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Steph Curry, Zion Williamson highlight Colin Cowherd's Midseason NBA Awards
National Basketball Association

Steph Curry, Zion Williamson highlight Colin Cowherd's Midseason NBA Awards

Published Mar. 9, 2021 2:26 p.m. ET

Colin Cowherd's midseason evaluations have arrived. 

On Monday's edition of "The Herd," Cowherd unveiled his assessments of the first half of the NBA season, handing out some prestigious – and some not-so-prestigious – hardware to players and teams. 

Let's take a look at what Colin saw before the All-Star break.

AWARD: Best face in a new place
WINNER: Chris Paul
RUNNERS-UP: LaMelo Ball, James Harden, Doc Rivers

Colin’s take: "Back-to-back All-Star at 35. This is what a winning player does. With the Hornets, Clippers, Rockets and now Suns, each team has increased their winning percentage when he arrived."

What to know: The Phoenix Suns have not made the playoffs since 2010, but after adding Paul this offseason, they have the second-best record in the NBA and are No. 2 in the Western Conference standings. Paul is averaging 16.0 points and 8.8 assists. Just last season, he led an Oklahoma City team that is currently 12th in the West to the fifth seed in the conference.

AWARD: Most exciting player
WINNER: Zion Williamson
RUNNERS-UP: Steph Curry, LeBron James, Damian Lillard


Colin’s take: "His game is so different from everybody else. We are scratching the surface on Zion."     

What to know: Williamson leads the NBA in points per game in the paint, pouring in a whopping 19.3 per night. He has also scored 20 or more points on 50% shooting in 14 straight games, tied for the second-longest streak in NBA history, and he is shooting 61.4% from the field, fifth in the NBA. 

AWARD: Best player not named LeBron
WINNER: Steph Curry
RUNNERS-UP: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid, James Harden

Colin’s take: "… It is a 3-ball-shooting league, and I’ll say Steph Curry. Steph Curry right now leads the NBA with 169 made 3-pointers. That is the league’s future."

What to know: Not only has Curry made 169 3-pointers this season, but he's also the fourth-leading scorer in the league. Plus, he just won his second 3-Point Contest, becoming the seventh player in NBA history to win the event multiple times. Plus, his aerial display in the All-Star Game left fans, pundits and peers in awe.

AWARD: Net who will cause the most friction
WINNER: Kyrie Irving
RUNNERS-UP: Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin, James Harden

Colin’s take: "Kevin Durant is pretty chill, Blake Griffin is lucky to be there, James Harden is just happy he’s not in Houston, so if you’re giving me the choice, I’d say Kyrie Irving."

What to know: Irving has already missed 11 games and took a hiatus in January for personal reasons. There was also an incident in which Irving attended a private party while wearing a mask, even though NBA rules prohibit players from attending social gatherings of 15 or more people. Consequently, Irving had to sit out for two games, per the league's health and safety protocols, and was fined $50,000 per game.

AWARD: Player you want to see traded
WINNER: Bradley Beal
RUNNERS-UP: Kyrie Irving, Ben Simmons, Nikola Vucevic

Colin’s take: "He’s got a very consistent personality. He scores 40 points a lot. The problem is when he does, they’ve lost 11 straight because he doesn’t have anyone else to balance him out."

What to know: Beal leads the NBA in scoring (32.9 PPG), but Washington is just 12-10 when he scores 30 or more this season. When he scores 40 or more, the Wizards are 0-4.

AWARD: Most surprising team
WINNER: New York Knicks
RUNNERS-UP: Utah Jazz, Brooklyn Nets, Phoenix Suns

Colin’s take: "They’re above .500, and they play very well together. The Knicks are interesting, and that’s good for the NBA."

What to know: The Knicks are 19-18, which is the best record they've had at the All-Star break since 2013. Julius Randle is the Knicks' first All-Star selection since Kristaps Porzingis in 2017-18.

AWARD: Future face of the NBA
WINNER: Zion Williamson
RUNNERS-UP: Giannis Antetokounmpo, LaMelo Ball, Luka Doncic

Colin’s take: "He’s got a Michael Jordan buzz about him. The look, the likeability, the intensity, the passion. There are just a lot of qualities here. He’s a marketing person’s fantasy and loves the game."

What to know: The only player to score more points than Zion Williamson through his first 58 games in the 3-point era was Michael Jordan.

AWARD: Sleeping giant
WINNER: Dallas Mavericks
RUNNERS-UP: Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Golden State Warriors

Colin’s take: "Now Porzingis got hurt early, so they weren’t very good early, [and] they also had a COVID outbreak. But I think they’re a pretty interesting team. Luka feels like 30 a night. [They] won 10 of 13 heading into the All-Star break. They’ve got to become a better defensive team, but they’re playing pretty well right now."

What to know: Luka Doncic averages 28.6 points per game and has helped Dallas win nine of its past 11 games. Porzingis has already missed 14 games this season, but in the final three games before the All-Star break, he averaged 18 points and nine rebounds in 30.5 minutes per game. The Mavericks currently hold the eighth spot in the West, meaning they would be one of two teams in the play-in round if the playoffs started today. 

AWARD: Biggest pretender
WINNER: San Antonio Spurs
RUNNERS-UP: Utah Jazz, Philadelphia 76ers, New York Knicks

Colin’s take: "Analytically, they feel behind other teams, and I don’t buy you can win it with a bunch of guys scoring 14."

What to know: The Spurs are currently seventh in the Western Conference, and DeMar DeRozan averages exactly 20.0 points per game. San Antonio has seven other players who average double figures, beginning with Dejounte Murray at 15.8 and ending with Rudy Gay at 11.2. Indiana is the only other team with eight double-digit scorers.

AWARD: Most underappreciated
WINNER: Steph Curry
RUNNERS-UP: Damian Lillard, LeBron James, Chris Paul

Colin’s take: "We just haven’t seen him do anything on a big scale in two years, and he pretty much took over the All-Star Game. It’s what he does."

What to know: Last season, Curry missed 58 consecutive games after injuring his hand during the Warriors' fourth regular-season game. This season, he is averaging 29.7 points per game (fourth in the NBA) and has helped the Warriors to a 19-18 record without Klay Thompson, who is out because of an Achilles injury.

AWARD: Lakers' biggest Western Conference challengers
WINNER: LA Clippers
RUNNERS-UP: Utah Jazz, Phoenix Suns, Portland Trailblazers

Colin’s take: "They have good wing defenders in Paul George and Kawhi [Leonard]. If Lebron plays 36 minutes in a playoff game, then I can put Kawhi on him for 20 and Paul George on him for 16-18. His life will be a little more difficult."

What to know: The Lakers and Clippers didn't get to match up in the playoffs last season after LA lost to Denver in the West semifinals, so fans are hoping for that pairing this postseason. Since Leonard and George joined the Clippers before last season, the Lakers are 1-3 against their hometown rivals in the regular season.

AWARD: Player you want taking the last shot
WINNER: Steph Curry
RUNNERS-UP: LeBron James, Damian Lillard, Zion Williamson

Colin’s take: "Dame and Steph Curry are the two best 'last shot of the game' guys."

What to know: Curry is tied with Portland's CJ McCollum for most made 3-pointers per game (4.8) and is shooting 47.6% from 3 in clutch time this season.


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