The MVP is an award everyone wants to win. It indicates who the best player in the league is. I will give my underdog, my runner-up, and my winner for the award.
Dark Horse: Giannis Antetokounmpo
The most improved player, Giannis Antetokounmpo is ready to destroy teams next year. At the age of only 22, Giannis is averging 22.9 PPG, 5.4 APG, and 8.8 RPG. He also has a crazy player efficiency rating of 26.13. He is a PG in the shape of a PF, and one of the only players that is able to play every position on the court. With my prediction of the Bucks coming 3rd in the East, the man leading that team is the Greek Freak.
Every year Giannis is going up in his points by the average of 5.4. His rebounds go up by about 1.5, 1.2 assists, 0.3 steals, and 0.4 blocks. If those averages stay the same by the end of next year, he will end up with 28.3 PPG, 10.3 RPG, 6.6 APG, 1.9 steals per game, and 2.3 blocks per game. Those numbers are incredible and are definitely MVP type numbers. He probaly won’t averge these numbers, however considering how well he is improving it is not to far off. Giannis is an all-star caliber player, however he still is an underdog for MVP.
Runner-Up: John Wall
John Wall has his own team. Westbrook, Harden and many other stars in this league have other teammates they share points with. This gives a chance for John Wall to shine for the Wizards, with my prediction of the Wizards finishing 4th based on Wall. If the Wizards didn’t have Wall, they would be considered anywhere from the 1st to the 5th worst team in the East.
Westbrook and Harden will probably not be in the running for MVP this year. Westbrook will have 1/3 less chances, because Melo and PG-13 were top 10 in iso points last season. This also rules the small chance Melo and PG-13 have at winning MVP. Harden has CP3, meaning that he will not be playing PG. When Harden played PG, he averaged 11.2 APG, when he played SG in the 2015-16 season he only passed for 7.5 APG. Chris Paul will also want the ball, as he is looking to be an all-star for the Rockets. With this in mind, I see John Wall stepping up in the rankings for best players in the league. By the end of the season, I think we will see him in the award show, but only there to end up seeing a Spurs player lifting the award.
Winner: Kawhi Leonard
I gave a hint in the last sentence of Wall’s reasoning, but I do believe the Claw is lifting the award. Every year he leads the Spurs to the 2nd seed in the West, and the NBA does not appreciate that enough. I think this year he will be able to prove people wrong, as he has been working on improving his offensive skill set. We know how great of a player he is on defense, and with him bringing out better shooting each year, this time around it is scary. Every single year in the league has has improved on points from the previous year, and this time around he has to beat 25.5 PPG. Leonard will definitely be able to surpass that, because as I said he is working hard on his jumper.
The problem with Kawhi is he can’t stay healthy for a full season. I am counting on him to play 75 games, because I know with Popovich comes resting players and also Kawhi did get injured in preseason. Still, Leonard is a fantastic player and I think this year the league will not overlook him. I also think Leonard will have such a great season that if they face the Warriors in the playoffs they beat them because of Kawhi. Last year they got swept by the Warriors, however Kawhi was injured for Games 2-4 and in Game 1 the Spurs had a massive lead but Leonard got injured. We just have to hope Zaza Pachulia does intentionally foul the Claw for a second time.
Thank you for reading this blog post, and have an amazing day!