The season is winding down and we figured that now was as good a time as any to start handing out season awards. This team is terrible according to our record, so take this with a grain of salt. We're starting off with the MVP award and winning this is like being the tallest Hobbit. It doesn't get you very far, but it is nice.
Here's who our panel came up with. Don't worry, you'll have a chance to vote and voice your opinions below.
Jordan Crawford: After this long season, it's easy to forget that the Boston Celtics were 12-14 at one point, and that mild success was due to Jordan Crawford's terrific start. At the time, Crawford was averaging 13.8 points (50.9 eFG%), 5.5 assists, 3.2 rebounds, and only 2.0 turnovers per game. Even though things went downhill for him after that stretch (and he got traded), he still was the MVP during the team's most productive portion of the year. If it wasn't for Steez, the C's would probably be competing for the second worst record instead of the fourth or fifth.
It's a three-way toss-up between Brandon Bass, Kris Humphries, and Chris Johnson. There are three sets of players on this team: orphans that were left here after the big trade with Brooklyn, outcasts that came over from the Nets, and new guys that joined the team this season. For me, it's all about character and despite the circumstances with how they became Celtics, these three guys exhibited what it's all about being a Celtic. Bass has consistently brought the blue collar, hard hat attitude, Hump has shown that even in a contract year, you play hard and lead by example, and Johnson has taken hold of the opportunity to make this team and absolutely run away with it. These three guys all bleed green.
Jared Sullinger. Sullinger made big strides in his second NBA season and was Boston's best player whether starting or coming off the bench. He showed a knack for making tough shots in the post, was phenomenal on the offensive glass, and even extended his perimeter shooting out to the three-point line (with varying degrees of success). Look at the box score of any Celtics win this season, and chances are that Sullinger had a big game.
The MVP, to me, belongs to Brandon Bass. He took the floor every single night this year and was anything if not consistent.
In just over 27 minutes per game, Bass put up solid numbers, including 10.9 points and 5.7 rebounds. The blue-collar veteran also hovered around 50 percent shooting from the floor for the entirety of the 2013-14 campaign and was extremely reliable at the charity stripe, connecting on 86 percent of his tries.
But besides the raw numbers, you'd be hard pressed to find any moment in which Bass was pouting. He's been an outstanding teammate and an impressionable presence in the locker room. He could have easily given up on the team during such a dismal season but he stayed the course, worked hard to improve, and never wavered. Bass for MVP.
I'll toss you a curveball here and name Jeff Green our MVP. Not only will he be our leading scorer (16.7 as of today), but he is on track to play every game this season (a feat in and of itself given his career thus far). As Doc was fond of saying, "availability is an ability."
He also was the one guy for much of the year that was able to produce monster games (two 39 point games, including one against the Heat), monster plays (mostly highlight reel dunks), and clutch plays (buzzer beater against the Heat comes to mind). Sure, he disappeared for stretches at a time and the team suffered as a result. However, when he was on, he was instrumental in victories. In fact, he averaged 18.5 points in our wins (to just 15.9 in the losses).
Note: An odd thing about his splits is that he performed better with no rest (19 per game) than he did with rest (goes progressively down to 13.1 per game on 3 or more days rest). Maybe he's more of a rhythm guy.
Anyway, he was here all year and had the look of a star some of the time, so on this team, that's enough for MVP in my book.
Who would you give the award to?