We did it. We made it through another full regular season of NBA basketball. We saw great moments like the emergence of Luka Doncic, a farewell Dwyane Wade tour, and another triple-double season from Russell Westbrook. However, Milwaukee Bucks superstar, Giannis Antetokounmpo, stole the show for the 2018-19 season.

Since the first game of the season where Giannis dropped a cool 25 points, 18 rebounds, and 8 assists, he has been working towards the MVP award. The only roadblock in his way to winning the ultimate award is Houston Rockets’ guard, James Harden. Harden put together an incredible season where he averaged 36.1 points per game, 6.6 rebounds, and 7.5 assists. Even with these numbers, Giannis is still the MVP.
This is how the two players’ numbers match up.


Games Played

Giannis- 72


Harden- 78

Points Per Game

Giannis- 27.7 (3rd in NBA)

Harden- 36.1 (1st in NBA)

Rebounds Per Game

Giannis- 12.5 (6th)

Harden- 6.6

Assists Per Game

Giannis- 5.9

Harden- 7.5 (7th)

Field Goal Attempts Per Game

Giannis- 17.3

Harden- 24.5

Field Goal Percentage

Giannis- 57.8 (11th)

Harden- 44.2

3-Point Attempts Per Game

Giannis- 2.8

Harden- 13.2

3-Point Percentage

Giannis- 25.6

Harden- 36.8

True Shooting Percentage

Giannis- 64.4 (7th)

Harden- 61.6

Offensive Rating

Giannis- 121 (17th)

Harden- 118

Defensive Rating

Giannis- 99 (2nd)

Harden- 108

Usage Rate

Giannis- 32.5 (5th)

Harden- 40.5 (1st)

Offensive Win Shares

Giannis- 8.9 (3rd)

Harden- 11.4 (1st)

Defensive Win Shares

Giannis- 5.5 (3rd)

Harden- 3.8 (15th)

Player Efficiency Rating

Giannis- 30.9 (1st)

Harden- 30.6 (2nd)

 

Throughout the entire 2018-19 season, Giannis was the best player on the best team. This has to count for something. He was the team’s leader and everything revolved around him. Antetokounmpo was only the 4th player in NBA HISTORY along with Wilt Chamberlain, Larry Bird, and LeBron James to lead their 60 win teams in points per game, rebounds per game, and assists per game. Giannis is the embodiment of a two-way player, if the NBA wants to keep the respect of their casual fans, they will reward the player who excelled on both sides of the ball. Giannis had a better offensive rating (which may come as a surprise to some), defensive rating, and was more efficient than Harden throughout the season. Plus, we all know if Giannis took 24 shots a game like Harden, he would average close to 36 points per game too.

Antetokounmpo has the personality to be the new face of the NBA and winning the MVP will propel him to the top. In a postgame interview when asked about the MVP race he said, “I try not to think about it…everything’s going to take care of itself. My main focus is to get myself mentally and physically ready for the playoffs.” He is the people’s MVP and for once, I think the people got it right (including me surprisingly). In an April 5th poll sent out by ESPN’s First Take, they asked fans if Giannis clinched the MVP after a stellar performance. In a vote containing 8,160 people, 64% said yes while 36% said no. He’s like The Rock in WWE, he’s the people’s champ.

With the MVP on their side, the Milwaukee Bucks have a legitimate chance of running the Eastern Conference throughout the playoffs. Golden State…look out, Giannis is coming and he’s ready to prove he’s the best.

 

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