NBA Midseason Awards


By: Jeff Yoder

Good Morning

The sports news cycle enters a winter dry spell for a few days. The ever-agonizing two-week wait for the Super Bowl media circus is here, and we just put a pin in the 2024 Australian Open. With today’s “free” edition, last night was a good opportunity to go all-in on some basketball. Let’s catch up on the NBA’s first half with some midseason awards as January comes to a close. It’s a hoops-happy edition.

Not a basketball fan? Stick with us. The NHL All-Star Game and Pebble Beach Pro-Am are a few days away, and the Champions League returns soon.

Letter Rip!


The NBA Midseason Awards

Photo: David Berding / Getty Images

Handing Out the NBA’s Midseason Accolades: MVP, DPOY, Rookie(s) & More

We’re past due after the week in review. The NBA’s 82-game slate surpassed the halfway point last week, and we can now rewind the first 40-plus games of the season. These aren’t official NBA mid-season awards. They were decided by us, along with some help from oddsmakers. Six different awards races are in focus where the 76ers, Thunder and Timberwolves are looking for a large haul of the hardware. Plus, there’s a playoff picture (below). The second half of the season, trade deadline (Feb. 8) and the All-Star weekend (Feb. 18) all take shape in February.

NBA Midseason Awards Races

*Not Official (Based on 1st Half of NBA Season)

MVP: 1. Joel Embiid (PHI), 2. Nikola Jokic (DEN), 3. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (OKC), 4. Jayson Tatum (BOS), 5. Luka Doncic (DAL)

Rookie of the Year: 1. Victor Wembanyama (SAS), 2. Chet Holmgren (OKC), 3. Brandon Miller (CHA), 4. Jaime Jaquez Jr. (MIA), Dereck Lively II (DAL)

Defensive Player of the Year:1. Rudy Gobert (MIN), 2. Anthony Davis (LAL), 3. O.G. Anunoby (NYK), 4. Bam Adebayo (MIA), 5. Chet Holmgren (OKC)

Sixth Man of the Year: 1. Tim Hardaway Jr. (DAL), 2. Malik Monk (SAC), 3. Jordan Clarkson (UTA), 4. Bogdan Bogdanovic (ATL), 5. Bennedict Mathurin (IND)

Most Improved Player: 1. Tyrese Maxey (PHI), 2. Alperen Sengun (HOU), 3. Scottie Barnes (TOR), 4. Coby White (CHI), 5. Tyrese Haliburton (IND)

Coach of the Year: 1. Mark Daigneault (OKC), 2. Chris Finch (MIN), 3. Nick Nurse (PHI), 4. Joe Mazzula (BOS), 5. Rick Carlisle (IND)

Read More

Sporting News: NBA Midseason Awards: MVP, ROY & DPOY So Far in 2023-24

WaPo: Has Chet Holmgren Passed Victor Wembanyama for ROY?

CBS Sports: NBA Midseason Picks & Finals Predictions: Embiid is MVP, Can Celtics Win It All?


NBA Standings Update

Eastern Conference

1. Celtics (36-11)

2. Bucks (32-15)

3. 76ers (29-16)

4. Knicks (30-17)

5. Cavaliers (28-16)

6. Pacers (27-20)

7. Magic (24-22)

8. Heat (24-23)

9. Bulls (22-25)

10. Nets (19-27)

Others: Hawks (19-27), Raptors (16-30), Hornets (10-35), Wizards (9-37), Pistons (6-40)

Western Conference

1. Timberwolves (33-14)

2. Nuggets (33-15)

3. Thunder (32-15)

4. Clippers (30-15)

5. Kings (27-18)

6. Suns (27-20)

7. Pelicans (26-21)

8. Mavericks (25-21)

9. Lakers (24-24)

10. Jazz (24-24)

Others: Rockets (22-24), Warriors (19-24), Grizzlies (18-29), Blazers (14-33), Spurs (10-37)


Last Night’s NBA Highlights

Jokic vs. Giannis? Thunder vs. Wolves? And Welcome Back, Ben Simmons!

A fun night of NBA action saw 24 of the league’s 30 teams take the court. Two recent MVPs clashed in a Bucks-Nuggets showdown. Young stars in Anthony Edwards (Timberwolves) and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Thunder) met to find out whose team would retake the West’s No. 1 spot. Meanwhile, Luka Doncic had a casual 45 points. And Ben Simmons is back (yay). He almost had a triple-double, too. Let’s run some highlight reels:

Cavs & Clippers Duel : These two teams might be mirror images of each other in opposite conferences. Both clubs are temporary 4-or-5 seeds who are both streaking in January. The Cavs eked out a narrow win in a tight game from wire-to-wire last night, but the Clippers could claim to be the hottest team in January. Donovan Mitchell (28) and Kawhi Leonard (30) had a mid-range duel that was fun to watch. (Cavs def. Clippers, 118-108)

