Now that all the ballots are supposedly in, we bring you the latest, exclusive odds on Jazz players' chances for NBA postseason awards, based loosely on the opinions of the opinion leaders on the 85-member nationwide media panel:
MVP: Karl Malone 50-1. The Mailman should finish third or fourth in the voting, but he'll receive few first-place votes and will have little chance of overtaking Magic Johnson or Michael Jordan. That's even though Jordan has said, "If I had a vote, I'd give it to Karl Malone. He's had an MVP-type year."The Jazz have won enough games for Malone to receive consideration, but the accurate observation that John Stockton is also a huge factor in the team's success will hurt Malone's MVP chances. Maybe Malone can find consolation in the words of Charles Barkley: "I know I'm one of the best players in the NBA. I can play with anybody. I don't need the MVP trophy to tell me that."
All-NBA: Malone 1-2, Stockton 100-1. Malone is a lock for the first team; Stockton would have a shot, except for two players named Johnson and Jordan. He'll make the second team again.
SIXTH MAN: Thurl Bailey 4-1. If voters are choosing a scorer, the choice is Bailey or Phoenix's Eddie Johnson. The top candidate, though, appears to be Detroit's Dennis Rodman.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER: Mark Eaton 3-1. The Rodman Factor figures into this. Rodman has strong support for this award, too, but can voters really list him twice? Akeem Olajuwon is another possibility, ranking high in rebounds, blocks and steals.
The announcements of the awards will be staggered, for effect, during the playoffs.