Sports

Fight for NBA's – Most Valuable Player

BY MARK ARCHER
Contributor

Thursday, April 18, 2019

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The NBA Playoffs got underway last Saturday and the individual match-ups are more competitive (and interesting) than expected. Especially following a 31-point, fourth quarter collapse by the JustBet $1.35 favourite Golden State Warriors against the Los Angeles Clippers Monday night to even the series 1-1.

Another close race is looming for the League's Most Valuable Player (MVP).

This is the closest NBA MVP battle in years. Giannis Antetokounmpo, from the Milwaukee Bucks, has a very valid claim for the title. However, James Harden, from the Houston Rockets, produced record-breaking numbers when his team appeared to be out of contention and almost singlehandedly clawed them into third in the Western Conference.

There are no real criteria to assist with the decision. Those who have a say are looking at the player's importance to their team, their individual production and the overall team success.

Both athletes have had stellar seasons and the MVP award exists (in some part) to provide a measure of that season.

Giannis has been the single most versatile performer on each end of the floor this year. He is near the top of every leaderboard in traditional statistics and player efficiency and the Bucks, of which he's the indisputable leader, has compiled the league's best regular season record.

Harden is possibly having the best offensive season of all time. It is by far the most efficient offensive season by a player who averaged more than 35 points per game, as Harden's true shooting percentage (61.2) is 9.4 per cent better than this year's league average and five percentage points better than Michael Jordan in 1986-87.

Harden has finished first or second in MVP voting, four times in the past five seasons. He has left it all on the court and it would be remiss not to recognize all the minutes he has had to play to get the Rockets where they are.

Giannis has been too good from the beginning of the season and, with the Bucks blowing past opponents early in so many games, 'the Greek' has been able to get some rest, with an average of less than 37 minutes per game.

Both players have been breathing rare air and are absolutely deserving. Most times, in the history of the NBA, the best player on the best team has won this award (including Harden last season) and that trend is likely to continue. There is really no right or wrong decision here, Giannis should win and, based on the Bucks' success.

JustBet offers odds on the NBA and all major sports and sporting events. The schedule for this weekend's NBA playoff games are listed but visit one of the over 100 locations (or visit www.justbetja.com) for details and place your bets on the prediction of your choice for maximum winnings…… Get in the GAME!

DATE TIME HOME AWAY
19/04/19 18:00 ORL MAGIC TOR RAPTORS Game 3
19:30 IND PACERS BOS CELTICS Game 3
20:30 OKC THUNDER POR T BLAZERS Game 3
20/04/19 14:00 BRO NETS PHI 76ers Game 4
16:30 SA SPURS DEN NUGGETS Game 4
19:00 DET PISTONS MIL BUCKS Game 3
21:30 UTAH JAZZ HOU ROCKETS Game 3
21/04/19 12:00 IND PACERS BOS CELTICS Game 4
14:30 LA CLIPPERS GS WARRIORS Game 4
18:00 ORL MAGIC TOR RAPTORS Game 4
20:30 OKC THUNDER POR T BLAZERS Game 4
22/04/19 19:00 DET PISTONS MIL BUCKS Game 4
21:30 UTAH JAZZ HOU ROCKETS Game 4


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