x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Derrick Rose comes up smelling sweeter than LeBron James

The end of the regular season is upon us, so now is the time to dole out who deserves to be the NBA's MVP, top rookie, sixth man, etc.

The regular season ends on Wednesday, which means it is time for awards - those things handed out each year that no one can agree on. Here is one man's opinion:

• Most Valuable Player. Cases can be made for several players, and I will not argue LeBron James, the Miami Heat forward, remains the league's most uniquely talented, single force.

But that does not make him the MVP.

That goes to Derrick Rose, the Chicago Bulls guard, who has elevated both his game and his team this season, and that is what an MVP does.

• Coach of the year. Plenty of worthy candidates, yet it is hard to top what the Denver Nuggets' George Karl has done.

His team was in turmoil throughout the season while the Carmelo Anthony trade swirled. And he had to battle throat cancer.

Karl only led his team to a remarkable re-emergence in the second half. They have clinched the fifth seed in the West and are a team no one wants to face in the play-offs.

• Rookie of the year. The Los Angeles Clippers' Blake Griffin, and this one is no contest despite the improved second-half play of the Washington Wizards' John Wall. Griffin has electrified the league, and most amazingly, even has made the lowly Clippers relevant.

• Quick picks. Sixth man, Jason Terry (Dallas Mavericks); defensive player of the year, Dwight Howard (Orlando Magic); most improved player, Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves).