Giannis Antetokounmpo on track for the MVP Award

Stacy Revere / Getty Images
Stacy Revere / Getty Images

The “Greek Freak” has exploded in the beginning of the season and is already considered one of the grand favourites to be named the MVP.

The 22-year-old point forward has been unstoppable in the first five games of the season, having scored 37, 34, 44, 32 and 28 points, respectively.

The 44 points (17/23 from the floor in 39 minutes) he scored against the Portland Trail Blazers were a career-high for the versatile player, who can do everything on both ends of the floor.

In addition, he had 32 points, 14 rebounds and six assists in the Milwaukee Bucks’ victory over the Charlotte Hornets (103-94), which was the third one in four games for the squad.

Antetokounmpo has been tremendous offensively, easily scoring points both from inside the paint and the three-point range, while he plays excellent defensively, too, by stealing the ball and acting as a rim protector (2.4 steals and 1.2 blocks per game).

After suffering a knee injury and missing the 2017 EuroBasket, where Greece was eliminated by Russia in the quarter finals, the Bucks’ player worked as hard as he could, not only to recover from his injury, but also to improve certain aspects of his game, like his three-point shooting.

Consequently, the “Greek Freak” wants to rapidly enhance his three-point percentage so as to make his opponents’ effort to guard him even more difficult, given his ability to be dominant when driving to the basket.

Bleacher Report

Photo: Bleacher Report

Even though it’s still too early in the season, many media outlets, both in Greece (like Eurohoops.net) and the United States of America (including Sports Illustrated, Bleacher Report and others), have already started praising his accomplishments and stating he is an equal MVP candidate.

Certainly, his target is to lead his team to the top, however Milwaukee’s performance, during the regular season, will not play such a significant role in whether Antetokounmpo will be named the MVP.

Judging by what happened last year, when Russell Westbrook decimated his opponents and won the award, ending the season in triple-double figures and being eliminated by the Houston Rockets in the first round of the playoffs, it’s clear the team’s overall presence isn’t entirely linked with a player’s performance.

Given Antetokounmpo is Milwaukee’s franchise player and the one that executes most plays, as coach Jason Kidd’s tactics revolve around the 22-year-old All-Star, the “Greek Freak” will undoubtedly continue having plenty of playing time on the floor an being extraordinary, both defensively and offensively, as he averages 35 points, 10.6 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game.

With the Bucks’ leader being named Eastern Conference Player of the Week, many NBA betting sites have already placed him as the number one favourite to win the MVP Award.

However, the competition will become even tougher as the season goes on, with excellent players, like LeBron James, Westbrook, James Harden, Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard (who is still injured and hasn’t played yet), as equal contenders.

That said, the 22-year-old player should keep on playing at very high standards in order to not only come closer to the MVP Award, but also prove he can become the league’s best player and one of the best of all times in the NBA.