Look, I’m biased here. Giannis Antetokounmpo is this year’s MVP, and it’s not even close. The case for James Harden is strong, but the narrative — which is at least half the battle — is in favor of the Greek Freak. I don’t have any doubts about Antetokounmpo winning MVP this season.
The Milwaukee Bucks star has been incredible on offense, but it’s his defensive prowess that’s made him the complete package. Antetokounmpo has the best defensive box plus/minus in the NBA, the best individual defensive rating, and the most defensive win shares, per Basketball-Reference.com. He’s a beast, and he should be the Defensive Player of the Year. I even said as much during our PBT mid-season awards.
The only problem with that? Only Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon have won MVP and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season before.
So it’s going to be a tall ask to get Antetokounmpo both awards in 2019. If it’s any consolation, Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer agrees with me. At least he does indirectly.
Giannis for DPOY.