Voting for all awards is based on regular season games played until March 11, when the pandemic shut down the league for four months.
NBA announces its finalists for six major awards, including Most Valuable Player hopefuls Giannis Antetokounmpo, James Harden and LeBron James.
Voting for all awards was based on regular season games played up until March 11, when the coronavirus pandemic shut down the league for four months, and so does not take into account performances since the league resumed inside its bubble in Orlando.
Antetokounmpo, who won the award last season, entered Saturday averaging career highs in scoring (29.7) and rebounding (13.7) for the Milwaukee Bucks.
“He’s an incredible teammate, plays unselfishly, does everything,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said of Antetokounmpo last month, stating his best player’s MVP case.
“And I think that’s kind of what the MVP is, so we certainly feel like he’s very deserving and we’ll be excited to support him.”
Harden, the 2017/18 MVP, is on track to win his third consecutive NBA scoring title with 34.3 points per game for the Houston Rockets.
James, a four-time MVP, is averaging 25.3 points, 8.0 rebounds and a league-leading 10.3 assists for the Los Angeles Lakers.
The only players with more MVP awards are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with six and Bill Russell and Michael Jordan with five each.
The other finalists for NBA honours:
Rookie of the Year — Ja Morant, Memphis; Kendrick Nunn, Miami; Zion Williamson, New Orleans.
Most Improved Player — Bam Adebayo, Miami; Luka Doncic, Dallas; Brandon Ingram, New Orleans.
Sixth Man — Montrezl Harrell, Los Angeles Clippers; Dennis Schroder, Oklahoma City; Lou Williams, Los Angeles Clippers.
Defensive Player of the Year — Antetokounmpo; Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers; Rudy Gobert, Utah.
Coach of the Year — Mike Budenholzer, Milwaukee; Billy Donovan, Oklahoma City; Nick Nurse, Toronto.
All of the awards are voted on by a global panel of sportswriters and broadcasters.