Antetokounmpo Wins MVP
The MVP award is the NBA’s most prestigious (individual) award. Throughout its history, many of the league’s best players have won the award at some point in their career. In the past, players such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Michael Jordan won multiple MVPs. Today, current players like LeBron James and Steph Curry have won MVP.
This year, one of the league’s brightest stars won the award. Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo won MVP at the NBA Awards.
In June, the NBA held its third annual NBA Awards show. This show was an event where the finalists of awards such as Rookie of the Year are recognized. Then, the winners of the awards are announced throughout the show. The night ends with a player receiving the Most Valuable Player award.
The candidates in this year’s race were Antetokounmpo, James Harden and Paul George. Each finalist deserved MVP considerations as they had impressive seasons. Harden led the league in scoring with a career-high 36.1 points and scored 30-plus points in 32 consecutive games. George averaged career-highs in points, rebounds, assists and steals.
On the other hand, Antetokounmpo averaged career-highs in points, rebounds and assists. He also led the Bucks to a 60-22 season and the Eastern Conference finals. The MVP race was close, but Antetokounmpo came out victorious.
Antetokounmpo and the Bucks in 2018-19
Antetokounmpo won the award and rightfully so. He is a young, talented player with plenty of room to grow. In other words, the 24-year-old forward can become even better next season. With this in mind, one has to wonder, “Can Antetokounmpo win back-to-back MVPs?”
This year, Antetokounmpo averaged 27.7 points, 12.5 rebounds and 5.9 assists. He also averaged 25.5 points and 12.3 rebounds in the playoffs. During the regular season, all eyes were on Antetokounmpo and the Bucks.
In the regular season, the Bucks had their best record since 1980-81. Their 60-22 record was identical to the 80-81 team and led to them receiving the first seed of the Eastern Conference. They also had the best record of the entire league this year. The Bucks surprised the league and went on to have a long playoff run. Their star forward Antetokounmpo played a crucial role in their success.
The Bucks reached the Eastern Conference finals, where they faced the Toronto Raptors. They lost a six-game series after beating the Celtics and Pistons in previous rounds.
Antetokounmpo’s point averaged dropped in Raptors series, but he still played well. There were moments were his youth/inexperience showed, and the Raptors took advantage of it. The Raptors defeated the Bucks and advanced to the NBA Finals, where they beat the Warriors.
Despite the Conference finals loss, the Bucks showed they can compete. They fought through the regular season, as Antetokounmpo became the 2019 MVP.
At this point, Antetokounmpo can only get better. The former Most Improved Player has become one of the league’s premier stars. If he exceeds his 2018-19 season, there is a good chance he’ll win next year.
Featured image courtesy of Aaron Gash/AP