Just thought I'd throw these out there. I'm still too emotional after yesterday's loss to post something intelligent.
Most Valuable Player: This is tough. I go w/ Caron, because his best was better than Antawn's best. When Caron rolled this year, we won. When Jamison rolled, we won sometimes. As the Cleveland series indicated, we were at our most dangerous when Caron was at his.
Least Valuable Player: Gilbert Arenas. Has there ever been such a soap opera-ish knee injury? It's pretty clear now that "the face of the franchise" hurt much more than he helped this year. Hopefully, he can get healthy and come back for a strong 08/09, but his 07/08 campaign was all anticipation and no impact.
Most Improved: I'm giving this one to Haywood over Blatche and Stevenson. Brendan really impressed me several times this year, including during the Cleveland series. His free throws, his back-to-the-basket game, and his pass-receiving were all much improved over last year. Blatche improved too, but he was much more of a roller-coaster ride. Stevenson had some great moments and he hit more 3s this year than all his other years combined, but his maturity and shot selection still need serious work.
The OOBA (Out-Of-the Blue Award): Roger Mason started this year as the 12th guy on a 12-man team. He ended the year being our 1st guard off the bench. He was downright deadly on some nights and he caught the attention of the league (Lebron James in particular). Wiz fans should have really enjoyed Roger this year, 'cause he'll be wearing a new uniform, and sporting a $20-$30 million contract, somewhere else next year.
The Rookie of the Year: Since we only had 3, there is little suspense in this one, but its winner, Nick Young, is now put on notice. He had some nice rookie moments, but he needs to improve his defense so he can challenge Stevenson for the starting 2-guard spot. If he does (and I'm not sure how, by the way), our team will become instantly more explosive, athletic, and aggressive. Right now, however, his defensive liability outweighs his offensive potential.
The Welcome Back Award: Etan Thomas. At the beginning of the year, I said I could not endure another season with the Wiz's two-headed debacle of a center combo. Now, I don't see how we can succeed without it. The Cleveland series made it painfully obvious how much we need size and strength on the floor at all times. It's too much to ask of Haywood to be physical all 48 minutes and to stay out of foul trouble. Hopefully, this year has made them both realize their role (Haywood the starter and Thomas the back-up), and they can work together next year to give us good stability at the 5-spot.
The Funny but Useless Award: Pecherov. I know it was just his first year and that the team loves him, but Olesky needs to figure out what he's doing. Has any 7-footer ever spent more time behind the 3-point line? He may be able to make some outside shots, but he too often looked too soft and too afraid of contact. If he doesn't improve, he may go down the Jiri Welsch highway to ignominy.