Giannis Antetokounmpo’s MVP case this season is strong and has gone under the radar so far.
He has won the MVP for two years in a row, and he is in the conversation to win a third one in the row.
The ‘Greek Freak’ is averaging 29 points, 6.4 assists, and 11.7 rebounds a game. He is doing this all while shooting 56.2% from the field.
Giannis Antetokounmpo’s great season is getting overlooked due to the fact that there are more compelling narratives in the NBA right now.
The Brooklyn Nets are one of the more compelling narratives. James Harden joining the Nets and forming a ‘Big Three’ is the biggest story in the NBA.
He is performing at an MVP level and attracting a lot of attention to his own case.
The Bucks no longer have the best record in the NBA, which has helped Antetokounmpo’s MVP case for the last two seasons. The Utah Jazz now holds the best record in the NBA holding a 30-11 record.
The Bucks have the 6th best record in the league, with 27 wins and 14 losses. They are also third in the Eastern Conference.
The Bucks have played one less game than the Nets and as a result, have one less win. With Joel Embiid now injured for at least two weeks, they could push for the first seed that the Philadelphia 76ers will want to protect.
Finishing high in their conference would be a big help to Antetokounmpo’s MVP case.
Who Else is in the MVP Discussion?
Antetokounmpo’s MVP case is one of any strong cases this year. Damian Lillard’s MVP case is strong, and as mentioned before, so is James Harden’s. Another player who may have a big say in who wins the MVP is Nikola Jokic.
Joel Embiid’s injury may take him out of the picture as he is set to lose, at the very minimum, two weeks of basketball. LeBron James is also in the picture with a great chance of winning, but he just picked up an ankle injury against the Atlanta Hawks.
If James comes back soon and strong he definitely has a great chance of clinching his fifth regular-season MVP award.
Big Games for Antetokounmpo’s MVP Case
Antetokounmpo has been very consistent this season with his performances on the court. The 2021 All-Star game MVP has had many great games so it’s hard to select a couple.
One of the ones that stand out the most was against the Philadelphia 76ers. The Sixers were without Embiid of course.
He dropped 32 points, 5 assists, and 15 rebounds. He also shot 59.1% from the field. The reason this game is a standout game is because he closed it in the clutch.
Despite not having the strongest game offensively in the first half, Antetokounmpo turned it around in the clutch. Superstars need to have the ability to turn it up for their team in these moments regardless of how their game was going previously, and he did just that.
Antetokounmpo scored 10 points in overtime to get Milwaukee the 109-105 win. With just under two minutes left he also hit a big 3-pointer to put the Bucks up five.
Teams won’t respect his shot, as he isn’t a great 3-point shooter, and Antetokounmpo took advantage of that in the clutch. Hitting his only three of the game in an important possession.
He went on to hit the dagger, a step-back jumper with one minute and 12 seconds remaining. He put the Bucks up seven and won them the game.
Another big game he has had this season came against the Los Angeles Clippers. The Bucks defeated the Clippers 105-100.
He put up 36 points, 14 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 blocks. He had 17 points in the fourth quarter playing a massive role in the Bucks closing out a close, tough game.
Antetokounmpo made it 103-100 with 10.1 seconds remaining after an emphatic dunk. Essentially ending the game with that dunk.
An impressive win over one of the favorites to win the NBA Championship this year.
In Conclusion: Antetokounmpo’s MVP Case is Strong
Giannis Antetokounmpo’s MVP case is very strong and shouldn’t be overlooked. He has been very consistent for the Bucks and may lead them to the top of the Eastern Conference.
He was without one of the Bucks’ best players, Jrue Holiday, for an extended period of time but still managed to keep them high up in the East.
There is one thing that separates Antetokounmpo from the others competing for the MVP award. That is defense.
None of the candidates are elite defenders, although LeBron James has been playing some good defense this year.
Antetokounmpo is last year’s defensive player of the year. He is only the third person in history to win the MVP award and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season, joining Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon.
He has played elite defense for another year and is on another level to the others in the conversation when it comes to defense, apart from Joel Embiid.
It will be tough for him to win it for the third year in a row due to the strong contenders in the mix but I wouldn’t count him out.
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