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TGH Staff Picks: NBA MVP

NBA MVP picks

Our TGH staff picks series continues. This time we’re giving takes on who would have been this season’s MVP. There were quite a few players playing at a superstar level this year but the MVP race really came down to just two of them and us writers are split right down the middle. Here are our picks for NBA MVP.

Spencer: Giannis Antetokounmpo 

NBA MVP picks

Luka has been nothing short of phenomenal this year, courtesy of NBC Sports

It was very tempting to go with LeBron here because of his recent performance and the Laker’s victory over the Bucks in early March. But if we’re looking over the season as a whole there’s no other player it could really be than the Greek Freak himself. 

Looking at his individual performance his numbers have been just as good, if not a bit better than his 2019 MVP season. He’s scoring more at the same insanely efficient rate and hasn’t lost a step in any area of his game. And the Milwaukee Bucks were one of the best teams in basketball and sported the best record in the league before the season was suspended. 

LeBron still deserves a very close second. He had the Lakers playing wonderful basketball and his passing was really something to watch. Honorable mentions go to NBA top scorer James Harden and second-year phenom Luka Doncic. 

Ben: LeBron James

The MVP race comes down to two people, whether the season continues or not; Giannis Antetokounmpo and LeBron James.

Antetokounmpo, who won the award last year, is averaging 30.9 minutes, 13.7 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 29.6 points per game. These numbers have catapulted the Bucks to an NBA-best 53-12 record.

James, in his 17th season, is putting up 7.9 rebounds, 25.7 points and a league-high 10.6 assists in just under 35 minutes per game. He continues to be one of the top-flight players in the NBA at age 35.

If these numbers continued at the same trajectory, it is hard to imagine the MVP voters not recognizing James’ greatness so far into his career. The Greek Freak will have plenty of time to win his second MVP award, but this one belongs to LeBron. If for no other reason than to reward him for his ever-growing legacy.

Adam: LeBron James

Going into this season I picked Giannis Antetokounmpo as my favorite to win MVP. If our worst nightmares have come true and this truly is the end of the NBA season, I have no problem giving the award to Antetokounmpo.

LeBron has been all ball in LA, courtesy of USA Today

However, no official decision has been made and there are still around 20 games to play on the schedule, and LeBron James is in prime position to edge out Antetokounmpo to be this season’s MVP. 

James was leading his team to the best record in the superior Western Conference, just 3 games behind the Bucks for the best record in basketball. James is averaging over 25 points and leads the league in assists with over 10 a game. He is also having his best defensive season in years, with the 4th best defensive plus-minus in the NBA and a clear improvement in effort.

LeBron James has led his team through an emotional season after coming in with very high expectations and has surpassed them all, he’s proven he can lead his team to a great record and against rival contenders and still be the best player on the court. If the season does come back, don’t be surprised to see LeBron James hoist the Maurice Podoloff Trophy at the end of it.

Zach: Giannis Antetokounmpo 

The Greek Freak slams it home, courtesy of the NY Times

The clear MVP for the 2019-2020 season has been Giannis Antetokounmpo. If the season had continued, the Bucks would have captured the East’s top seed, and likely found themselves in the NBA Finals. Giannis is deserving of the MVP award, improving upon his award-winning previous season.

The Greek Freak’s point and rebound averages are up since last season while increasing his three-point percentage and remaining a lockdown defender. Surround him with shooters to dish too when driving the lane, and it’s no surprise Milwaukee is the league’s best team.

To put it simply- Giannis Antetokounmpo is the best player in basketball. With a chip on his shoulder given last season’s blown series against Toronto, the Bucks would have entered the playoffs motivated behind their back-to-back MVP.

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