Antetokounmpo, Embiid, Jokic finalists for NBA MVP
The battle for NBA Most Valuable Player will feature the three expected finalists: All-Stars Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers and Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets.
The NBA announced on Friday the finalists for seven awards for the 2022-23 season, including MVP with the same trio of finalists as in 2021-22.
Jokic has won the award the past two seasons. During the regular season, the center averaged 24.5 points, 11.8 rebounds and 9.8 assists for Northwest Division champion Denver (53-29), the top seed in the Western Conference.
Antetokounmpo recorded averages of 31.1 points, 11.8 rebounds and 5.7 assists for Milwaukee (NBA-best 58-24), which won the Central Division and earned the top seed in the Eastern Conference. He won the league MVP in 2018-19 and 2019-20.
Embiid averaged a league-best 33.1 points along with 10.2 rebounds and 4.2 assists for Philadelphia (54-28), which was second in the Atlantic Division and third overall in the conference. An All-Star every season since 2017-18, Embiid made the All-NBA second teams in 2017-18, 2018-19, 2020-21 and 2021-22 but has not been voted MVP.
The award winners will be announced during TNT’s coverage of the NBA playoffs beginning next week. The NBA will release the award announcement schedule on Sunday.
The three finalists for each award were based on voting by an international panel of sportswriters and broadcasters.
The other six awards finalists are:
Clutch Player of the Year: Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat; DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls; De’Aaron Fox, Sacramento Kings
Defensive Player of the Year: Jaren Jackson Jr., Memphis Grizzlies; Brook Lopez, Milwaukee Bucks; Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers
Most Improved Player: Jalen Brunson, New York Knicks, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder; Lauri Markkanen, Utah Jazz
Rookie of the Year: Paolo Banchero, Orlando Magic; Walker Kessler, Utah Jazz; Jalen Williams, Oklahoma City Thunder
Sixth Man of the Year: Malcolm Brogdon, Boston Celtics; Bobby Portis Jr., Milwaukee Bucks; Immanuel Quickley, New York Knicks
Coach of the Year: Mike Brown, Sacramento Kings; Mark Daigneault, Oklahoma City Thunder; Joe Mazzulla, Boston Celtics