This is the third annual "post like this" I am doing. Bear with me.
MVP - It would be fun to go with somewhat of a darkhorse pick here, maybe Brandon Roy, or even Tony Parker, or a slightly less darkhorse pick like Carmelo Anthony. Realistically, though, it will probably be one of the top 5 candidates from last year -- LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, Dwight Howard or Chris Paul. I will go with a pretty generic/universal pick here: LeBron James.
Rookie of the Year - Right before the season started, it was announced that Clippers forward and No. 1 overall pick Blake Griffin would be on the shelf with an injury for six weeks. I really have/had some big expectations for him, so I tried to convince myself that he mightcould win Rookie of the Year anyway. I couldn't convince myself. And more than six weeks have already passed. It looks like it'll be a battle between the Bucks' Brandon Jennings and the Kings' Tyreke Evans. My pick: Tyreke Evans
Defensive Player of the Year - From here on down until the end of the post, this predicting process gets a lot more difficult. We'll go with Dwight Howard repeating last year's DPOY performance.
Sixth Man - I'll go for Jason Terry, which would be another repeat, along with Howard and James. But you can't count out new Atlanta Hawk Jamal Crawford or previous winners Manu Ginobili and Leandro Barbosa.
Most Improved - The winner of this award is usually somebody who gets more opportunities than he did in the previous season--not necessarily someone whose skills drastically improve, although that is sometimes the case. This could mean a young player on a young team or someone who will get more opportunities because of injuries, etc. Someone for the Rockets (Ariza, Scola, Brooks, Landry?) or Kings (Jason Thompson, Donte Greene, Spencer Hawes?) could win. A talented youngster on a middling-to-bad team could win it. Think Anthony Randolph of Golden State. OK, that's my pick. Anthony Randolph.
Coach of the Year - This award generally goes to a coach of a team that exceeds expectations or improves tremendously from the previous season. Scott Brooks of the OKC Thunder comes to mind because his team should be improved. But I will take Rick Adelman of the injury-ravaged Rockets. They'll be competitive even without some of their stars.