The J Notes’ NBA Year-End Awards for the 2015-16 Season

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Stephen Curry Golden State Warriors Houston Rockets Jason Terry NBA Power Rankings
May 23, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) dribbles as Houston Rockets guard Jason Terry (31) defends during the first quarter in game three of the Western Conference Finals of the NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /

Most Valuable Player: Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors

This ain’t rocket science, folks. Stephen Curry just had one of the greatest statistical seasons in the history league, shooting better than 50 percent from the field, 45 percent from three-point range and 90 percent from the line, while averaging 30 points, five rebounds, nearly seven assists and more than two steals per game.

Moreover, the Warriors won a league-record 73 games thanks in large part to his efforts.

Purple & Blues alum Jared Barker on Curry’s value to the Warriors: “His team isn’t the same without him. With him they look unstoppable.” This has definitely proven true in the playoffs, with the woeful Houston Rockets just having stolen a win from Golden State while Curry nursed an ankle injury.

At any rate, no need for extended discussion here. Steph was the guy in what was probably the most lopsided MVP race in recent history.

Voting Results (first-place votes in parentheses):

  1. Stephen Curry: 10 Pts. (5)
  2. Kawhi Leonard: 2 Pts.
  3. LeBron James: 1 Pt.
  4. Damian Lillard: 1 Pt.
Kawhi Leonard San Antonio Spurs NBA DPOY
Apr 19, 2016; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard (2) is presented the Kia Defensive Player of the Year award before game two of the first round of the NBA Playoffs against the Memphis Grizzlies at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports /

Defensive Player of the Year: Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs

In looking at who was the league’s best defender during the 2015-16 season, I’m feeling like something of an outsider. My vote went to Draymond Green of the Warriors, whom I also expected to win the award last year. Having said that, it’s hard to argue against Kawhi Leonard.

Jazz fans have witnessed his brilliance firsthand as he’s consistently shut down our best player. In 16 career games against Leonard, Gordon Hayward is shooting just 35 percent from the field, 19 percent from three-point range and scoring 12.7 points per game.

For the year, Leonard posted a defensive rating of 94.9 and averaged 1.8 steals and one block per game.

Jared Woodcox on Kawhi’s incredible defensive effort this season and that tendency to lock down star players–

"In a league where defensive effort is more and more overlooked, Kawhi Leonard is a breath of fresh air to say the least. Watching the new face of the San Antonio Spurs dynasty on the defensive end is truly as entertaining as it gets. Leonard has an uncanny ability to stay in front of defenders and if his opponent does manage to get a shot up, it’s a safe bet to say it will be a toughly contested look each and every time. And Leonard isn’t just shutting down your run of the mill role player, but instead is tasked night in and night out with guarding opposing teams’ best players such as LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Paul George, all of whom he has been able to effectively disrupt defensively. He has been able to consistently challenge players such as these and completely take them out of their rhythm. No other player in the league compares to him in terms of what he is asked to do and what he is capable of doing defensively. It’s no coincidence that Kawhi received 40 more DPOY votes than second-place Draymond Green. His defensive talent is unmatched across the Association."

Voting Results:

  1. Kawhi Leonard: 9 pts. (4)
  2. Draymond Green: 5 pts. (1)

Next: Rookie of the Year, Sixth Man Award and Most Improved Player