vote Felton second.  He actually impressed me more than Paul in the times I watched both live.

All-NBA Team

First team
F--Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas
F--LeBron James, Cleveland
C--Shaquille O'Neal, Miami
G--Kobe Bryant, LA Lakers
G--Steve Nash, Phoenix

Second team
F--Elton Brand, LA Clippers
F--Tim Duncan, San Antonio
C--Yao Ming, Houston
G--Dwyane Wade, Miami
G--Chauncey Billups, Detroit

Third team
F--Shawn Marion, Phoenix
F--Carmelo Anthony, Denver
C--Ben Wallace, Detroit
G--Allen Iverson, Philadelphia
G--Vince Carter, New Jersey

Comment: There were some tough calls here.  My first team was relatively easy, though I know some will put Yao on first team.  I wrestled with where to put Duncan, because his numbers are really down this season.  I also thought long and hard about Carmelo Anthony, who I put in ahead of Kevin Garnett.  Can you believe I have a ballot with no Garnett or Tracy McGrady, two All-Star Game starters?  Well, it took time but I determined Carmelo was more deserving.  Also, putting Iverson and Carter on the third team ahead of Tony Parker and Gilbert Arenas was tough.  I'm sure those two will make a lot of ballots.

Oh, and, finally, my MVP vote.  I looked at a lot of factors including stats, overall team performance, value to the team, etc.  Again, I don't believe in following trends and crediting people for past performance, I believe in being realistic.  So here it is:

1. LeBron James, Cleveland

2. Steve Nash, Phoenix

3. Kobe Bryant, LA Lakers

4. Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas

5. Chauncey Billups, Detroit

Comment: You may call me a homer, but I don't care.  I believe all five will get first-place votes from some and that Nash will win it because he'll be in the top three on every ballot.

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