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Aaron Falk and Steve Luhm cover the Utah Jazz and the NBA for The Salt Lake Tribune. The Tribune on Twitter - Aaron Falk: @tribjazz, Steve Luhm: @sluhm

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Submitted ballot for 2011-12 NBA awards

It's an honor to receive a vote for the NBA's annual awards. Ballots are due Friday. Awards will be announced during the playoffs. My submission's below.

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Feel free to weigh in via the comments section. I'll respond if possible. Thanks for reading.

2011-12 NBA rookie of the year:

1.) Kyrie Irving, Cleveland

2.) Ricky Rubio, Minnesota

3.) Isaiah Thomas, Sacramento

Coach of the year

1.) Gregg Popovich, San Antonio

2.) Frank Vogel, Indiana

3.) Lionel Hollins, Memphis

Defensive player of the year

1.) Tyson Chandler, New York

2.) Serge Ibaka, Oklahoma City

3.) Tony Allen, Memphis

First team

PG Chris Paul

SG Kobe Bryant

SF LeBron James

PF Kevin Love

C Dwight Howard

Second team

PG Russell Westbrook

SG Joe Johnson

SF Kevin Durant

PF Dirk Nowitzki

C Andrew Bynum

Third team

PG Tony Parker

SG Manu Ginobili

SF Rudy Gay

PF Blake Griffin

C Al Jefferson

Sixth man

1.) James Harden, Oklahoma City

2.) Jason Terry, Dallas

3.) O.J. Mayo, Memphis

Most valuable player

1.) LeBron James, Miami

2.) Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City

3.) Tony Parker, San Antonio

4.) Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers

5.) Steve Nash, Phoenix Suns

Most improved player

1.) Serge Ibaka, Oklahoma City

2.) Nikola Pekovic, Minnesota

3.) Ersan Ilyasova, Milwaukee

Note: My MVP vote's based off a variety of factors, including everything from a player's statistics to their importance to their team's success. I also separate the All-NBA team by position. The awards ballot provides generic listings for guard and forward, with no divide between power/small and point/shooting. In my opinion, this is too vague and allows some players to be submitted out of position, while ignoring the importance that a point guard or small forward has in the league. It's also the only reason Durant didn't make my first team.

Brian T. Smith

Twitter: @tribjazz



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