The NBA announced the three candidates for the 2020-21 season awards on Thursday, and two Warriors are in the mix for some top honors. Stephen Curry is among the finalists for Kia NBA Most Valuable Player and Draymond Green is one of three up for Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year.
The other players in the mix for the awards are Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid and Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic for MVP, and Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert and Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons for DPOY.
Curry finished the season with back-to-back Western Conference Player of the Month honors, becoming the first Warrior in franchise history to do so. Curry scored at least 30 points in seven of his eight games during the month, including 40-or-more points three times, the most of any player in May.
He was the NBA’s scoring leader for the second time in his career, averaging 32.0 points on 48.2 percent from the field, 42.1 percent from three-point range and 91.6 percent from the line, adding 5.8 assists, 5.5 rebounds and 1.22 steals in 34.2 minutes over 63 games. At 33 years old, Curry is the oldest scoring champion since Michael Jordan averaged 28.7 points per game in 1997-98 at the age of 35.
Through the season, Curry also notched a number of historical achievements as well, including becoming the Dubs’ franchise leader in both scoring and assists, while also scoring a career-high 62 points. With his 2,015 points scored during this year’s campaign, he joined Wilt Chamberlain, Rick Barry and Chris Mullin as the only Warriors to score at 2,000 points in multiple seasons, having done so in the 2015-16 season as well (2,375). Curry became the first player in NBA history to score 2,000 points in 63 games, beating the previous record of 68 held by World B. Free in 1979-80 and James Harden last season.
Curry won MVP honors back-to-back seasons (2014-15, 2015-16), the second of which was the first time any player won the award by unanimous vote.
Green won the Defensive Player of the Year award for the 2016-17 season and has a chance to be awarded the honor a second time in his career.
He led the Warriors on the defensive end with in (1.7) and rebounds (7.1), while also being team leader in assists (8.9). During the campaign Green notched six triple-doubles, brining his career tally up to 30. The Warriors were 6-0 this season in such performances, and are 29-1 in all of his triple-doubles.
Stats do not the tell the whole story for the Dubs’ anchor on defense, as his guidance and vision are key to the team’s switching and rotations.
Winners of each award will be announced at a point to be determined during the 2021 NBA Playoffs.