Poll reveals NBA players favoring Harden for MVP.
Both James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo have built strong cases for why they are deserving of this year’s NBA MVP award, and it figures to be a tight vote when it comes time for sportswriters and broadcasters to make their selection.
Harden’s and Giannis’ peers will not get a vote in the official MVP balloting, but their voices will be heard when the NBPA announces the Players Voice Awards this summer. And as of now, it appears the players are leaning towards Harden.
According to The Athletic’s Sam Amick, 44.3% of 122 NBA players polled selected Harden as this year’s MVP, while 38.9% have sided with the Greek Freak.
1. James Harden (44.3 percent)
2. Giannis Antetokounmpo (38.9 percent)
3.Paul George (12.7 percent)
4. Joel Embiid (1.7 percent)
Harden was crowned the NBA MVP by both the media and players last year, and he responded this season by averaging an NBA-best 36.1 points per game to go along with 7.6 assists, 6.6 rebounds and two steals per game. The only other players to average more than 36 points per game in a single season are Michael Jordan, who averaged 37.1 in 1986-87, and Wilt Chamberlain, who did it five times from 1959-64.
Meanwhile, Antetokounmpo is averaging 27.7 points, 12.5 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.3 steals per game. According to Bleacher Report, Giannis is on pace to become the first player since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to average 27 points, 12 rebounds and five assists per game, something that only Oscar Robertson, Wilt Chamberlain and Elgin Baylor have accomplished.
Not to mention, he led the Milwaukee Bucks to the best record in the NBA (currently sitting at 60-21), and he is a Defensive Player of the Year candidate as well.