TBAW’s NBA 2021 Playoff Ballots

By Roy Feng

As the 2020-2021 NBA regular season comes to an end, talks about the playoffs and award winners have been raging. In what has been an incredibly unpredictable and chaotic season, here are TBAW’s official 2021 NBA award winners and playoff predictions. Keep in mind, this isn’t who is predicted to win, instead, if given a ballot, who we would select as the winners. 

Award Winners: 


Stephen Curry

(2: Jokic 3: Embiid)

Stephen Curry had an absolutely nuclear season again, much like his 2016 self. Without any other real supporting pieces around him, he has done a massive carry job for the Golden State Warriors. Although only being the 8th seed in a tough western conference, he is definitely the most deserving of this award. Despite being constantly tripled-teamed every game and having poor shooters around him, Curry still nearly managed to lead his team to a playoff spot. With the entire defensive scheme around him night in and night out, he still managed to win his second scoring title this year.


Ben Simmons

(2: Gobert 3: Adebayo)

Ben Simmons yet again has another monstrous season on the defensive side of the game. Ben is among the very few talented players that can truly guard 1-5 positions. Ben Simmons is a large contributor to the Sixers having the second-highest defensive rating in the league. Although candidates like Gobert might have amazing on and off numbers along with advanced stats, Simmons is still the most valuable defensive player in today’s league. Being able to defend anyone on any given night (Giannis, Luka, Lebron, Beal, AD, Curry, Dame…) is incredibly difficult and deserving of a DPOY.  


Julius Randle

(2: Wood 3: MPJ)

This one was an easy one. Randle has significantly elevated his game in pretty much every category. Randle has been exceptional this year as a play-maker and a 3-point shooter. Randle’s improvements have made the Knicks a 4th seed in the East, something that one ever thought was possible. 


Lamelo Ball

(2: Edwards 3: Haliburton)

A look at LaMelo Ball's rookie season in tweets - Los Angeles Times

A tight race for the ROTY this season, however, Lamelo’s immediate impact on the Hornets has been electrifying. Although missing about 20 games, Ball has shown to be the energy, drive, and one of the large reasons for the Hornet’s success this year. The Hornets have been much more successful than both the Wolves and Kings without having major talent advantages. Ball is an incredibly skilled and smart rookie that is 100% deserving of a ROTY regardless of his time missed. 


Jordan Clarkson

(2: Rose 3: Ingles)

Clarkson has been the ideal 6th man for almost any NBA team. Clarkson is a spark-plug scorer off the bench that can give you buckets on end. His impact as a scorer off the bench contributes to the Jazz being the No.1 seed in the NBA this year. 


Tom Thibodeau

(2: Monty Williams 3: Quin Snyder)

Thibs has been an absolute culture change for the Knicks this season. From being near the bottom of the conference (12th) last year to the 4th seed is incredible. Thibs has made the Knicks embrace the defensive mindset that helps them win games against the hardest of opponents. Although both Williams and Snyder have led their teams to higher seedings, the talent on the Knicks compared to the other 2 is significantly worse. 

Bracket Prediction:

All-NBA teams: 

All-NBA 1st team: 

G: Curry

G: Doncic

F: Leonard

F: Antetokounmpo

C: Jokic

All-NBA 2nd team: 

G: Paul

G: Westbrook

F: George

F: Randle

C: Embiid

All-NBA 3rd team: 

G: Lillard

G: Harden

F: Tatum

F: James

C: Gobert

All-NBA Defensive teams: 

All-NBA Defensive 1st team: 

G: Simmons

G: Holiday

F: Antetokounmpo

F: Adebayo

C: Gobert

All-NBA Defensive 2nd team: 

G: Dort

G: Butler

F: Leonard

F: Green

C: Embiid