3 Reasons Why Giannis Antetokounmpo Should Be The NBA MVP
Here’s a question: Will Giannis Antetokounmpo win MVP? Antetokounmpo might be the frontrunner for the MVP award, but he has competition in James Harden.
Nitrogen Sports Blog lists down three reasons why the award should go to the “Greek Freak” nonetheless.
He’s made the Bucks the best team in the NBA
While the playoffs could have a different winner, it’s no question that the Bucks were the best team in the regular season.
After finishing seventh last season and exiting in the first round of the playoffs, this year they finished as the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference for the first time in franchise history with a 60-22 record — the best record in the entire NBA.
They have the highest point differential with 8.8, and are the only team to sit in the top five in offensive and defensive efficiency.
Team success is a major factor in determining the MVP, and the best player for Milwaukee has undoubtedly been Antetokounmpo who has been the reason for this improvement.
Their regular season success has since translated to the postseason as they would win their first playoff series since 2001 while also going to the conference finals for the first time since 2001. The setting is clear for the narrative in which Giannis wins MVP.
He’s gone buck wild on the stat sheets
One just needs to look at Antetokounmpo’s numbers to see how good he has been.
In 72 regular season games played, he has averaged career-highs of 27.7 points, 12.5 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game through 57.8 percent field goal shooting. His postseason numbers are similar as well.
But it’s not just offensively, but defensively as well. Antetokounmpo boasts the second-best individual defensive rating (99.4) in the NBA while the Bucks have the best defensive efficiency in the entire league.
The 24-year-old Greek is not only a serious contender for MVP, but could become the first player in 25 years to also win Defensive Player of the Year along with it.
Harden had a strong end to the regular season and at one point, was averaging an impressive 40 points per game. And while he dragged Houston to the No. 4 seed after a poor start to the season, the fact is, Harden was not performing like this throughout the season.
Antetokounmpo, meanwhile, has been performing at MVP levels from the start of the season.
While Harden led the regular season in win shares, Antetokounmpo finished inside the top five of offensive and defensive win shares.
In addition, he’s also tops in win shares per 48 minutes — a strong case anyone can make when arguing that the conclusion should be Giannis wins MVP.
So, will Giannis win 2019 NBA MVP award?
If there is one player who has taken the mantle in the East ever since LeBron James left the Cleveland Cavaliers for the second time in his career, it is Antetokounmpo.
While the MVP award is judged on the regular season only, it’s possible his postseason performances will only further convince the voting panel.
With Antetokounmpo leading the charge, the Bucks have dominated in the playoffs, sweeping the Detroit Pistons in the first round and demolishing the Boston Celtics in the next. They are also currently leading the Raptors in the Eastern Conference Finals.
If Giannis Antetokounmpo wins MVP, it won’t be something that would come across as a shocker. If you had a bet that the Greek Freak will run away with the Maurice Podoloff Trophy, then you must be feeling good.
Speaking of betting, new bettors can check out Nitrogen Sports’ piece on how to bet on sports.