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Curry, Clarkson among finalists for NBA individual awards

Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry and Filipino-American guard Jordan Clarkson of the Utah Jazz are among the finalists for National Basketball Association individual awards, the league announced on Friday (Manila time)

Three-time NBA champion Curry is in the running for the Most Valuable Player award while Mr. Clarkson is in the mix for the Sixth Man of the year plum.

Mr. Curry, the league’s scoring leader (32 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 5.8 apg and 1.2 spg), is up against big men Nikola Jokic (26.4 ppg, 10.8 rpg, 8.3 apg and 1.3 spg) of the Denver Nuggets and Joel Embiid (28.5 ppg, 10.6 rpg, 2.8 apg, 1.0 steal and 1.4 bpg) of Eastern Conference top seeds Philadelphia 76ers.

For the Sixth Man of the Year award, Mr. Clarkson (18.4 ppg, 4 rpg and 2.5 apg in 26.7 minutes per game), who represented the Philippines in the 2018 Asian Games, is pitted versus teammate Joe Ingles (12.1 ppg, 3.6 rpg and 4.7 apg in 27.9 minutes), and former league MVP Derrick Rose (14.7 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 4.2 apg and 1 spg in 25.6 minutes) of the New York Knicks.

In the Coach of the Year award race, in contention are Quin Snyder (Jazz), Tom Thibodeau (Knicks) and Monty Williams (Phoenix Suns) while the Defensive Player of the Year list has Rudy Gobert (Jazz), Draymond Green (Warriors) and Ben Simmons (Sixers).

For the rest of the awards, the finalists are Jerami Grant (Detroit Pistons), Michael Porter Jr. (Nuggets) and Julius Randle (Knicks) for Most Improved Player; and LaMelo Ball (Charlotte Hornets), Anthony Edwards (Minnesota Timberwolves) and Tyrese Haliburton (Sacramento Kings) for Rookie of the Year Award.

The selection of the three finalists for each annual award was based on voting results from a global panel of sportswriters and broadcasters.

The winners of the awards will be announced through the course of the 2020-2021 NBA Playoffs, which kick off on Sunday. – Michael Angelo S. Murillo

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