By: Joe Cardoso
The 2019-20 NBA season is coming to an end and the playoffs are so close you can taste it. We have seen so many outstanding performances this year as the offensive explosion continues. One of my favorite debates is who is the most valuable player. Last year it was without question James Harden of the Houston Rockets. Today’s sports fan can be a serious victim of getting caught up in the moment. So many great players we saw a new “MVP” almost weekly. At one point during the season, it was Paul George, James Harden, Kevin Durant, Damien Lillard, and Joel Embiid.
In any other year, each of those guys put up numbers worthy of not just mentioning them but possibly winning the award. How can you ignore the ridiculous streaks of bucket making the beard went on. Carrying a beat up Rockets team on his back, 50 point triple doubles and the legendary step back. Without him we all know the sentence Houston Rockets, NBA playoff team isn’t around. Hate on his iso style all you want NO one is yet able to stop it. The Milwaukee Bucks were the sexy pick out of the east last year with a young head coach in Jason Kidd and all sorts of young talent. Well so much for that fairy tale. Kidd got fired and in came Mike Budenholzer from the Atlanta Hawks and the Greg Popovich coaching tree. While we all talked about other players in the league Giannis Antetokounmpo was honing his game and getting better and stronger. The Greek Freak as he is called wanted to show he was much more than just a “dunker”. We all knew he was a special athlete but the evolution of his game has been a thing of beauty and the Bucks have surrounded him with perfect additions.
Beast mode was activated in training and has shown no signs of going away. And in true MVP form when matched up against those who many consider his equal or better than him he has shown up. Before I throw up some numbers let me explain why Giannis is this years MVP. Standing at 6’11 and only 24 years old he is STILL improving. Short version he has been unstoppable. It much more than lobs and drives, is mid-range shot is so much better than years past and he is not only unafraid to pull up from distance but he is hitting at a higher clip. With the newly found spacing, the team has thanks to coach Bud and the guys who can hit jumpers Antetokounmpo is free to post up, drive, etc.
It’s a beautiful thing to watch and these past couple of weeks have only further served as evidence that he is the man. Number 1 team in the league record-wise with eyes on the NBA finals. We are watching the most versatile player on the floor. I can’t wait for the playoffs and for him to be on display on the national stage nightly. Respect to James Harden and what he has accomplished but the MVP is a freak.
27.7 points, 12.5 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 1.5 steals, 1.3 blocks