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. Denver Nuggets: Nikola Jokic
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – JANUARY 30: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Giannis Antetokounmpo vs. Nikola Jokic in the MVP race

Let’s now talk about last year’s MVP, as Nikola Jokic is making a strong case to go back-to-back this year. He’s averaging 26 points, 13.8 rebounds, and 7.9 assists on 65 percent true shooting.

Compared to Giannis, he averages more rebounds and assists per 36 minutes on better efficiency, and he leads the NBA in basically every advanced stat there is. Giannis does have him beat in scoring and defensive ability, but statistically, Jokic is the MVP.

He isn’t quite on the same level as Giannis or Embiid in terms of scoring, but Jokic’s passing ability makes up for that, and he is extremely important to his team’s success. The Nuggets are an absurd 20.7 points per 100 possessions better with Jokic on the court compared to when he’s not. For comparison, the Bucks are 12.5 points per 100 possessions better with Giannis, and the Sixers are 10.7 points per 100 possessions better with Embiid.

Another thing to note is that Giannis, Embiid, and Jokic have all been very clutch this season. According to Inpredictable, they are all in the top five in eFG percentage on clutch shots (shots with an elevated impact on win probability) among players with 70+ attempts — Giannis at 65.7 percent, Embiid 58.3 percent, and Jokic 54.9 percent.

When taking into account both offense and defense, I think Giannis is the best player in the world and probably the MVP. However, Jokic might be ahead in the MVP race right now with his numbers and how he has kept the Nuggets a playoff team despite missing Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. If the Bucks finish as a top 3 seed in the East, that would definitely help Giannis’ MVP case. It should be a tight race the rest of the season between Giannis, Jokic, and Embiid, and we’ll see if Antetokounmpo can become the ninth player in NBA history to win three or more MVPs.

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Stay tuned to see if Giannis Antetokounmpo can do it in what should be a down-to-the-wire race.