Another week of NBA Tuesday brings us to the 1983 season, and the golden decade of the league just keeps unfolding in front of us—with nostalgia and recollection of stars and more stars dominating the game.
Who wins the awards this year? Read on to find out …
1983 NBA MVP: Moses Malone (original, confirmed)
The league sometimes makes this really easy for us, as the Philadelphia 76ers finished with the best record (65-17), and their star center, Moses Malone, topped the NBA in Win Shares (15.10) and Player Efficiency Rating (25.12) in his first year in Philly after coming over from Houston.
While his numbers aren’t as good as they were in his 1982 MVP season, Malone still posted a league-best 15.3 rebounds per game with his new team, scoring 24.5 points per game as well. He also blocked 2 shots every time out and shot 50.1 percent from the floor, too.
1983 NBA ROTY: Terry Cummings (original), Dominique Wilkins (revised)
This is one of those seasons when the the rookie candidate list was full of names every NBA fan today should know. Look at this quartet of studs:
- Atlanta Hawks small forward Dominique Wilkins (5.8 WS, 16.6 PER)
- Indiana Pacers power forward Clark Kellogg (6.8, 20.3)
- San Diego Clippers power forward Terry Cummings (8.7, 22.8)
- Los Angeles Lakers small forward James Worthy (5.1, 17.4)
Fair or not, Worthy was a third banana, at best, on the Lakers, and the team would have been fine with or without him, as the defending champions. As for Cummings, his team finished 20 games out of a playoff spot and dead last in the Pacific Division. His value was nil, even if he played very well.
Likewise for Kellogg: The Pacers finished last in the Central Division, 23 games out of the postseason. That doesn’t mean Wilkins wins this award be default, however. The Hawks did claim the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference by one game, meaning his presence did make a difference.
His numbers: In 82 games, the Human Highlight Film scored 17.5 ppg, grabbed 5.8 rpg, and shot 49.3 percent from the floor—while playing 32.9 minutes per night, a definite sign of things to come from Wilkins.