Oklahoma City Thunder's Kevin Durant (35) shoots over Denver Nuggets...

Oklahoma City Thunder's Kevin Durant (35) shoots over Denver Nuggets guard Arron Afflalo (6). (April 7, 2010) Credit: AP

Newsday's Alan Hahn was selected to vote on three of the NBA's six major awards. Alan believes in full disclosure, so here's how his ballot looks:

Most valuable player

CHOICE: LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers.

REASON: Best player in the game on the team with the best record (though not necessarily the best team in the league, if you ask us).

RUNNERS-UP: 2. Kevin Durant (Thunder), 3. Kobe Bryant (Lakers), 4. Dwight Howard (Magic), 5. Carmelo Anthony (Nuggets).

Most improved player

CHOICE: Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder.

REASON: Made quantum leap into bona fide superstar; this award doesn't only go to marginal types who suddenly become good.

RUNNERS-UP: 2. Aaron Brooks (Rockets), 3. David Lee (Knicks).

Defensive player of the year

CHOICE: Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic

REASON: Because he spikes layups like Karch Kiraly when anyone takes it to the rack against Orlando.

RUNNERS-UP: 2. Ron Artest (Lakers), Josh Smith (Hawks).

Our choices on the other postseason awards (which we aren't officially voting on):

Rookie of the year

CHOICE: Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors.

REASON: Tremendous second half and ridiculous stat lines are just enough, though it's hard not to consider playoff-bound Brandon Jennings.

RUNNERS-UP: 2. Brandon Jennings (Bucks). 3. Tyreke Evans (Kings).

Coach of the year

CHOICE: Scott Skiles, Milwaukee Bucks.

REASON: Once again has a team overachieving and playing hard night in and night out. Question is, will he burn out quickly the way he did in Chicago?

RUNNERS-UP: 2. Scott Brooks (Thunder), 3. Nate McMillan (Trail Blazers).

Sixth man

CHOICE: Jamal Crawford, Atlanta Hawks.

REASON: His arrival gave the Hawks a much-needed and valuable added dimension with explosive scoring off the bench.

RUNNERS-UP: 2. Manu Ginobili (Spurs). 3. Jason Terry (Mavericks).