The 2022 NBA Playoffs are underway and as we saw on Monday, standout players are starting to receive some hardware for their performances in the regular season.
The NBA has announced the 2021-22 award winners through TNT's postseason coverage, as Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith, Shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley had a hand in naming who will take home the MVP, Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Sixth Man of the Year, Most Improved Player and Coach of the Year.
Voting was conducted by media members and is based only on the 2021-22 regular season.
2021-22 NBA awards
Most Valuable Player
Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets (winner)
Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
Jokic has won the NBA's MVP award for a second consecutive year after averaging 27.1 points, 13.8 rebounds and 7.9 assists per game for a Nuggets team that won 48 games.
Rookie of the Year
Scottie Barnes, Toronto Raptors (winner)
Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers
Cade Cunningham, Detroit Pistons
Barnes becomes the third player in Raptors history to win the award, joining Vince Carter and Damon Stoudamire. The No. 4 overall pick in 2021, Barnes averaged 15.3 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists over 74 games in his first NBA season.
Defensive Player of the Year
Marcus Smart, Boston Celtics (winner)
Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz
Mikal Bridges, Phoenix Suns
Smart was the first guard to be named Defensive Player of the Year since Gary Payton in 1995-96, and it's only right The Glove was on sight to hand the lockdown defender his award.
Smart helped lead the Celtics to the NBA's best defensive rating (106.2) and the lowest field goal and 3-point percentage against in the league. His 1.7 steals per game ranked third in the NBA and he also ranked in the top 10 in deflections, charges drawn and loose balls recovered.
Sixth Man of the Year
Tyler Herro, Miami Heat (winner)
Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers
Cameron Johnson, Phoenix Suns
Tyler Herro had a career year coming off the bench this season for the Miami Heat averaging 20.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists while shooting 39.9 percent from 3-point range.
Herro becomes the first player in Heat franchise history to take home Sixth Man of the Year honors.
Most Improved Player
Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies (winner)
Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers
Dejounte Murray, San Antonio Spurs
All three Most Improved Player award finalists became All-Stars for the first time this season. Ja Morant had the biggest leap of them all, going from star to superstar this season averaging a career-best 27.4 points, 5.7 boards and 6.7 assists leading Memphis to the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference.
Coach of the Year
Monty Williams, Phoenix Suns (winner)
Taylor Jenkins, Memphis Grizzlies
Erik Spoelstra, Miami Heat
According to a report from The Athletic's Shams Charania, Williams has been named Coach of the Year. Williams earns the honor after leading the Suns to a league-leading 64-18 record, which is also the best record in franchise history.