NBA MVP race coming down to the buzzer


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Purbalite staff members discuss and debate awards for the NBA elite at the mid-season point.

Aaron Exler, Staff Writer

As the NBA season heads toward a close, with about 20 games left, it’s time to start debating who the contenders are for the MVP award.

The frontrunner of the race is Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, who so far led his team to a great season with a winning record of 48-15. But beyond his leadership, his athletic play stands out.

Antetokounmpo averages 27.1 points per game, 12.6 rebounds, and 6.0 assists, which puts him at the front of the line of MVP contenders.

Even though the “Greek Freak” is having a dominating season with the Bucks, another name that fans keep seeing is James Harden of the Houston Rockets.

Harden’s scoring is the sole reason for his MVP candidacy. He is leading the NBA with 36.7 points per game. Harden just ended his streak of 32 consecutive games with 30 or more points. Harden also has had 14 games with 50 or more points — and only eight other players have done that once.

Harden has kept the Rockets intact with a 38-25 record, but that may not be enough to seal the win as the MVP.

An athlete fans rarely hear about but who has a high chance of winning is Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets.

Jokic is probably in the middle of the pack with prolific scoring and strong stats. But he is also generating a lot of wins for the Nuggets this year. Jokic is averaging 20.6 points per game, 10.7 rebounds,  and 7.7 assists. He has helped the Nuggets to a 42-20 record on the season.

In addition to Antetokounmpo, Harden, and Jokic are Kawhi Leonard of the Raptors, Kevin Durant of the Warriors, and Paul George of the Thunder, who are all putting up solid numbers.

There are still at least 20 games left in the season and fans never know what’s going to happen and who will takes the MVP of the 2018-2019 season.