Report: Giannis misses out on MVP Award to Nuggets star Jokić

Bucks Rout Bulls 111 81, Take 2 1 Lead Without Middleton
Nam Y. Huh - staff, AP

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) battles for a rebound against Chicago Bulls center Nikola Vucevic during the first half of Game 3 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series Friday, April 22, 2022, in Chicago.

MILWAUKEE, Wis. — Giannis Antetokounmpo’s quest for a third NBA MVP award will continue for another year.

This season’s top honor went to Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokić, according to a report from the Associated Press and ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. ‘The Joker,’ as Nuggets fans call him, won the award over Antetokounmpo and Philadelphia star Joel Embiid. This is the second year in a row that Jokić has won. The NBA is expected to officially announce the award sometime this week.

The decision was a close one. Jokić and the Greek Freak’s stats in the regular season are nearly identical. Both averaged 10.3 field goals per game but Jokić was slightly more efficient, averaging 58.3% in shots made compared to Giannis’ 55.3%. Jokić also has the edge in three-point shooting, averaging 1.3 per game at 33.7% compared to Antetokounmpo’s 1.1 per game at 29.3%.

Where Jokić sets himself apart is with his work when he’s not shooting. He averaged 10.4 rebounds per game compared to Giannis’ 9.4 and averaged 6.2 assists compared to Antetokounmpo’s 4.6.

However, on the defensive side of the ball, Giannis had the better year. The Bucks star averaged 1.2 steals and 1.3 blocks per game compared to Jokić’s 1.2 steals and 0.7 blocks. Antetokounmpo also had the edge in points per game with 21.8 compared to Jokić’s 19.7.

The Bucks are in the middle of a hard-fought playoff series with the Boston Celtics, leading 2-1. Game 4 tips off at 6:30 p.m. CT at Fiserv Forum.