Finalists for the 2017 NBA awards were announced Friday night prior to Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals. There are three finalists each for the following awards: Kia NBA Most Valuable Player, Kia NBA Rookie of the Year, Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year, Kia NBA Sixth Man Award, Kia NBA Most Improved Player and NBA Coach of the Year. Rapper/entertainer Drake will help reveal the winners when he hosts the first-ever NBA Awards show June 26.
Here is a running list of the award finalists:
Most Improved Player of the Year
Milwaukee PG/F Giannis Antetokounmpo: He became just the fifth player in NBA history to lead his team in points, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals, joining LeBron James, Kevin Garnett, Scottie Pippen and Dave Cowens. Antetokounmpo has increased his points per game, rebounds, assists, blocks, steals and field goal percentage averages in each of his four seasons.
Denver C Nikola Jokic: Jokic saw significant increases in his scoring average, rebounding, assists and field goal percentage from the past season to this season. Averaged 16.7 points, 9.8 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 57.8 percent shooting while posting six triple-doubles. He was the only player to post averages of 18-11-6 since the start of February.
Utah C Rudy Gobert: Gobert increased his scoring average from 9.1 to 14.0 PPG and averaged a career-high 12.8 rebounds (fourth in NBA) while contesting 14.2 shots per game.
Sixth Man of the Year
Golden State F Andre Iguodala: Iguodala posted his highest player efficiency rating (14.4) in four seasons in Golden State. Iguodala averaged 7.6 points and came off the bench every game this season for the team with the best record in the NBA (67 wins).
Houston G Eric Gordon: Gordon made the fourth-most 3-pointers (246) this season with 206 made off the bench, the most in a season off the bench in the 3-point era (since 1979-80), according to ESPN Stats & Information. The guard averaged 16.3 points per game off the bench, second in the NBA.