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An inside look at the Detroit Pistons and the NBA.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Like other beat writers around the NBA, I received my postseason ballots last week. Since there are four papers that cover the Pistons home and away, the ballots are split up. I'm voting on the Rookie of the Year, Sixth Man and Most Improved Player. The latter is by far the toughest to select.
The Lakers' Andrew Bynum would have won that award hands-down if he hadn't injured his knee midway through the season.
There is no set criteria, so it's basically a judgment call. Do you include high lottery picks who got more chances to play in their second or third year - or should they be downgraded by the fact they're SUPPOSED to excel? Portland's LaMarcus Aldridge has put up much better numbers in his second season but that's because Zach Randolph got traded.
How many years can you be in the league and still win the award? The Orlando Magic are touting Hedo Turkoglu, who's enjoying a career year but has been around since the 2000-01 season.
Indiana's Mike Dunleavy, who has thrived in Jim O'Brien's free-flowing attack, is both a high lottery pick and a guy who's been around awhile.
Minnesota's Al Jefferson is putting up imipressive stats on a bad team but he did that on a slighly smaller scale in Boston last year.
Should an unheralded player be given extra credit? There's plenty of those around, including Washington's Andrey Blatche, Dallas' Brandon Bass, Sacramento's Beno Udrih, Toronto's Jose Calderon, Utah's Ronnie Brewer, Philadelphia's Louis Williams and Denver' Linas Kleiza.
Which player did I pick? I'll reveal my choices for all the postseason awards in my weekly column in Sunday's Oakland Press.


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