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Continued: NBA Insider: Selecting the regular-season award winners

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Last update: April 12, 2014 - 7:39 PM

Taj Gibson, Chicago: If he wins, it won’t be strictly for his scoring, as voters often prefer. Here’s a guy who should get himself into contention because of his heart, hard work and offensive game that might be overlooked. Gibson is one big reason the Bulls have kept winning after Derrick Rose went out again and Luol Deng was traded.

Best of the rest: Jamal Crawford, L.A. Clippers; Manu Ginobili, San Antonio; Markieff Morris, Phoenix; Reggie Jackson, Oklahoma City; Vince Carter, Dallas.

Defensive Player of the Year

Joakim Noah, Chicago: He’s got Houston coach Kevin McHale’s endorsement because of his determination and toughness. McHale knew a thing or two about defense back in the day, and he also coaches a guy named Dwight Howard. It doesn’t hurt that Indiana collapsed late in the season, which hurts Roy Hibbert’s chances, or that Howard sustained a late-season injury.

Best of the rest: LeBron James, Miami; Howard; Anthony Davis, New Orleans; Andre Iguodala, Golden State; Hibbert.

Executive of the Year

Masai Ujiri, Toronto: A back-to-back winner, in separate cities? The former Denver GM who shaped a Nuggets team that won 57 games a season ago should win again for two major moves that transformed the Raptors team from tank mode for Canadian Andrew Wiggins to playoff bound: He was able to trade Andrea Bargnani’s huge contract to New York and dealt Rudy Gay to Sacramento for a whole new bench.

Best of the rest: Portland’s Neil Olshey; Houston’s Daryl Morey; Phoenix’s Ryan McDonough; Golden State’s Bob Myers.

First-team All-NBA

F LeBron James, Miami

F Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City

C Joakim Noah, Chicago

G Chris Paul, L.A. Clippers

G James Harden, Houston

The 50-point club

Wolves forward Corey Brewer scored 27 of his franchise record-tying 51 points on the fast break in Friday’s 112-110 home victory over Houston. That’s the most by any NBA player in the StatsCube database kept for the past 18 years. Here’s the top six:

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