3 bold predictions for the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks in 2022

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - OCTOBER 25 (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - OCTOBER 25 (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bobby Portis, Houston Rockets: Christian Wood, Garrison Matthews
Dec 10, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports /

Bold Prediction No. 2 – Giannis Antetokounmpo will win his third MVP with the Milwaukee Bucks in 2022

If the Bucks do finish as the top seed in the East, the chances of Antetokounmpo winning his third MVP get even better than they already are.

The Greek Freak is doing what he normally does and putting up MVP-caliber numbers once again this season, averaging 31 points, 12.8 rebounds, and 6.6 assists per 36 minutes on 61 percent true shooting. He is number one in the league in points per 36 minutes, 13th in rebounds per 36 minutes, and 19th in assists per 36 minutes. Nikola Jokic is the only other player who is top 20 in all three categories.

Antetokounmpo has been particularly great lately, averaging 37.1 points, 12.8 rebounds, and 7.5 assists per 36 minutes on 64 percent true shooting in his five games since returning from health and safety protocols on Christmas. Over those five games, he has scored 163 points while playing just 157 minutes.

As far as advanced numbers, he is 2nd in the NBA in Win Shares, Value Over Replacement Player, Box Plus-Minus, and Total Points Added. On top of this, the Bucks are 14.9 points per 100 possessions better with Giannis on the court compared to when he’s off the court. When he’s on the court, they outscore opponents by 10.6 points per 100 possessions, and when he’s off the court, Milwaukee gets outscored by 4.3 points per 100 possessions. There is no question how valuable he is to the Bucks’ success.

Giannis Antetokounmpo continues to prove year after year that he deserves to be in the conversation for best player in the NBA, and he is an MVP candidate again this year. If the Bucks finish as the top seed in the East, there is a good chance Antetokounmpo can become the ninth player in NBA history to win three MVPs.