NBA MVP finalists: Giannis, George, Harden
Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo and Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George are among the finalists for the both NBA's Most Valuable Player and Defensive Player of the Year honors.
The league announced the three-man lists of finalists for its 2018-19
regular-season awards on Friday.
Antetokounmpo and George are joined by Houston Rockets guard James Harden in
the running for league MVP. Harden was the MVP for the 2017-18 season, and he
finished runner-up to Thunder guard Russell Westbrook in 2016-17.
Neither Antetokounmpo nor George has won an MVP award.
The third finalist for Defensive Player of the Year is Utah Jazz center Rudy
Gobert, who won the honor last year.
The candidates for Coach of the Year are the Milwaukee Bucks' Mike
Budenholzer, the Denver Nuggets' Michael Malone and the Los Angeles Clippers'
Doc Rivers. Budenholzer captured the award in 2014-15 when he was with the
Two Clippers players, forward Montrezl Harrell and guard Lou Williams, are up
for Sixth Man Award, along with Indiana Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis.
Williams earned the award in 2014-15 and 2017-18.
The finalists for Most Improved Player are Sacramento Kings guard De'Aaron
Fox, Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell and Toronto Raptors forward Pascal
Siakam. George was selected Most Improved in 2012-13, and Antetokounmpo was
honored in 2016-17.
Antetokounmpo, 24, averaged 27.7 points, 12.5 rebounds and 5.9 assists -- all
career highs -- in 72 games this season.
George, 29, played 77 games and posted career-high averages of 28 points, 8.2
rebounds and a league-leading 2.2 steals. His average of 4.1 assists matched
his career best.
Harden, 29, led the league with a career-best 36.1-point scoring average that
topped the NBA. He added 6.6 rebounds, 7.5 assists and two steals while
playing 78 games.
The voting for all awards was done by a panel of sportswriters and
broadcasters. The hardware will be handed out in a ceremony at Barker Hangar
in Los Angeles on June 24.
--Field Level Media