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Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Giannis Antetokounmpo Questions The MVP Criteria: "Is It The Guy Who's Most Efficient?"

Giannis Antetokounmpo asked the tough questions about why the MVP criteria seems to change a lot.

Credit: Kelley L Cox/USA Today Sports

The MVP race is tight again this year, just as it has been for the last few seasons. Joel Embiid has taken the lead recently after Nikola Jokic seemed to be the frontrunner all year. 

But they aren’t the only candidates. Giannis Antetokounmpo has led the Milwaukee Bucks to the best record in the league so far, while Jayson Tatum and Luka Doncic have also made their case throughout the year. But it’s hard to tell what exactly decides the MVP, as Giannis’ recent comments suggested. 

“The thing that I don’t get about the MVP criteria is it changes… Is it the guy who scores the most points? Is it the guy who’s most efficient? Is it the guy who is the most dominant? Is it the guy who is the most valuable?”

These are big words from Giannis, especially considering that his questions seem to point to each of the candidates. The most points would mean Joel Embiid, who is the league’s leading scorer this season. Nikola Jokic‘s efficiency is on a level by itself, it has always been his calling card in the MVP race. 

And Giannis Antetokounmpo has arguably been the most dominant, helping his team win games while having elite stats. The race remains tight as we approach the end of the regular season, and while Embiid has a lot of support and momentum, either of the other two could also claim the award. 

Giannis Antetokounmpo’s MVP Case

Giannis Antetokounmpo has won the MVP award two times already in his career. And his numbers haven’t changed drastically since then either, he is always in the conversation for the best player in the league. This season is no different, with his team once again sitting at the top of the standings in the entire NBA. 

Giannis is averaging 31.4 points per game to go along with 11.9 rebounds, and 5.5 assists. Those are MVP numbers, and he’s doing it while averaging just 32.4 minutes per game, less than any of his competitors in the MVP race. His impact on the defensive end cannot be gainsaid either, the Bucks are among the best defensive teams in the league. 

The conversation around the MVP has become complex and convoluted, there are many different opinions and narratives about who should win. Giannis has asked some valid questions, and it’s something the voters need to think long and hard about before they decide to cast their votes this season. 

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