NBA: Predicting regular season awards after finalists revealed

NBA Milwaukee Bucks Giannis Antetokounmpo (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
NBA Milwaukee Bucks Giannis Antetokounmpo (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /
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Oklahoma City Thunder Paul George
NBA Oklahoma City Thunder Paul George (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

Predicting the NBA regular season awards after the finalists have been revealed

The NBA regular season awards are set to be announced on June 24th at the 2019 NBA Awards on TNT. However, the NBA has recently released the finalists for each award, so I figured I would go through and make my predictions for each award.

MVP: Giannis Antetokounmpo, James Harden, and Paul George

Before I get into this, I want to say how awesome it is to see Paul George’s name on this list. To come back from as gruesome of an injury that he had, move to a new location where you’re sharing the stage with Russel Westbrook, a man who is allegedly hard to play with, and then have such a good season that you’re an MVP finalist is inspiring.

He’s just not my pick.

The decision between Harden and Antetokunmpo is a tough one. From a stats standpoint, it’s almost a wash. Harden has the advantage in points, but Giannis has the advantage in rebounds. Harden’s assist numbers are better, but Giannis’ field goal percentage is higher. Harden has a higher usage rate, but Giannis has a higher PER.

Ultimately, the pick comes down to the name of the award. Who’s more valuable. Whose team would fare worse if they weren’t on the team. That’s why it’s Giannis Antetokunmpo for me. The Rockets would still be in the playoffs, and they’d still be one of the best teams in the league without Harden.

With Paul, Gordon, and Tucker (plus Capela if he can play the way he did in 2017-18), the Rockets have a solid starting five. However, the Bucks would struggle without Giannis. They almost certainly wouldn’t be in the postseason, and they definitely would not have gotten this far. Giannis Antetokunmpo is my MVP.