One of the hottest talking points in the NBA all season is the Most Valuable Player of the Year award, which is still being debated by pundits all over the sports world.
Last season, Giannis Antetokounmpo won his first MVP by churning out a strong season and his NBA 2020 odds of winning it again are high since he led his Bucks to an historic season by being the fastest team to clinch a playoff spot.
On the other hand, LeBron James is still going at it in his 17th season and he’s been the Lakers’ steadying force en route to owning the best record in the league prior to its suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
These two players have been nothing short of spectacular, and it is expected that either one of them will bring home the trophy.
Will the Greek Freak win back-to-back MVPs? Or will The King reclaim his throne once more? SBOBET examines these players’ cases for the much-coveted award.
The case for Giannis Antetokounmpo
While the Greek Freak had a great campaign last term, it can be argued that he had an even better outing this time around.
Antetokounmpo’s numbers have improved from his MVP season as he posted norms of 29.6 points and 13.7 rebounds per game, giving him a great chance to be the first player since 1982 to average at least 30 points and 13 rebounds a game for a whole season.
His impact for the Bucks has been profound especially when looking at the advance statistics. Compared to LeBron James, Antetokounmpo posts better per-36 minutes metrics such as points, rebounds, blocks, along with a higher true-shooting percentage.
With his physical tools and basketball IQ, Antetokounmpo can wreak havoc on both ends of the floor. He is terrifying to face particularly in the paint or in transition while his long limbs are more than capable of demoralising offences by stealing passes and blocking shots.
His one knock though, is his outside shot. However, the 25-year-old superstar has shown improvement on that facet. From shooting a paltry 26-per cent last year, Antetokounmpo has been shooting it for 30-per cent this year which is decent already.
And let’s not forget that he doesn’t have a bonafide superstar to play alongside with in the roster. Looking at the construction of the Bucks, it is only Khris Middleton who was considered the All-Star teammate he’s had this season and that pales into comparison for someone like Anthony Davis in Los Angeles.
The case for LeBron James
We may have already taken LeBron James for granted since we’ve been seeing him perform consistently for the past 17 seasons.
Even at age 35, LeBron James has shown no signs of slowing down as he led the Lakers to a great campaign after missing out on the playoffs last season.
And while he’s not as athletic that he used to be, from time to time, James would show flashes of his old self whether it’s via a poster dunk or his signature chasedown block.
While Giannis Antetokounmpo gets the nod in terms of the box score, the real value that LeBron James brings is his mental toughness and leadership. With his vast experience that includes eight straight trips to the NBA Finals, he has proven himself to be a big-time performer when a lot is at stake.
Like Antetokounmpo, James is also a versatile player that can play multiple positions. For the majority of his career, the kid from Akron played as a forward for both the Cavaliers and the Heat.
This year, however, he has been the Lakers’ de facto point guard a la Magic Johnson with healthy averages of 25.7 points, 7.9 rebounds, and a career-high 10.6 assists per game this season.
Prior to the suspension of this season, LeBron James had a pivotal moment that boosted his MVP campaign. Facing the Bucks and the Clippers on the same week, James turned in some of his best performances which included some of the best NBA 2020 highlights.
Both of these superstars have earned the right to be in the MVP conversation. With their mix of leadership, versatility, and star power, Antetokounmpo and James should continue to dominate the league for a few more years.
But if I have to pick between the two, I would choose LeBron James as my MVP this campaign.
While the Bucks lack a bonafide second star, their roster is much deeper and younger that can hang around with the best clubs in the league.
However, without James on the floor, the Lakers will almost always look lost out there and that alone should make a compelling case as to why he should be the MVP this season.
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