2010-11 Season Awards
MVP of the Year – LaMarcus Aldridge
This is clearly a no brainer as LA is the star of this team. When Brandon Roy went down with those knee surgeries, he took to the challenge of putting the team on his back and had one monster of a season, posting career highs in scoring, rebounding and assists, while ranking 2nd in the league playing the most minutes. However, he was overlooked during the All-Star game as he came second behind Kevin Love in both a position and 2nd in voting for the Most Improved Award. Aldridge spent the summer of 2010 working on getting stronger and becoming more a threat inside and became the number one man on offense. “LaMonster” is now the star pupil of this Trail Blazers roster and another summer working on his post moves and getting even stronger is terribly exciting.
Runner Up – Andre Miller
Least Valuable Player – Rudy Fernandez
If anyone from the roster should be traded this summer, the first man to look at should be Fernandez. Making a scene during the summer of 2010 of how he didn’t want to be in Portland anymore, changed his mind and then gushed about how he loves Portland was just exhausting. Didn’t help that he had probably his least productive season as a Blazer, once the number one three-point shooter is no more as he had major amounts of trouble all year-long finding his shot, only averaging just 8.6 a game, hardly scoring in double figures. Don’t get me wrong, Fernandez did have “some” games where he was definitely a factor but slipped in the shadows the rest of the way. In the playoffs? Nowhere to be found as he went 18% from the floor and scored little under 10 points in the entire series combined. Maybe sending him back to Spain will be better for all of us.
Runner Up – Greg Oden
Best New Addition – Wesley Matthews
This was a tough one considering getting Gerald Wallace late in the season but Matthews stepped up and showed all of Portland why the Blazers signed the undrafted sophomore out of Utah to a 5 year contract in the first place. His speedy pesky defense along with his spot-on three-point shooting (.407) helped him become the three-point king and a fan favorite very quickly. Taking over the starting two spot from Roy in the lineup, he became one of the go-to guys on offense that could find his own shot and when he gets hot from three, look out. It took time for Matthews to get going during the playoffs, as did Wallace, Matthews for sure showed he deserved to be on this team and is remarkable how an undrafted rookie made his way into this team.
Runner Up – Gerald Wallace
Between Armon Johnson, Luke Babbit and Elliot Williams, nothing too positive to look at as it had to be serious garbage time for Coach Nate to have them on the court. Johnson looked bright early but constant turnovers troubled him, and Babbit was just plain useless. Both rookies were sent to the D-League where they excelled, while Williams was sidelined from a knee surgery before the season even started .
Most Improved Player – Nicolas Batum
It might be a questionable call considering he was either on or off, but I am a Batum believer and with time, he should only go but up. Other teams want him because of his defense and this year he proved himself just that, a terrific defender who could guard anyone from Kobe Bryant, to Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James. His long lanky arms bother anyone with the ball and if you think you can run the fast break for an open lay up, think again if Batum is right behind as he easily swats those away with ease. His shooting is butter smooth; his driving lay up is graceful and dipped his toes in the water this year by trying out some post moves. He still needs work on some aspects of his shooting, most noticeably his fadaway. Give the kid time. Let’s not forget the famous game-winning tip in against the Spurs.
Runner Up – LaMarcus Aldridge
photos courtesy of nba.com/blazers