Milwaukee Bucks ahead Giannis Antetokounmpo can be part of some elite firm, ought to he take residence his third NBA MVP award on the finish of the common season. If he can edge out Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokić, we will lastly lay the very best participant on the planet debate to relaxation. We can’t proceed to disclaim Antetokounmpo his bouquet of roses.
Only eight gamers within the league’s historical past have received three or extra MVP awards. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (6), Bill Russell (5), Michael Jordan (5), Wilt Chamberlain (4), LeBron James (4), Moses Malone (3), Larry Bird (3), and Magic Johnson (3). Antetokounmpo has an amazing shot at turning into the ninth participant on this record with the stellar 12 months he’s having. He could additionally win his first scoring title, averaging 29.9 ppg. He’s presently second behind James.
There’s been this nice debate over who the very best participant on the planet is, and a few nonetheless say it’s Kevin Durant. A few million may say LeBron, after which, in fact, now we have these within the Giannis camp. Should Antetokounmpo be named MVP once more, that might be thrice that he’s claimed the award in 4 years.
I’ll make this quite simple. If Giannis wins the MVP this 12 months, Giannis will take the crown of king of the league, greatest on the planet, or no matter you wish to name it. I’m an enormous fan of Durant’s sport similar to anybody else, however Giannis continues to point out the league his price evening after evening. Contrary to the idea of some, Antetokounmpo isn’t enjoying with a Big 3 in Milwaukee. A dynamic duo? Maybe. But Giannis, Khris Middleton, and Jrue Holiday aren’t a Big 3.
Last year, Durant had a Big 3 and couldn’t get it done. I don’t blame anyone for the injuries necessarily, but the fact remains that Brooklyn came up a toe short (long really) in the postseason against Giannis and the Bucks. Durant’s still trying to prove he can lead a team to an NBA title. Best player and leader aren’t always synonymous. Steph Curry was, is, and always will be the leader of the Golden State Warriors for as long as he’s able to chuck up 35-footers in NBA arenas.
The Bucks got the job done by winning a championship last season, regardless of what happened along the way. I don’t think they’ll do it again this postseason, but it wouldn’t completely shock me if they did. Any chance they have will be on Giannis’ broad shoulders. Coming into this season, I’d even tried to hold onto Durant being the best player in the league, but as the season has rolled on, it’s become harder and harder to ignore Antetokounmpo.
Giannis is probably still the best two-way player in the league, and already has a Defensive Player of the Year award to prove it. So, it isn’t only about his offense, because he plays at a high level on both ends of the court. On Tuesday night in Philadelphia, Giannis had all his skills on display against the 76ers’ MVP candidate Embiid. The Greek Freak scored 40 factors, grabbed 14 rebounds, dished out six assists, and even chipped in three blocks and a steal. He additionally got here up with the game-sealing block on Embiid with time operating out within the fourth quarter to safe the 118-116 victory.
As the season winds down, I feel it’s extra like a two-man race between Giannis and Embiid for the MVP award. Jokić is having an amazing 12 months, too, however the Nuggets might find yourself the six seed within the Western Conference, which shall be factored into the voting. And both the Bucks and Sixers nonetheless have a shot on the No. 1 seed within the East. Right now, Milwaukee holds a 1–sport lead over Philly for the No. 2 seed, with the Heat clinging to a 1-game lead total. Whichever group finishes greater, that participant will in all probability hoist the MVP this season.