The NBA announced it’ll resume the season in isolation at Disney world. 22 teams are scheduled to play 8 regular-season games to decide the playoff bracket and seedings.
July 30, the first games are expected to take off without fans in attendance. The playoffs will probably begin mid-summer while the NBA finals will end by October 13 or earlier.
What all this info tells us is the race for the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award is back on! A panel of 100 media members who are not in any way affiliated to any NBA franchises will vote to determine the winner.
The panel’s vote for the MVP will be based on the players’ regular-season performance. So the frontrunners have just 8 games left to make their case.
Each panel member casts a vote for 1st to 5th place selections. 1st place vote nets ten points, and 5th place vote counts for only one point.
Giannis Antetokounmpo: The Fan Favorite
Giannis still deserves to be the fan-favourite to take home the NBA MVP. However, the situation is not as clear-cut as it used to be after All-Star break.
The Bucks still have the best NBA record, and Giannis has also raised his rebounding and scoring averages from last year’s score despite only appearing just over thirty minutes per game. He takes an average of 20 shots per game and shoots 54.7 per cent from the floor.
This season, he has shown time and time again he can make a 3-point shot anywhere, successfully converting 30.6 per cent of his tries from behind the arc. Due to this, the Bucks are leaders in the NBA in points per game.
What could make the Greek Freak to lose the trophy is injury? So far, this season has seen him miss 8 games as a result of the knee injury he got in a game against Lakers.
While Giannis may seem invincible with his penchant for avoiding long-term injuries, the fact is if he goes on missing time, he could drop in the bid to win the Most Valuable Player Award. He is currently at odds of around -2400 with most US betting apps making him a strong favorite.
LeBron James: The Challenger
This particular challenger has been unrelenting in his bid to secure the NBA’s Most Valuable Player.
He’s the best basketball player in the world and in 8 games after the All-Star break; he averaged 30.1 points, 9.5 assists, and 7.8 rebounds. In every one of the above games, the Lakers went 7-1 SU.
If James continues his winning pace, balls out, and pad his stats, he could easily win his 5th career MVP trophy. Award races can sometimes be more narratives than stats. So if you think LeBron will overtake Giannis to win the trophy, now is the time to bet on him.
Odds for LeBron ar as high as +1100 on the SugarHouse app (NJ Only)
Luka Doncic Continues To Rise
Doncic has a lot working in his favor. First off, his team, the Mavericks are on a winning streak at 13-6 on the season. This is an impressive number for the No.4 seed in the Western Conference, and it is just a game behind the 2nd-seeded Denver Nuggets.
Photo Credit: Associated Press/ Marcio Jose Sanchez
Doncic puts up points on the stat sheet each night and also through 19 games even though he’s the main focus of the opposing defence. He averaged 30.6 points, 9.6 assists, 9.9 rebounds, and 1.5 steals.
In three of his last 7 games, Doncic scored above 40 points.
The Beard or Holy Harden as he’s also called, averaged a league-leading 39.2 points per game — 9 points ahead of Giannis who is in 2nd place. Over Houston Rocket’s last 8 games, he scored over 40 points five different times.
As good as Harden is at stuffing points, he was just as effective in distributing the ball this season. Through 14 games, he averaged 7.6 assists per game to rank 8th overall in the NBA.
The Rocket’s 7-time NBA All-Star is not a stranger to these scores. In 2018, he won the MVP award when he topped the league with a score of 30.4PPG.
However, the roadblock for Harden is his inability to carry the Rockets to the championship level. Many have speculated that team success is one of the important criteria in awarding the NBA MVP.
Anthony Davis 2019-20 Roller-Coaster Ride
Part of the issue with Davis is that he cooled off considerably this season. Though he was able to average 28.8 points per game with 3.0 assists, 12.5 rebounds, 1.0 steal, and 3.0 blocks in his 1st two games last year’s November, he has since tapered off.
In his last 10 games, he dropped to 4.6 assists, 7.6 rebounds, 2.9 blocks, and 24.0 points. Of course, these are still high numbers, but the problem is they are far from MVP-caliber numbers.
If these scores happen to be his final stats this season, some players in the league will outshine him.