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Wob’s Final NBA Awards Leaderboard: My Hole 18 Picks For MVP, Rookie of the Year, More

  • Rob Perez (aka @WorldWideWob) breaks down his final NBA Awards Leaderboard featuring his picks for NBA MVP, Rookie of the Year and more.

At the beginning of the season, I had an idea: I wanted to track who would win the major NBA end-of-season awards if the season ended every week.

I did it using 18 separate intervals so it would conveniently fit on one of those cool-looking golf leaderboards where they dramatically replace each square with a number, Vanna White style, as the competitors progress.

Let’s get to the final results.

NBA MVP: Giannis Antetokounmpo

  • Preseason odds: +475
  • Current odds: -400

Feels like an eternity ago that Steph Curry was on track, one month into the season, to breaking every record he’s ever set — doesn’t it? In the end, there were only two candidates to chose from despite a valiant effort from Paul George.

My colleague Matt Moore already presented the definitive cases for Giannis Antetokounmpo and James Harden to win MVP, but for me, it came down to one thing: The best player on the best team.

I’m not going to lie — I started writing this article with the intention of drowning you in “Giannis was as good as Harden was at offense and significantly better at defense” stats — but they both excelled in different areas.

While Giannis put together a legitimate Defensive Player of the Year bid with an absolutely LUDICROUS individual defensive rating of 99 — to give you some context, Milwaukee was the NBA’s top-rated defense with a team rating of 105.1 points allowed per 100 possessions — on a team that finished as the fifth-fastest paced team, Harden finished second in the league in deflections.

I also had the intention of trying to convince you that Giannis’ +9.7 net rating differential when he’s on the court vs. when he’s on the bench compared to Harden’s +3.8 net rating should be enough.

But anyone who watched Harden during that Wilt Chamberlain-chasing stretch with Chris Paul out nursing his hamstring injury knows that the eye test supersedes any sort of number in regards to performance.

For every stat Giannis has to soap box on, Harden has one, too.

I can’t even argue, “Well, Giannis carried the burden ALL season and not just for spurts.” Harden was right there the whole way with him.

The one difference that nobody can debate is that the Milwaukee Bucks will finish the regular season with the league’s best record by multiple games. It cannot be overlooked, and I have decided to use it as my tiebreaker to crown a champion in what would undoubtedly be a deadlocked mistrial co-MVP if their teams’ records were anywhere close to being similar.

Rookie of the Year: Luka Doncic

  • Preseason odds: +250
  • Current odds: Off the Board

The fact that Trae Young even made this a conversation should be an award in itself. If you look at only the numbers, Trae might even be more deserving than Luka.

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