In the coming days and weeks, the NBA will announce the men who will win individual awards this season.
In particular, the races for the MVP, Defensive Player of the Year and Most Improved Player awards tend to be very tight and hotly contested.
On Friday, the league announced the finalists for each of its individual awards, and writer Kevin O’Connor made sure everyone was in the know about all of these finalists.
The NBA has announced the top three finalists for each award:
MVP: Antetokounmpo, Embiid, Jokic
Bread: Banchero, Kessler, Williams
Best: Brunson, Markkanen, SGA
DPOY: Jackson, Mobley, Lopez
Clutch Players: Butler, DeRozan, Fox
Sixth Man: Brogdon, Portis, Quickly pic.twitter.com/CHswDvMqGv
— Kevin O’Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) April 15, 2023
The MVP contest has come down to Nikola Jokic, winner of the award each of the past two seasons, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid.
For most of the season, the feeling was that Jokic was the favorite to win the award for the third year in a row, but recently, such talk has largely swung in Embiid’s favor.
The 76ers center led the league in scoring average while leading his team to the third-best record in the Eastern Conference, and he never finished better in seven pro seasons.
Jalen Brunson has set the Tri-State region on fire by leading the New York Knicks to the fifth seed and a playoff berth, but Lauri Markkanen and Shai Gilgieus-Alexander have also shown tremendous improvement this year.
The battle for Defensive Player of the Year honors is very close between Jaren Jackson Jr. of the Memphis Grizzlies, Brook Lopez of the Milwaukee Bucks, and stud Evan Mobley of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
There is such a high level of talent and skill in the modern NBA that ultimately, many deserving players are left out when it comes to individual awards each year.
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