Sheridan’s Postseason Awards Ballot: Durant is MVP, Thibodeau is Coach of the Year

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voterIn a break with tradition, I am casting my NBA awards ballot after the 81st game, not the 82nd. It’s a rarity, but this season I will not hem and haw and sleep on it until the afternoon after the final day of the season. You’re welcome.

I have been an official NBA postseason awards voter for nearly a decade, and it would have been longer if not for a rule at the Associated Press, where I worked from 1987-2005, forbidding beat from voting for postseason awards (It is OK for them to declare the national champion in college football, but it is not OK for them to vote in other sports. Does that make sense?).

It is a privilege that I do not take lightly.

PODCAST: Better to Finish 2nd than 1st in Eastern Conference?

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Would you sacrifice the possibility of hosting a Game 7 at home in the Eastern Conference finals if it meant a smoother path toward getting to those Eastern Conference finals?

That is a question the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat have to be asking themselves with seven days left in the regular season.

Sheridan’s MVP Rankings, April 9 Edition: This Pick is Easy; Coach of Year is not

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magnifyingglassMy ballot will be e-mailed to NBA headquarters late at night one week from today, and I will then publish all of my picks for postseason awards — as is my standard practice.

But not every one of the 126 voters makes his/her selections public. At least that is the way it has been in the past.

But this year, transparency rules. The Pro Basketball Writers Association and the NBA media relations office have come to an agreement under which all of the voters’ picks in every single category will be made public. Too bad this didn’t happen a year ago, when we would have learned who had the gumption to vote for Jordan Crawford as Sixth Man of the Year. (The NBA even checked with the voter to see if he meant to select Jamal Crawford, and the voter responded ‘no.’ He actually felt the lesser Crawford was deserving).

PODCAST: How Will Adam Silver Put His Stamp on the NBA?

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SternLeavingThis is not David Stern’s NBA anymore.

The old commissioner is out of sight and out of mind, but his successor has been keeping a relatively low profile.

Sooner or later, Adam Silver is going to put his imprint on the NBA … it is just a matter of when.

VIDEO: What Defines the San Antonio Spurs? Getting Swept by Thunder? Last Year’s Finals?

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Life can be tricky. Sometimes, you are judged by your successes. Other times, you are judged by your failures.

Which brings us to the San Antonio Spurs, who are sitting at 60 victories with a little over a week left in the 2013-14 regular season, practically assured of having homecourt advantage throughout the playoffs.

But when you play word association with the Spurs, what comes to mind first: Their 19-game winning streak that ended last week, or their 0-4 record this season vs. the Oklahoma City Thunder?

And if you look at them through an even broader prism, what exactly defines them?