Knicks Win 7th Straight : Don’t look now, but here come the Knicks. New York rolled Charlotte last night thanks to 32 points from Jalen Brunson and a sneaky 28 from Donte DiVincenzo. The Knicks have won seven straight and 13 of their last 15, with both losses by a just eight combined points. It’s setting up for another hopeful-but-cautionary Knicks postseason run. (Knicks def. Hornets, 113-92)

Celtics Rally Past Pels : The Celtics came back from 15 down to beat the Pelicans last night with 20-plus apiece from Jayson Tatum (28), Jaylen Brown (22) and Jrue Holiday (20). Boston is the outright leader in the league standings, and they have been for most of the year. When the Celtics guards spread the rock like this? They’re the team to beat. (Celtics def. Pelicans, 118-112)

Big Men Ballin : Two former MVPs met in the Nuggets-Bucks clash where Giannis Antetokounmpo and Nikola Jokic might as well have their own stat sheets. Giannis (29-12-4-1-1) and Jokic (25-16-12-3-2) are just statistical anomalies at this point. The Nuggets got the win, and Jokic tallied his 134th career triple-double. Both teams are No. 2 in their respective conferences. (Nuggets def. Bucks, 113-107)

Somebody Guard Luka : Three days after his historic 73-point night, Luka Doncic messed around and put up 45 on Monday. The Mavs beat the Magic, and Doncic almost swiped another triple-double (45-15-9). It was Luka’s third 40-point game of the month (9th of the year), and he’s averaging over 40 ppg in the last five games. (Mavs def. Magic, 131-129)

Other NBA News & Highlights



UConn & South Carolina Still Strong Atop the Polls

Photo: Jamie Schwaberow / Getty Images

The College Basketball Outlook With 1 Month to March Madness

The weekly AP Polls are a good barometer for your upcoming bracket, but a lot can change in the last month. For most of the college basketball season, three teams have had strangleholds at the top of the standings. South Carolina (unbeaten) remains No. 1 in the women’s poll. It’s been UConn at No. 1 for the men’s top-10 in January. Dan Hurley’s club has won eight straight over the last 40 days. But No. 2 Purdue has spent the most weeks at No. 1 this season. Enjoy this final generic poll of January. Come February, it’s bracketology month.

Men’s AP Top-10

1. UConn (18-2) | —

2. Purdue (19-2) | —

3. North Carolina (17-3) | —

4. Houston (19-2) | —

5. Tennessee (15-4) | —

6. Wisconsin (16-4) | ↑7

7. Duke (16-4) | ↑5

8. Kansas (16-4) | ↓1

9. Marquette (15-5) | ↑5

10. Kentucky (15-4) | ↓4

Men’s Full AP Top-25

Women’s AP Top-10

1. South Carolina (19-0) | —

2. Kansas State (20-1) | ↑2

3. Iowa (19-2) | ↑2

4. Stanford (19-2) | ↑2

5. NC State (18-2) | ↑2

6. Colorado (17-3) | ↓3

7. UCLA (16-3) | ↓5

8. Ohio State (17-3) | ↑4

9. LSU (18-4) | —

10. Indiana (17-2) | ↑4

Women’s Full AP Top-25

NCAA Highlights

NCAA Men’s Basketball

#7 Duke def. Virginia Tech (77-67)

#4 Houston def. Texas (76-72, OT)

NCAA Women’s Basketball

Mississippi State Upsets #9 LSU (77-73)




Senators Rally From 3 Down to Beat Predators (4-3, OT)


Messi Scores But Miami Loses Friendly to Al Hilal (4-3)



Initial Super Bowl Odds

The game between the Chiefs and 49ers will be a rematch of Super Bowl LIV, when Kansas City won 31-20. But these teams look drastically different. So who’s the favorite? (Bleacher Report)

Most Likely to Break 100

The NBA’s recent surge of spectacular scoring efforts made us wonder: Is Wilt Chamberlain’s single-game record breakable? And if so, by whom? Here are the stars who could break 100. (The Ringer)

Meet the Champions League Teams

The Champions League returns for the Knockout Stage in just two weeks. Here’s everything you need to know about the remaining 16 teams for the spring tournament. (UEFA)





Today’s Must-Watch List


Pacers at Celtics (7:30 pm ET, TNT)

76ers at Warriors (10:00 pm ET, TNT)


Blue Jackets at Blues (8:00 pm ET, NHLN)
Kraken at Sharks (10:30 pm ET, ESPN+)

NCAA Basketball

M: #3 UNC at Georgia Tech (7:00 pm ET, ESPN)

M: Oklahoma State at #8 Kansas (9:00 pm ET, ESPN)