Roundtable: Our Favorite Players of the 2017-2018 NBA Season
The NBA Finals will likely be in the rear-view mirror following this upcoming weekend. So with the 2017-2018 NBA season concluding, it's time to wrap things up, from the on-court performances to the off-court dramas. In this roundtable the OTG staff reflected on their favorite players from this past season.
Dylan Jackson - @JaxonNBA
Favorite Player: Donovan Mitchell
My favorite player to watch this season was Donovan Mitchell for the Utah Jazz. He stepped up right out of the gate when players like Rodney Hood wouldn't. Mitchell averaged 21 points, four rebounds, and four assists per game, and in my opinion should be Rookie of the Year over Ben Simmons. Mitchell did it all for the Jazz and was even one of the main catalysts behind Utah's upset over the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round of the playoffs.
Evan Dyal - @EvanDyal
Favorite Player: Anthony Davis
I am going to go with Anthony Davis. It is always special to watch a player with immense talent master the little things. AD cemented himself as a top-five player this season. First, he dominated with Boogie Cousins, and then when Cousins went down with injury he took his game to another level and became an MVP candidate. AD is likely to finish third in MVP voting. Davis finished with career-high video game numbers of 28.1 points, 11.1 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 2.6 blocks and 1.5 steals.
On defense he was one of the best defenders in the league, making the all-NBA defensive team and possibly may be the Defensive Player of the Year. His talents were on full display in the playoffs. When the Pelicans dismantled Portland in the first round, AD helped smother Damian Lillard on switches, protect the rim and on offense dominated with lobs, rim runs, mid-range jump shots and explosive finishes. Against the Warriors, Davis was dominant even though the Pelicans lost in five games. In the postseason as a whole, Davis averaged 30 and 13, on 52 percent shooting is just ridiculous. Davis in his sixth season started reaching the height of his powers and is still getting better. It was awesome watching him this year, and I can't wait to watch him next season. When it is all said and done he may be a historically great player.
Jac Manuell - @TheJManJBT
Favorite Player: Jarrett Allen
As a Brooklyn Nets fan there’s not a lot for me to hold on to after another disappointing season where we don’t hold our own draft pick. One of the few saving graces was the form of rookie center Jarrett Allen. Nick Fay and I regaled the brilliance of the budding star on an episode of the Buzz:
He provided some great displays on both ends of the floor and proved himself to be a foundational piece for the Nets going forward. He was unlucky not to make one of the All-Rookie Teams given his performances in the latter part of the season. Heck, he should’ve made it purely based on this:
I loved watching him this season and I can’t wait to see the player he develops into in the coming years.
Steve Lerner - @lernersteve1
Favorite Player: Those Who Taunt
As a hopeless Nuggets fan, my true answer is going to be some sort of vacillation between Nikola Jokic, Gary Harris, Jamal Murray, and my dear sweet Richard Jefferson. But I have a long, dry, basically-basketball-less summer ahead, and I'm only going to get through it by writing about the Nuggets. I'm not going to steal any material from myself right now.
So instead, in the words of our most wayward prophet: let's have a toast for the douchebags; let's have a toast for the assholes. We live in a golden age of taunting and NBA players have perfected the form. The best thing about the rampant trolling is that these guys are never actually going to hurt each other -- Joel Embiid and Russell Westbrook will never actually fight, as awesome as that would be. They're just going at each other's pride. And they're going hard.
So the most fun stuff for me to watch this year was definitely watching the acts of douchebaggery. Every time Joel Embiid waved bye-bye to an opponent who fouled out, I smiled. When Draymond Green waved imaginary pom-poms at Kendrick Perkins on the court during an NBA Finals game I couldn't help but laugh. When Jamal Murray dribbled around Lonzo Ball at the end of a Nuggets win, an angel got its wings. But of course there's only one true King Troll.
Dominic Roney - @DomRoney
Favorite Player: Jayson Tatum
This season I’ve really enjoyed watching Jayson Tatum play. It’s been great to see how he has progressed over the course of the season. He used every NBA game as a learning experience and came back for the next game with a new skill and it showed in his performances. He began by leading the league in 3-point percentage and broke several franchise record rookie milestones along the way. Tatum has been electrifying and used his rookie season to show he is the whole package. He can shoot, he can drive the ball, he can play defense, and he can dunk (even on the King.) Let's not soon forget, Jayson Tatum flourished in his first Game 7 proving that he is a big time winner and will be a face in the league for years to come.
Kory Waldron - @Kwalhoops
Favorite Player: Victor Oladipo
Victor Oladipo was my favorite player to watch this season. Yes, I watched the Indiana Pacers more than any other team this year, but hell it would not have been as enjoyable without him. Oladipo flipped the script this past year and made a huge jump in his game. The numbers speak for themselves as he jumped from 15.9 points per game to 23.1 points per game. Not to mention career highs in both shooting and three point shooting. There was also a point in the season where he recorded a steal in 60 straight games. So now I’ll let you all enjoy some the Victor Oladipo highlights you may have missed.