Giannis Antetokounmpo is having a historic season, and the Milwaukee Bucks’ superstar is without a doubt a frontrunner for MVP. Still, his Defensive Player of the Year case shouldn’t be overlooked in all of the awards discussion.
The Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo is having a charmed season from all perspectives.
Antetokounmpo is leading the best team in the NBA in terms of record as well as net rating; he is averaging career highs in points, assists and rebounds per game, field goal and true shooting percentage; and the MVP candidate was an All-Star captain who delivered one of the most stunning plays in All-Star Game history.
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Just as he did when speaking with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols, Giannis is always the first to say that team goals are his ultimate priority, yet he has the opportunity to accomplish something extremely rare by joining Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon as the only players in NBA history to win the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award, as well as Defensive Player of the Year in the same season.
National media figures, such as Max Kellerman, have recognized Giannis’ greatness with bold statements of late, but most of the focus has been on the Milwaukee Superstar’s offensive game. His defense is not discussed to the same extent.
Giannis’ MVP case has been well detailed, and his defensive prowess has been a part of that argument. However, framing his defensive impact as just a part of his MVP argument rather than pointing out how dominant he has been on that end of the floor is a mistake.