One month into the NBA 2022-2023 season but we have already seen ridiculous performances from elite stars and upcoming rising studs. A new year, a new season, but the intensity is still the same. With a lot of players trying to prove who the best of the best is, there are only a few ways to recognize real talent. Since the league was founded, it has given out awards by the end of each season such as the MVP trophy. More and more awards have emerged and as time goes by, it has become a great way for the league to give credit to players who have fought their way through it. Though it is still too early, let’s take a quick look at who could win the NBA’s major awards this season.
Most Valuable Player (MVP): Luka Doncic or Giannis Antetokounmpo
Two European stars are once again battling for who should be named the Most Valuable Player this season.
Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks are on a great start after winning their first nine games (9-1) to begin the season. Despite the absence of All-Star guard Khris Middleton, the Bucks are an unstoppable behemoth on both ends of the floor. Thanks to Giannis’ monstrous nightly output, the Bucks are the best team in the league today. Because of that, the Greek Freak is pushing very hard for his third MVP award.
On the other hand, this season could surely be the season that Luka Doncic wins the MVP. He’s been in MVP talks in the past years but hasn’t gotten close to the top 3. He is averaging a ridiculous 36 points a game and has never scored less than 30 in his first 9 games. In addition to that, he is leading the Dallas Mavericks to a 6-3 record, currently the 5th best in the West.
The MVP race is just between Giannis and Luka. Everybody else is just another runner-up. The Bucks and the Mavericks are set to hit the stage on November 27 and on December 9, 2022. It would be very exciting to see two top players butt heads with each other to prove who the real MVP is. Below is a comparison of the two superstars’ stats this season.
Giannis Antetokounmpo V.S. Luka Doncic
Giannis’ stats this season:
Luka’s stats this season:
Defensive Player of the Year (DPoY): Giannis Antetokounmpo
The Defensive Player of the Year award could go to many players like Bam Adebayo, Mikal Bridges, Marcus Smart, and more. However, Giannis Antetokounmpo is keeping his DPoY status with his emphatic defense every year.
To add, the Milwaukee Bucks are the best defensive team in the league. Giannis, who has won the award twice already, is set to win it again this year if he stays healthy. Last year, he finished in the top three votings, just falling behind Marcus Smart and Mikal Bridges.
Rookie of the Year (RoY): Paolo Banchero
As of the moment, the first overall pick of the 2022 NBA draft, Paolo Banchero, is clearly the leader of the Rookie of the Year race. The 19-year-old power forward could turn the Orlando Magic’s franchise and could be their centerpiece in the coming years.
Stats this season:
6th Man of the Year: Bennedict Mathurin
There aren’t many rookies who have won the 6th man of the year award except for former Chicago Bulls guard, Ben Gordon. This season could rewrite history as another rookie is flirting with the award with his excellent scoring ability. If it weren’t for Paolo Banchero becoming the clear Rookie of the Year, the 2022 6th pick, Bennedict Mathurin could win both the RoY and 6MoY. As early as now, he is leading the league in most points scored by a bench player (194 points).
Stats this season:
Coach of the Year (CoY): J.B. Bickerstaff, Will Hardy, or Mike Budenholzer
It’s going to be a tough battle for the Coach of the Year award as these three have been either doing what they’re supposed to do or they’re doing the impossible.
As mentioned, the Milwaukee Bucks are on a good roll after being 9-1. They’re currently the best defensive team in the league, too. Even without Khris Middleton, they’re still one of the championship title favorites. Also, Mike Budenholzer has won Coach of the Year twice (2015 and 2019) so this wouldn’t be new to him.
The other two coaches, J.B. Bickerstaff (Cleveland Cavaliers) and Will Hardy (Utah Jazz) have surpassed expectations as what their teams have shown.
Most Improved Player (MIP): Lauri Markannen
There are a lot of standouts for the Most Improved Player award like Desmond Bane, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Tyrese Maxey but there’s someone who’s currently leading the way – Lauri Markannen.
The Utah Jazz was supposed to tank this season but they’re actually doing the opposite. Since trading away Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, the Jazz have actually been a better and more entertaining team than they were before. The key factor to why they are winning is no other than the Finnish big man, Lauri Markannen. He’s putting up career highs in points, rebounds, assists, blocks, and field goal percentage. Because of that, he is clearly the frontrunner to win MIP this season. On top of that, he could also become an All-Star reserve this season now that he’s playing like one.
Stats this season:
Stats last season:
Do you agree with our picks? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. For more content, stay with us, here at Spiel Times.
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