This season, Leo Rautins looks at the biggest issues in the NBA in a half-time feature called Fast Break.
On Wednesday, Rautins offered his thoughts on who deserves the NBA's mid-season awards.
Defensive Player Of The Year:
Leo Rautins: You have to go with Dwight Howard, the big fellow who's leading the NBA in rebounds and blocked shots. His team is struggling a little bit but they've only given up 96 points a game. He is the king of the paint.
Rookie Of The Year:
Leo Rautins: Tyreke Evans from Sacramento, this guy is the real deal. He has an NBA body leading all rookies in scoring, top five in rebounds and assists, leading in minutes played, and takes - and makes - big shots.
Sixth Man Of The Year:
Leo Rautins: This guy has come out of nowhere - Jamal Crawford. He couldn't find a fit in the NBA and then comes to Atlanta and you talk about a guy who's not afraid to make big shots and he's winning games for them. They are now third in the East.
Coach Of The Year:
Leo Rautins: Hawks head coach Mike Woodson is a great choice, as is Lionel Hollins in Memphis, but how about Scott Brooks with Oklahoma City. They had 23 wins all last season; Brooks has already got that now and they're in eighth spot in the Western Conference. Great young players like Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Jeff Green, all getting it done under Scotty Brooks.
Most Valuable Player:
Leo Rautins: LeBron James has been playing great basketball all season long. He's second in the league in scoring and he gets things done. He's the most athletically gifted player to maybe ever play the game but don't exclude the Canadian, Steve Nash, who's having a career season. His numbers are on par with his other MVP years. How many guys flourish after the age of 30?