For people who really like to jump to fast conclusions on small sample sizes, Giannis Antetokounmpo was the MVP.
For the first few weeks of the season. At the time that was enough to spark MVP talk on social media and sports talk radio. The Greek Freak has slowed some but continued to put up big numbers — 27.3 points, 9.9 rebounds, 4.8 assists per game — with a 60.5 true shooting percentage and a PER of 28.
“I still am,” Antetokounmpo told Bleacher Report when asked if he is still the MVP favorite. To be sure, that’s his opinion, yet he acknowledges the public narrative. “I’m one of the best players in the league. We’re going to the playoffs. I’m still in the discussion. I might not be the favorite anymore, but I’m still in the discussion. That’s how I feel.”
I mean, he’s right that he’s not the favorite anymore — James Harden will win MVP going away — and he’s right that he’s one of the best players in the league. And he’s right that he’s still in the discussion.
My guess is that Antetokounmpo will finish fourth or fifth in the voting when all the votes are counted.
He’s also just 23. I bet he will have multiple MVPs by the time he hangs up his Nikes.