NBA MVP Watch - Week 3
As the NBA season approaches just its third week of play, the MVP race is wide open with many candidates filling the stat sheet on a nightly basis and leading their respective teams to wins.
While it is obviously too early to truly predict who will be named the league’s most valuable player come June, a few notable stars have separated themselves from the pack thus far.
After winning back-to-back MVP awards in 2019 and 2020, the Greek Freak took a backseat to Nikola Jokić as he held the title for the past two years.
This season, Giannis is all the way back to MVP form, boasting an incredible 32.6 points per game, which is good enough for second most in the league, and 12.9 rebounds.
He also has his Bucks at an undefeated 9-0 record.
If Giannis can keep up this pace, it’ll be hard for voters to deny him the trophy.
Whether it’s this year or in the future, Luka’s time for an MVP seems to be coming soon.
Coming off an impressive playoff run last season that ended in a tough loss in the conference championship at the hands of the NBA Champion Golden State Warriors, the 23 year old phenom was a preseason favorite for the award and has lived up to the billing so far.
Through eight games, Luka leads the league in points per game with 36 while also averaging 8.8 rebounds and 8.6 assists and he’s done all this while losing his right-hand man in Jalen Brunson.
What he has been able to do with a Mavericks team lacking another true star optimizes the word “valuable.”
Donovan Mitchell’s summer was one of the most eventful in the NBA.
He was at the center of trade talks for months and was considered a virtual “lock” to be playing his home games in Madison Square Garden this season, but in a surprising turn of events, he is now donning the maroon and gold in Cleveland.
So far, the Cavaliers are one of the bigger surprises in the league, holding a 7-1 record and looking like they could be a true title contender for the first time since LeBron James left town to join the Lakers, and Mitchell has been the biggest part of the turnaround.
Averaging 31.4 points, the former Jazz star is on pace for a career season and has the city of Cleveland feeling hopeful once again.
Another player that had to deal with a lot of drama heading into this season was Jayson Tatum, but not for the same reasons as Donovan Mitchell.
The Celtics had a major scandal just before the season opened up which resulted in a suspension for previous head coach Ime Udoka.
Udoka led Boston to the NBA Finals in his first season leading the team, but had to abruptly be replaced by interim head coach Joe Mazzulla.
Even with the sudden turnover, Tatum has picked up right where he left off, averaging over 30 points per game and helping the Celtics hold the third place spot in the Eastern Conference.
Over the past few seasons, Tatum has established himself as a true franchise cornerstone and an MVP would be the next big step in his career.
Jakob Schnur is a third-year student majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
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Second-Year / Broadcast Journalism