Analyzing Giannis Antetokounmpo's 2023-24 MVP case against other candidates

Milwaukee Bucks v Denver Nuggets
Milwaukee Bucks v Denver Nuggets / Jamie Schwaberow/GettyImages
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1. Giannis vs. Nikola Jokic

Nikola Jokic is another player chasing the third MVP award of his career, and he is coming off the back of a brilliant title-winning season and is yet to slow down. The Serbian center is averaging 26.2 points, 12.3 rebounds, and 9.2 assists this season as the Denver Nuggets have the third-best record in the league at 45-20.

Statistically, both players aren't too far apart, with Giannis' scoring being better, but Jokic ranking better in the playmaking and assisting category. Giannis is having arguably the best season of his career, and that is a credit to him, considering the big roster moves in the offseason and then the mid-season additions of Patrick Beverley and Danilo Gallinari.

Add in the coaching change and all the challenges that have faced the Bucks this season, and to still be a top two team in the East and top six team in the league is a testament to Giannis' leadership.

This season, Giannis is third in total points scoring and just 50 off of the top spot, with Jokic almost 300 points behind Antetokounmpo. Jokic has played 63 games this season, while Giannis is at 62, and it could come down to the final stretch and potentially who has the best record as to who is viewed as the MVP.

Across the board, they are both very evenly matched statistically, and what may come back to bite Giannis is the turmoil of the season. It could be used as the reason for him to take the MVP, as they would be so much worse off without him. However, some voters will look at how steady the Nuggets have been this season and how Jokic has led them to one of the league's best records yet again.

The Nuggets and Bucks have faced each other twice this season, with both teams earning a win each. In late January, the Nuggets won 113-107, with Jokic putting up 25 points, 16 rebounds, and 12 assists, while Giannis scored 29 points, 12 rebounds, and four assists. In February, the Bucks ran out 112-95 as winners, with Giannis scoring 36 points, 18 rebounds and five assists, Jokic put up 29 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists.

It will be close between these two players right until the end and so the final few weeks of the season and record will likely come into play as to who gets the most votes.