G Tony Allen, Memphis: Relentless effort and physical presence is why Allen has remained among the league's elite defenders.
G Avery Bradley, Boston: Loss of teammate Rajon Rondo allowed the superb defensive skills of Bradley to be put on full display.
F Paul George, Indiana: Has quickly become one of the league's top perimeter defenders. Terrific tools at 6-foot-8 and 221 pounds.
F Serge Ibaka, Thunder: Last season's runner-up for Defensive Player of the Year is a better all-around defender than a year ago.
C Joakim Noah, Chicago: His defensive presence is the primary reason the Bulls somehow are above .500 without Derrick Rose.
G Thabo Sefolosha, Thunder: Repeatedly overlooked in the past, perhaps this is the year Sefolosha gets his deserved recognition.
G Danny Green, San Antonio: This was a toss-up between Green and teammate Tony Parker. Green chosen because he's bigger.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
1. Marc Gasol, Memphis: This 7-foot-1, 270-pound space-eater clogs up the middle and directs the league's most physical defense.
2. LeBron James, Miami: Is there anything this guy can't do? He's capable of playing any position, both offensively and defensively.
3. Tony Allen, Memphis: My previous choice as defensive POY remains one of the toughest, strongest, meanest defenders out there.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
1. Damian Lillard, Portland: Easiest selection on the awards board. Incredibly composed point guard immediately was put in charge.
2. Anthony Davis, New Orleans: Had this preseason favorite been able to stay healthy, he could have challenged Lillard – um, maybe.
3. Bradley Beal, Washington: Last year's No. 3 overall pick made an immediately impact before he was sidelined with multiple injuries.
SIXTH MAN OF THE YEAR
1. J.R. Smith, New York: As if Anthony wasn't lethal enough, Smith comes off the bench as the team's second-leading scorer (18.1).
2. Jamal Crawford, LA Clippers: His flamboyant style translates well in Los Angeles, as does averaging 16.6 points in 29.5 minutes.
3. Andre Miller, Denver: This 37-year-old still possesses some serious savvy and skill and remains the league's best ally-oop passer.
MOST IMPROVED PLAYER
1. Paul George, Indiana: Selected to the first All-Star Game of his career this season thanks to averaging career highs in several categories.
2. Greivis Vasquez, New Orleans: Averaging double-digits points (13.9) and nearly double-digit assists (9.1) for the first time in his career.
3. Nikola Vucevic, Orlando: A 7-foot, 250-pounder who has doubled last year's averages in many categories – offensively and defensively.
COMEBACK PLAYER OF THE YEAR
1. Stephen Curry, Golden State: Surgery to his right ankle repaired torn ligaments last season and he's been tearing up the league ever since.
2. Brook Lopez, Brooklyn: Selected to his first All-Star team this season after missing all but five games last year due to a broken right foot.
3. Wilson Chandler, Denver: Goes to China last season, comes back, injures hip, has surgery, now an explosive reserve on an explosive team.
COACH OF THE YEAR
1. George Karl, Denver: He survived a brutal early season schedule, a run of injuries to several key players, and all this after Anthony left.
2. Mike Woodson, New York: Under the extreme scrutiny of NYC, overcame multiple injuries to key players and got hot at the right time.
3. Mark Jackson, Golden State: No Andrew Bogut for 50 games and no Brandon Rush, but Jackson has quickly poured a solid foundation.
EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR
1. Daryl Morey, Houston: Blew up his roster with a slew of transactions that included James Harden, Jeremy Lin, Omer Asik and Carlos Delfino.
2. Pat Riley, Miami: Champs got even better by acquiring the greatest 3-point shooter in NBA history and a key reserve in Chris Andersen.
3. Masai Ujiri, Denver: Made sure the Nuggets didn't disintegrate after losing Anthony by assembling an impressive mix of non-superstars.