Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo wins MVP award over James Harden, Paul George
Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo earned his first Most Valuable Player award by beating out last year’s MVP winner James Harden of the Houston Rockets as part of Monday’s Kia NBA Awards.
Antetokounmpo had his best season yet, posting averages of 27.7 points, 12.5 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 1.5 blocks, and 1.3 steals through 72 games this season.
The Greek Freak posted a career-best 57.8% shooting from the floor thanks to being nearly unstoppable at the rim, using a plethora of moves around and over his opponents in a dominant display of his all-around skill.
The 24-year-old led the Bucks to an NBA-best 60 wins this season, capturing the winningest mark of his six-year career in the league and taking one huge stride toward challenging for the NBA title after losing in six games to the eventual champion Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Harden had a season for the ages, averaging an impressive 36.1 points per game — the highest mark since a 23-year-old Michael Jordan posted an average of 37.1 points per game in the 1986-87 season.
Not only did Harden post the highest scoring average in the last 32 seasons, but he also led the Rockets from the penultimate spot in the West at one point all the way up to the fourth seed — a testament to his hard-charging will to put the franchise on his back.
The Beard also scored a whopping 2,818 points, the most since Kobe Bryant’s 2,832 points in 2005-06 (35.4-point average), putting him as the second-highest gross scorer in the last three decades.
Paul George, who lost most of his case as an MVP candidate at the end of the season, had his best season yet with 28.0 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game in his second year with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The highly versatile small forward was third in the voting and a much-deserved finalist after leading the NBA in steals with 2.2 per game this 2018-19 season.
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