The 2022 NBA MVP race is one for the ages since many stars have signed their names on the list of candidates to take the award home. There are many factors to define who should get the prize, which is why every week we have a new name with a strong case to win the trophy.
Right now, Giannis Antetokounmpo leads the latest NBA's MVP ladder, followed by the surprising Nikola Jokic, who is often overlooked in comparison to the Greek Freak and other superstars in the league. Along with these two, players like LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Joel Embiid, and more have solid cases to aspire to the MVP trophy, but Antetokounmpo has shown he's the rightful leader of the race.
Following a commanding win over the Golden State Warriors on Thursday night, Shaquille O'Neal placed Giannis above the rest of the competition, saying he made a statement while dominating the Warriors at Fiserv Forum.
“This man was trying to send out a message tonight,” claimed Shaq on Thursday's edition of TNT's Inside the NBA. “Maybe a lot of people are MVP candidates, but I’m the reigning champ. And I’m the MVP.”
Giannis is doing impressive things this season. Even when his team had a championship hangover, he was going hard, trying to win games on his own. Now that everybody is back and ready to compete, he has taken his game to the next level, leading the Bucks to the top 4 of the Eastern Conference, closely following the Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat and Brooklyn Nets.
Antetokounmpo is recording a very good season. He's not slowing down even after winning a championship. The forward could win his third MVP in the last four years, which would put him in a different category compared to most of his competition.
The Bucks are still overlooked by most fans and analysts. They are the defending champions and Giannis acts like they're still looking for the title. If he keeps this pace, the job will be easier for the player, but this season has shown that nobody has his place secure, especially with so many players trying to win the award.
Giannis averages 28.5 points, 11.5 rebounds and 6.1 assists per outing in 35 games with the Bucks. He's shooting 54.3% from the field and 69.9% from the free-throw line.