Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo is playing at an MVP level

Heading into this season, there was a lot of talk about Milwaukee Bucks star being one of the top candidates for the NBA’s MVP award. It might have been highlighted by Kobe Bryant’s Mamba Mentality challenge. We can say now futures bets on the MVP race are growing in popularity.

So far, the “Greek Freak” has certainly looked the part. He is averaging an impressive 26.7 points, 12.9 rebounds, 6.1 assists, 1.3 steals, and 1.3 blocks. No player in NBA history has ever matched those figures over a full season. 

The offensive efficiency that Antetokounmpo has been producing with has been truly impressive. He has an output of 1.372 points per possession on his offensive possessions (including passing) and that ranks 2nd among the 26 players that have at least 750 possessions. 

Milwaukee’s offensive system is built around Giannis and the attention that he commands has played a key role in their success. They have a league-best 113.2 offensive rating and are producing 1.028 points per possession (2nd) as a team.

The defensive side of the ball has been a real success for Antetokounmpo and the Bucks as well. They have posted a 104.7 defensive rating (5th) and that trails only the Indiana Pacers when compared to the Eastern Conference. 

Having a ridiculous stat line isn’t the only thing that Giannis has going for his MVP candidacy. The Bucks currently have a 21-9 record and rank second in the Eastern Conference standings.

The case for the league’s MVP award that Antetokounmpo makes is strong and that has become increasingly clear now. Simply put, he is putting up historical stats on an elite team. 

It is very rare for a player to win the award when they are not on a team that finishes outside of the top two in the standings. Top candidates like LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, and James Harden that are on teams in the Western Conference may not finish well enough to win the award. 

The main threat to Antetokounmpo’s potential MVP campaign appears to be Kawhi Leonard. He is playing at a high level on the top-seeded Toronto Raptors. There are still plenty of games left for the Bucks to pass them up, though.

The historic production that Giannis Antetokounmpo has been bringing to the Milwaukee Bucks on a nightly basis isn’t going anywhere. There is a real chance that he will end up being the NBA’s next MVP. 

About Grant Afseth 1232 Articles
Grant Afseth is an NBA reporter for NBA Analysis Network and Dallas Mavericks reporter for He previously covered the Indiana Pacers and NBA for CNHI's Kokomo Tribune and various NBA teams for USA TODAY Sports Media Group. Follow him on Twitter (@grantafseth), Facebook (@grantgafseth), and YouTube (@grantafseth).