Sunday, 21 Jul 2024

Around the NBA: Who will be named 2018-19 MVP?

Tonight’s slate of games features the NBA MVP front-runners squaring off. Will James Harden repeat as MVP, or will we see a new face?

For the last half of the 2018-19 NBA season, the MVP race has been James Harden’s to lose. He rebounds, he assists, and he scores… a lot. Possibly most importantly, he has led his team to contention in the Western Conference, where they started the season as a non-factor. Chris Paul was hurt, the team was lackluster, and other stars were shining brighter.

Around December-January, things changed. James Harden has been on an incredible hot streak, setting records in NBA history. He is averaging 36 points per game this season and is on pace to surpass all other players in that category. Additionally, he has been drawing fouls at an exceptional rate, attempting 11 free throws per contest.

While Harden is already known as one of the most dangerous isolation players in history, he has also stepped up on defense, averaging a career-high 2.2 steals per game so far. Despite his impressive performance, the competition for the MVP title remains fierce in today’s game.

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Giannis Antetokounmpo is another strong contender, averaging 27 points, 13 rebounds, 6 assists, 1.3 steals, and 1.5 blocks per game. The Greek Freak has arguably surpassed LeBron James as the most intimidating open-court threat in the game. While he lacks a consistent perimeter jumper, Antetokounmpo can score at will and has become an imposing force on both ends of the court. Moreover, his team, the Milwaukee Bucks, currently holds the best record in the NBA, largely due to his brilliance.

There were other contenders earlier in the season, such as Paul George of the OKC Thunder, who had a place in the MVP conversation until recently. Despite having a career year, George’s inconsistent performance, combined with an equally inconsistent Russell Westbrook, has hindered his chances. The Thunder are still a playoff team, albeit just barely, which may further diminish George’s MVP prospects.

Notably, Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors have had their usual remarkable individual seasons, but the team’s dominance has somewhat waned compared to previous years.

Other players worth mentioning include Kawhi Leonard, Joel Embiid, and Damian Lillard. However, as the season nears its end, it’s becoming clear that the MVP race is primarily between Harden and Antetokounmpo.

Tonight, the Houston Rockets will face the Milwaukee Bucks, providing an exciting showdown between these two titans. While the MVP race is a marathon, games like these often leave a lasting impression on award selectors. The game will be televised on TNT at 7:00 PM central time. Don’t miss the opportunity to witness two of the best players in the world go head-to-head and join the debate on Twitter. Follow us @Bball_Movement.

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All statistics are sourced from Basketball Reference.

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