We’re nearly a quarter-way into the 2019-20 NBA regular season, and there are four MVP candidates emerging.
Scoring is at an all-time high, and the individual performances that are following are out of this world. Truly.
Three of that quartet was in action on Tuesday (AEDT) — LeBron James and his league-leading Los Angeles Lakers had the day off — and all managed to flex those MVP credentials.
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We’ll start with Luka Dončić, who’s looking like one of the best players in the world, even though he’s just 20 years old and in his second season in the NBA.
The Dallas Mavericks moved to 8-5 with the 117-110 win over the San Antonio Spurs, with Doncic hitting the step-back three-pointer in the final minute to seal the victory.
That capped off a 42-point, 11-rebound, 12-assist performance from the Slovenian guard, who’s almost averaging a triple-double over 13 games this season.
DeMar DeRozan finished with 36 points and eight rebounds for the Spurs, but their season went from bad to worse with the loss, which puts them at 5-9.
Then, there’s James Harden, who’s scoring the ball at an unprecedented level. It’s generally happening because he hasn’t seen a shot he doesn’t like, but, in the Houston Rockets’ 132-108 win over the Portland Trail Blazers, it was different.
Harden finished with a game-high 36 points, to go with six rebounds and five assists, and he didn’t while shooting an efficient clip from the field. The one-time MVP shot 11-of-19 from the field, including 5-of-10 from the three-point line, putting together one of his most efficient outings of the season.
The Rockets, now 11-3, got a big impact from their three most prominent players, with Russell Westbrook dropping a triple-double — 28 points, 13 rebounds, and 10 assists — while Clint Capela chipped in with 22 points, 20 rebounds, and four blocks.
The last guy who’s looking like a legitimate MVP candidate is the winner of last season’s award, Giannis Antetokounmpo, who continues to look unstoppable.
This time, it was in the Milwaukee Bucks’ 115-101 win over the Chicago Bulls, with Antetokounmpo posting 33 points and 10 rebounds as his team improved to 10-3 on the season.
The Bucks got 19 points, 10 rebounds, and five blocks from Brook Lopez, as well as an 18-point bench showing from George Hill.
The Bulls dropped to 4-10 on the season, with Daniel Gafford’s 21 points off the bench not enough.