2020 NBA MVP Predictions – January

Many old friends top the rankings, but some new faces are there, too.

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2020 NBA MVP Predictions – January

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Even though the long NBA season has just begun, many have begun to speculate on how this season will conclude. Who will win the championship? Which draft prospect will be selected number 1 overall? And of course, the big question on everyone’s mind, who will win the coveted NBA Most Valuable Player Award? With the seasons end still a long ways away, it is impossible to know for sure, but here are our picks for the top 5 candidates to start out the season.

 

Number 5: LeBron James

Of course, the King has to be on this list somewhere. LeBron has not only continued his nigh unstoppable dominance of the court, but has also taken over as the de facto Point Guard for the Lakers. Every possession, the ball starts in his hands and as such he has managed to average a career high 10.6 Assists per Game. However, the presence of AD will likely hurt his case a tad bit, as having another MVP caliber player will naturally hurt the ability for both of them to showcase their individual dominance. Even despite this, LeBron is one of the best players to step on the court, and if the season ended today, nobody would complain if he was crowned MVP. 

 

Number 4: Anthony Davis

The yin to Lebron’s yang, the brow himself, Anthony Davis has been unleashed. After 7 disappointing seasons at New Orleans, he has finally found a new home in the City of Stars. Helping his case is is monster defence. Davis is currently leading the league in blocks, and is my favorite to steal the Defensive Player of the Year award from Rudy Gobert, who has been off to a slow start this season. Unfortunately, he is also hindered by LeBron, who steals a bit of the spotlight. In addition, his health is a bit of a concern. Davis played less than 60 games last season, and there were reports at the start of the year that his shoulder was not fully recovered. Should he suffer a severe injury, then he may lose out on getting the votes needed. Otherwise, AD may be able to clinch the award, depending on his dominance throughout the season.

 

Number 3: James Harden

Frankly, the only reason Harden isn’t higher is because the voters seem to hate him. At least, that’s the only reason why a person averaging 38 PPG on 46% shooting hasn’t already ran away with the award. Even though he’s putting up literal historic numbers, he’s been overlooked in favor of younger, more exciting players. Frankly, his only limiting factor right now is his team. The Rockets are the 4 seed in the west, even with his nightly contributions. Considering that the west is more open now than it has been in years, this is a major obstacle to his reputation. If he cannot secure at least a 2 seed, I have doubts that he’ll be able to make a big enough splash to truly be considered in the eyes of the voters. 

Number 2: Giannis Antetokoumpo

Giannis continues his dominance from last year into the new season. He’s essentially single handedly led the Bucks to the top seed in the east, and his team currently has the best record in the entire league. If not for his MVP last year, he’d be the top name here, but even with that, a repeat is not outside the realm of possibility. While he might not be the undisputed top player right now, if he wins the chip, I don’t think a single person would be surprised

Number 1: Luka Dončić

Luka may win this award on narrative alone. His numbers aren’t historic, like Harden, and he’s not leading his team to a top seed, like Giannis, but the fact that he has become who he is in only 2 seasons? Not even the most fervent supporter of Luka or his Mavericks could have predicted their success, or his complete dominance of the court. If he won, Luka would beat Derrick Rose as the youngest MVP in league history. Right now, I believe that the allure of making that history is a powerful influence on the minds of the voters, and that Luka, barring any major injuries, will be the 2019-2020 NBA MVP.

 

Overall, it is still early in the season, and anything can happen. Expect to see people rise and fall, and for all we know, the person standing upon the stage at the NBA Award Night may be someone different, somebody who nobody expected. But for now, I’m confident that one of these players will walk away with the award come June.