There has been growing support for the NBA to change its individual season awards model to reflect performance in the postseason as well as the regular season, especially after the Milwaukee Bucks crashed out of the postseason before the NBA Finals for the second consecutive series.
Giannis Antetokounmpo was named the 2019-20 Defensive Player of the Year on August 25th, one week before Jimmy Butler torched the Bucks in a Game 1 win. Giannis did not guard Butler as he was carrying the Heat to an upset victory, and was roundly roasted by fans after the game for not stepping up to shut down the opposing team’s best player.
Now, Antetokounmpo is favored to win a second consecutive league MVP award – after his top-seeded team has already been eliminated from the playoffs. Antetokounmpo is one of three finalists, along with LeBron James and James Harden.
Is Giannis truly the MVP? Statistically, it’s easy to make the case for him, and the Bucks dominated the regular season. But not everyone is convinced, particularly after the Bucks stumbled in the playoffs again.
On Wednesday, Lakers star Kyle Kuzma called out the media for messing up on the Defensive Player of the Year voting, and warned voters not to mess up MVP voting as well. Anthony Davis finished second in DPOY voting, with 14 first-place votes to Antetokounmpo’s 75.