Comparing Giannis Antetokounmpo to other MVP candidates this season

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JANUARY 13 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JANUARY 13 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – JANUARY 15: (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /

Death, taxes, and Giannis Antetokounmpo having an MVP-caliber season for the Milwaukee Bucks.

We’ve reached the all-star break, and the Greek Freak is once again an MVP candidate in 2021-22. He has had an MVP-level regular season every year since 2018 when he won his first MVP, and his consistency in recent years has been remarkable.

After winning two MVPs and a championship in the past three seasons, there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Giannis is one of the league’s best players. But where exactly does he stand among MVP candidates so far this season?

Looking at Giannis Antetokounmpo’s MVP case this season

When it comes to the basic numbers, Giannis is right up there with the best of them (as always). He is currently averaging 29.4 points, 11.2 rebounds, and six assists per game, one of only two players (Nikola Jokic) who is top 20 in the league in all three categories. He leads the NBA in 30/10/5 games this season with 16 of them.

What is also incredible about the numbers Giannis is able to put up is how few minutes he plays. He is not even in the top 60 in minutes played at just 32.7 minutes per game, yet he puts up averages that are just as good as anyones.

Giannis leads the NBA in points per 36 minutes (32.4), and this is something that has become normal for him. He is on pace to become the first player in league history to go four straight seasons averaging 30+ points per 36 minutes, and the 2nd player to even do it four times in their entire career (Michael Jordan). He is of the most efficient scorers ever.

As far as advanced numbers, Giannis has been fantastic there as well. He is 2nd in Win Shares, Box Plus-Minus, Value Over Replacement Player, Player Efficiency Rating, and Total Points Added.

His overall numbers aren’t quite to the level of his 2019-20 season, but this has been the best year of Giannis’ career. He is shooting his highest percentage from three since his rookie year, his highest percentage on free throws since 2018, and according to, his highest percentage from midrange since 2014. Over the last ten games, he is shooting 41 percent from three, 51 percent from midrange, and 74 percent on free throws. He is also at his highest assist to turnover ratio since 2016. In terms of passing, shooting, and free throws, this is the best combination of all three that Giannis has ever had in a single season.

The two players who are clearly battling Giannis for MVP right now are Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic (honorable mention to DeMar DeRozan, but he is clearly fourth right now). Both big men are having fantastic seasons and are right up on the same level as Giannis, and the race is going to be very close throughout the rest of the season. Let’s look at how Giannis compares to them.