James Harden, Ben Simmons and Rudy Gobert are big winners in the 2018 NBA Awards

The second NBA Awards was a star-studded event that featured the best players in the game today, retired NBA legends and some of the biggest celebrity fans of the league. The event, held in Santa Monica, California, showcased the best performing stars and officials of the 2017-2018 NBA Season.

There were six major awards given out as voted on by a panel of members of the media.

Most Valuable Player – James Harden, Houston Rockets

After missing out on the MVP award last year, the Beard makes up for it this year. He was the driving force of the league-leading Houston Rockets offense this year. Harden led the league in scoring, averaging 30.4 points per game. He finished with four 50-point games, including a 60-point triple-double performance. With Harden leading the way, the Rockets finished with league-best 65-17 record.

Rookie of the Year – Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers

After missing all of last year, Ben Simmons made sure that he was worth the wait. He took over the floor general role of for the Sixers and averaged 15.8 points, 8.1 rebounds and 8.2 assists. Simmons helped the young Sixers make it all the way to the second-round of the Playoffs.

Defensive Player of the Year – Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz

Rudy Gobert was a terror in the paint for the Jazz this year. He averaged 2.3 blocks per game and had a 97.7 defensive rating. The Jazz were the second best defensive team in the league allowing only 101.6 points per 100 possessions, mostly because of Gobert’s presence on the floor.

Coach of the Year – Dwane Casey, Toronto Raptors

This was one of the more awkward moments of the NBA Awards. Dwane Casey, the new head coach of the Detroit Pistons, accepted the Coach of the Year award for leading the Raptors to a franchise-best 59-win season. Casey was fired a few weeks ago and was immediately picked up by the Pistons. In his acceptance speech, Casey was gracious enough to thank his former team and players.

Most Improved Player – Victor Oladipo

Last year, Victor Oladipo was a key bench option for the OKC Thunder. This year, he was named an All-Star as the go-to guy of the Indiana Pacers. Oladipo had career-high averages in points (23.1), rebounds (5.2), assists (4.3), steals (2.4) and field goal percentage (47.7).

Sixth Man of the Year – Lou Williams, LA Clippers

Lou Williams registered 11 30-point games off the bench this season. He averaged a career-high 22.6 points per game, good for second on the team. His production off the bench was key for the Clippers who finished 42-40 and made a run for the Playoffs last season.

The NBA also gave out other awards for personalities and their achievements in the past year.

Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year – Jamal Crawford, Minnesota Timberwolves

NBA Cares Community Assist Award – Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors

Lifetime Achievement Award – Oscar Robertson

Executive of the Year – Daryl Morey, Houston Rockets

Hustle Award – Amir Johnson Philadelphia 76ers

Sager Strong Award – Dikembe Mutombo

Fans were also able to vote for their Plays of the Year. LeBron James, Giannis Antetokoumpo and Anthony Davis’ highlight plays won awards for Clutch Shot, Dunk and Block of the Year. Here are all the plays that were voted as top highlights for 2017-2018.

(READ ALSO: SLAM PH Picks their 2018 NBA Awards Winners)

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