In the coming days and weeks, the NBA will announce the men who will win its individual awards this season.
In particular, the race for the MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, and Most Improved Player awards seem very tight and hotly contested.
On Friday, the league announced the finalists for each of its individual awards, and writer Kevin O’Connor made sure everyone was aware of all of these final candidates.
The NBA has announced the top three finalists for each award:
MVP: Antetokounmpo, Embiid, Jokic
ROTY: Banchero, Kessler, Williams
Most Improved: Brunson, Markkanen, SGA
DPOY: Jackson, Mobley, Lopez
Clutch Player: Butler, DeRozan, Fox
Sixth Man: Brogdon, Portis, Quickley pic.twitter.com/CHswDvMqGv
— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) April 15, 2023
The MVP competition has come down to Nikola Jokic, the winner of the award each of the last two seasons, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Joel Embiid.
For much of the season, there was a feeling that Jokic was the favorite to win the award for a third straight year, but lately, such talk has largely swung in favor of Embiid.
The 76ers center led the league in scoring average while leading his team to the third-best record in the Eastern Conference, and he has never played better in seven pro seasons.
Jalen Brunson has lit the Tri-state area on fire by leading the New York Knicks to the fifth seed and a playoff berth, but Lauri Markkanen and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander have also shown tremendous improvement this year.
The battle for Defensive Player of the Year honors is very close between Jaren Jackson Jr. of the Memphis Grizzlies, the Milwaukee Bucks’ Brook Lopez, and Cleveland Cavaliers stud Evan Mobley.
There is such a high level of talent and skill in the modern NBA that ultimately, a number of deserving players end up getting snubbed when it comes to numerous individual awards each year.NEXT: Cavaliers Insider Reveals Game 1 Update On Key Starter