The NBA playoffs are nearing, and the race for the most valuable player award is all but over, it seems like, and if you’re like me, this race was never truly about the play on the court.
Prior to this season, the NBA betting favorite to land the award was Luka Dončić, and Joel Embiid.
The story line was already created, in July, 3 months before the season even began.
The NBA, the writers, and even some players had their mind chosen before anyone had a chance to play, and if you don’t think that’s a real thing, I’d challenge you to think again.
For me, and sure, I’m slightly biased here, but this is a race that really shouldn’t be close.
Before I get into the “whys”, ask yourself these simple questions regarding the MVP debate…
Who is the best player in the world? Answer: Giannis
Who is the best two-way player in the world? Answer: Giannis
Who is leading the best team in the league: Answer, once again, is Giannis.
See a trend here?
Currently, Giannis is averaging a career high, 31.3 points per game, almost 12 rebounds per game, and just under 6 assist per game, while leading the Bucks to the top record, at the same time his pal Khris Middelton, their number 2 scorer has been out for a huge chunk of the season.
The league has not seen a stat line like the one Giannis has shown since Wilt Chamberlain in 1956.
So, why is Giannis list 2nd and in some places 3rd in MVP ballots, you ask?
Story lines and voter fatigue, not necessarily his play on the court.
He also plays in Milwaukee. If Giannis played in a larger market, would things be different? I don’t like to think like that, but sometimes it’s hard not to think about that.
But, how can it be voter fatigue if Nikola Jokić, a guy who has won the award two seasons in a row, who is averaging LESS points than Giannis be ahead of him in some cases?
It makes zero sense to me, Giannis is the leagues best player, and the most valuable player, on both ends of the game, and the debate shouldn’t be close.