Giannis Antetokounmpo was phenomenal in the 2019/20 regular-season, guiding his team to the best record in the league. His efforts earned him the 2020 Defensive Player of the Year (DPOY) award, and he is on his way to becoming the 2020 league MVP award. The results will be out in a few hours, and the ‘Greek Freak’ is all set to make history!
Even though Giannis had a disappointing exit from the 2020 NBA Playoffs, he has plenty of positives to take from this season. Though his trade saga is a story flourishing on its own, Giannis might end up not leaving Milwaukee at all.
He’s leading the race to win the 2020 MVP award, which will make it back-to-back triumphs for Giannis if he wins it. Moreover, the 25-year-old will achieve an incredible feat if he wins, etching his name in an exclusive list, alongside Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon.
Jordan and Olajuwon are the only players in NBA history to have claimed both the DPOY and MVP honors in the same year. MJ did it in 1998, while Olajuwon achieved the feat in 1994. Likewise, Giannis will join this list if he wins the 2020 league MVP award, which will be a massive accomplishment in his career.
Add Giannis to the list of greats to win MVP and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season 💪
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) September 18, 2020
However, even if Giannis wins it, Hakeem ‘The Dream’ Olajuwon will remain the only player to have won the championship after clinching these two major honors!
Does Giannis Antetokounmpo deserve the 2019/20 MVP award?
Giannis has been a towering forward in the league for a few years now. He’s really evolved into one of these players who’s unstoppable in the paint. There’s hardly anything one can do when the ‘Greek Freak’ spins his defender and convert quick-footed layup. But has he really been the 2019/20 NBA season’s MVP?
Undoubtedly, yes. Though one might argue that LeBron James deserved it more, the stats might deliver a convincing picture. Well, one can say that Giannis hasn’t put up numbers that lead the league in any major aspect. Yes, he’s second to Andre Drummond in rebounds per game, and only fifth in the regular-season PPG average.
Reminder that MVP is a regular season award.
And Giannis averaged these numbers this regular season:
+682 +/- (leads NBA)
in 30.4 MPG pic.twitter.com/z0dsNqxMtf
— StatMuse (@statmuse) September 18, 2020
However, the tremendous leadership of Giannis in the regular-season inspired fans to assert him the MVP. His 29.5 PPG and 13.6 RPG average is undoubtedly an outstanding record. But guiding your team to the top of a packed Eastern Conference for two straight years is a commendable feat.
To conclude, the league MVP award is given out based on an individual’s performance in the regular season. If that’s the case, Giannis Antetokounmpo should be the #1 candidate to win it this year, for the displays of dominance that he treated us to.