The NBA league released the names of all the finalists for its six awards. Seventeen players are involved, counting the reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo who is in the combination for two honors.
The Milwaukee Bucks‘ leader and arguably the best player in the league, is among three finalists in the NBA MVP and the NBA Defensive Player of the Year race.
Apart from Giannis, James Harden from Houston and LeBron James from the LA Lakers will try to win the most prestigious individual award in the NBA.
Rudy Gobert is one of three finalists for Defensive Player of the Year. Jordan Clarkson was not among the Sixth Man finalists. pic.twitter.com/vAmF7IjQDD
— Eric Walden (@tribjazz) August 8, 2020
James has four of them, while Harden won his only one in 2018. Giannis has the opportunity to become the third player who won both awards, besides Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon.
Meanwhile, besides the Greek Freak, Anthony Davis from the LAL and the reigning DPOY from Utah Jazz, Rudy Gobert, are competing for the status of the best defender in the league.
Gobert is a back-to-back winner, and is chasing that third silverware in this competition, which would place him beside Dwight Howard, who is the only player to achieve such a success.
Mike Budenholzer, who won the Coach of the Year prize last year, and in 2015 with the Atlanta Hawks, is nominated for another such award. His rivals are going to be Toronto Raptors‘ Nick Nurse, and OKC Thunder’s Billy Donovan.
According to almost all the experts, the biggest favorite to come out a winner here is Nurse, whose abilities made the Raptors one of the candidates for the title, even though they lost both Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green during the offseason.
Here are the 2019-2020 NBA MVP finalists 🏆 pic.twitter.com/biZtetzIq6
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 8, 2020
Rookie of the Year finalists are Ja Morant, Kendrick Nunn, and Zion Williamson. The oddsmakers are giving an edge to Memphis Grizzlies’ guard, who was playing very well all year long, while Williamson missed a huge part of the campaign. Nunn, started well, set several franchise records, but slowed down as time went by.
Lou Williams will once again chase the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award, his fourth. If he manages to win it, Williams is going to become the first player in the history of the league to do so.
And finally, the competition for the Most Improved Player of the Year brings three youngsters, Luka Doncic, Bam Adebayo, and Brandon Ingram. All the finalists have equal chances to win it, per sources, and it will be interesting to see how this one ends up.