2017 NBA awards finalists unveiled
Posted by Associated Press on 19th May 2017
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This post was originally published on ESPN NEWS

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Finalists for the 2017 NBA awards are being announced on Friday night prior to Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals. Three finalists each will be announced for the following awards: Kia NBA Most Valuable Player, Kia NBA Rookie of the Year, Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year, Kia NBA Sixth Man Award, Kia NBA Most Improved Player and NBA Coach of the Year. Rapper/entertainer Drake will help reveal the winners of these awards when he hosts the first-ever NBA Awards show on Monday, June 26.

Here is a running list of the award finalists:

MOST IMPROVED PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Milwaukee PG/F Giannis Antetokounmpo: Became just the fifth player in NBA history to lead his team in points, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals, joining LeBron James, Kevin Garnett, Scottie Pippen and Dave Cowens. Antetokounmpo has increased his points per game, rebounds, assists, blocks, steals and field goal percentage averages in each of his four seasons.

Denver C Nikola Jokic: Saw significant increases in his scoring average, rebounding, assists and field goal percentage from last season to this season. Averaged 16.7 points, 9.8 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 57.8 percent shooting while posting six triple-doubles. He was the only player to post averages of 18-11-6 since the start of February.

Utah C Rudy Gobert: Increased scoring average from 9.1 points to 14.0 ppg and averaged a career-high 12.8 rebounds (fourth in NBA) while contesting 14.2 shots per game.