MVP Award

MVP Award NBA 2021: 5 possible candidates to watch

  • Giannis Anetokounmpo
  • Lebron James
  • Luka Doncic
  • MVP
  • NBA
  • Nikola Jokic
  • Stephen Curry
By Martin Wizenberg December 18, 2020 0 Comment
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Who will be the Most Valuable Player in the Upcoming NBA Season?

We are just a few days from the beginning of a new NBA season that will start on December 22. There are a few teams with high expectations, and others, not much. But all the stars want is recognition and the best way to get it is by winning the MVP Award. Last season, SF/PF Giannis Antetokounmpo from the Milwaukee Bucks was able to win it back to back. Now, let’s see who can be the next Most Valuable Player of the NBA for the upcoming 2020-21 campaign.

Here are five possible candidates to win the award:

Giannis Anetokounmpo: Back to back to back?

How rare is it for the NBA to have a player winning the MVP award three times in a row? Well, the last one to do it was Larry Bird. Giannis Antetokounmpo is fresh off of a new massive deal -the largest in NBA history- and will compete to make history once again. The “Greek Freak” won the hardware last year by averaging 29.5 points, 13.6 rebounds, and 5.6 assists. He also won the Defensive Player of the year.

However, this season is going to be much harder for him to win despite being one of the favorites. It’s gonna be difficult to convince the voters that he deserves it again after the underwhelming Playoffs performance. On the bright side, Antetokounmpo is still a monster and his intensity is unmatched. He will continue to put up big numbers, and the addition of Jrue Holiday will only help the 26-year-old improve and get closer to that third straight MVP award.

Stats prediction: 29.6 points, 13 rebounds, and 5.7 assists

Luka Doncic takes over the NBA

This is a pick that may or may not surprise people. PG Luka Doncic’s candidacy is all over the place. The reality is that the Slovenian is already a star, entering his third season, and he is only going to get better. His playoff showing against the Clippers was amazing considering he wasn’t healthy because of an ankle injury. He was selected for First Team All-NBA last year after getting 28.8 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 8.8 assists.

With the numbers and production he had, you’d think the room for growth is not too big, but it is if you watched him play. He can improve a lot on his three-point shooting by taking fewer step-back contested jumpers and moving a little bit more without the ball. If Kristaps Porzingis misses a few games, his chances of getting the MVP award increases since he will have to assume more responsibilities on the offense. Luka is a constant triple-double menace and whether it is in this season or another, he will win the award because he is that talented.

Stats prediction: 30.3 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 10 assists

The return of Stephen Curry

After the last season was cut short due to injuries, PG Stephen Curry will seek to retake his place as the top point guard in the league. In the 2018-19 campaign, he played 69 games and averaged a healthy 27.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 5.2 assists while sharing the court with Kevin Durant most of the time. Of course, he shot 43% from beyond the arc while shooting almost 12 threes per game.

The 32-year old is in the perfect position to dominate the league again. His splash brother Klay Thompson will be a huge loss for the team, but that only means that Curry will have to step up and score every time he gets the opportunity. The supporting cast is not as good as it was in years past, but that is also an advantage for his MVP case. If the Warriors can get a top-five spot in the west and Curry will automatically be in the conversation to win the MVP award.

Stats prediction: 30 points, 6 rebounds, and 6.4 assists

Nikola Jokić gets the last laugh

Of all the picks in here, this may be the boldest one, although it would not be that surprising to see it happen. Nikola Jokić has been growing year after year and in the last playoffs, we got to see the best versión of him until now. In the postseason, the Serbian averaged 24.4 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 5.7 assists. He also shot 42% from three which is insane for a Center.

It seems like a perfect season for Jokic to put up incredible numbers. The team and talent around him are very good, he is in the best shape of his career and entering his prime. Jamal Murray would play a big part since their partnership is truly one of a kind. They understand each other like no one else. Jokic can also benefit from a shorter regular season (72 games) and be more aggressive. The last time a Center won the award was in the 1999-00 season with Shaquille O’Neal. Now The Joker will look to be the next big man to win the MVP award.

Stats prediction: 26 points, 11.2 rebounds, and 8.6 assists

LeBron James one more time

Regardless of who wins the MVP, the best player in the world will still be SF LeBron James until further notice. As long as he is healthy, James will be one of the top candidates. Last season, the 35-year old forward was able to put up extraordinary numbers for someone of that age. He averaged 25.3 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 10.2 assists. He led the league in the last category for the first time in his career, something remarkable even for LeBron.

The fact that he plays alongside another top-10 player in Anthony Davis will do no favors to his case. The good thing is the Lakers got better, and that will only benefit the numbers of The King. If he has weapons, he will take advantage of them. It remains unlikely for the Ohio native to win the award since he will probably cruise into the Playoffs like in recent years. But it would be very cool to see James winning the NBA MVP award for one last time.

Stats prediction: 27 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 10.4 assists

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I cover, report, and write about all things NBA.

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