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ROY Is Settled As MVP Race Heats Up

It might be NBA All-Star week but there is still a lot to dive into ahead of the breaks. The Most Valuable Player market, in particular.

NBA MVP Watch: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander Is Here

Asked about what it would mean to win the Most Valuable Player award, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander couldn’t help but get excited:

“A dream come true… I try so hard to stay in the moment… It’s something that I would be honored and blessed to receive, obviously.”

He’s not far off…

With Joel Embiid out of the picture and Nikola Jokic the current favourite at $1.57, Gilgeous-Alexander is in the mix on the second line of betting at $3.25.

There is always a debate about what constitutes an MVP. Is it being the best player in the league, or the most important to a particular team. You can make the argument for both here.

Gilgeous-Alexander’s raw numbers are enough to have him considered as one of the best players in the NBA and a candidate for MVP.

31.1 points
5.5 rebounds
6.6 assists
2.2 steals

Across the NBA as a whole, he’s 1st in points, 1st in steals, 1st in free throws and 1st in 30-point games.

His influence on the Oklahoma City Thunder is there in black-and-white, too. Without him on the floor the Thunder are a middling team. They score and concede the same number of points per 100 possession for a 0 net rating. With him, however, the Thunder outscore their opponents by 10.6 points per 100 possessions. For context, the Boston Celtics play with the best net rating in the NBA at +10.7.

There is a human element to consider about the award as well. Voters will want to give Gilgeous-Alexander the award. Provide them a new name and voters will lean that way if the decision is close. However, by allowing voter fatigue to sway their decision so badly last year impacting the integrity of the award, do they make it up to Jokic and hand it to him regardless?

It’s difficult to argue one way or the other right now. Jokic deserves to be a slight favourite right now with his advantage in the advanced stats, but there is a long way to go. If Gilgeous-Alexander can lift the Thunder into the No.1 seed in the Western Conference, that will start to close the gap.

The cat is out of the bag with SGA. He’s a superstar in the league and an MVP in waiting. If it’s going to be this year, he’s worth exploring further at $3.25.

Bet Now NBA MVP - Shai Gilgeous-Alexander @ $3.25

Wemby Watch: He’s The ROY

The San Antonio Spurs and Toronto Raptors tipped off with Victor Wembanyama blocking a shot and making a threee-pointer inside 25 seconds.

He’d go on to finish the game with a 27/14/10 triple-double.

The 10?

Blocks.

It’s been three years since somebody last recorded a tripe-double with 10 blocks and over 20 since a rookie last achieved the feat. Hakeem Olajuwon’s 11 triple-doubles with blocks is the most in NBA history. You’d have to imagine that Wembanyama will go close to breaking that record when it’s all said and done.

What makes this most impressive and relevant to the Rookie of the Year market is that he did it all in 29 minutes.

We mentioned last month that it was only a matter of time before the limited minutes would become a positive in the conversation for him winning ROY. Now he’s the $1.10 favourite…

Klay’s Change Of Pace

Klay Thompson has had himself a week.

He cost the Golden State Warriors a chance at victory over the LA Clippers with a terrible foul down three with 39 seconds left.

Subsequently benched and given one game before being forced to simmer on his play over the All-Star break, Thompson exploded for 35 points, six rebounds and two assists on 59% shooting.

Choosing to harness Manu Ginobili over pouting in the corner, Thompson embraced what could be his new role moving forward.

“I thought Manu Ginobili, that guy has four rings and gold medal, and he came off the bench his whole career. I don’t think anyone looks down on his Hall of Fame candidacy. He’s one of the greats. I embraced it before tip, and I deserved it really.”

The Warriors didn’t make any moves before the trade deadline. Perhaps this is it?

Currently 27-26 for 10th in the Western Conference, the Warriors are an appealing $2.10 to make the playoffs.

Snubbed Sabonis

There is always too much conversation over who was snubbed from the All-Star game. Domantas Sabots has to feel hard done by, though.

He just became the 11th player in NBA history to record 50 triple-doubles.

Putting up 19.9 points, 13.2 rebounds and 8.3 assists per game this season, Sabonis leads the league in triple-doubles with 18. He managed three on the bounce and five in six games heading into the break.

Sabots isn’t flashy. He doesn’t make the social media highlights all that often. Still, he’s a key feature of the Sacramento Kings who are 31-23 for 8th in the Western Conference and $1.38 to make the playoffs.

Who beat the Bucks?!?

A grossly under-strength Memphis Grizzlies beat a near full-strength Milwaukee Bucks throughout the week.

Jordan Goodwin.

Lamar Stevens.

Jacob Gilyard.

Trey Jemison.

Who?

A group of relative unknowns within the NBA landscape handed Doc Rivers and the Bucks another loss as the ‘Griffin is the scapegoat’ narrative reaches warp speed.

“Do we want it?” asked Giannis Antetpkounmpo after the defeat.

Perhaps the question should be, do they expect it?

Does this team that has played with an MVP-calibe superstar and a top tier defence, sitting towards the top of the NBA standings every year simply ‘expect’ it after adding Damian Lillard?

Things could change come playoff time. Teams tend to click into another gear and the Bucks have three or four they can still click into. However, as much as the regular is considered a chore by most, we don’t often see a team integrating new players, struggle all season, and turn it on when it matters. The Bucks need to start clicking in the next few weeks if they’re to live up to their $7 odds to win the championship.

TOP 6 NBA CHAMPIONSHIP ODDS

TEAMCURRENT PRICELAST WEEK’S PRICE
Boston Celtics$3.60$3.60
LA Clippers$4.80$4.80
Denver Nuggets$5$5
Milwaukee Bucks$7$6.50
Phoenix Suns$15$17
New York Knicks$19$17
Bet Now NBA Futures



Related

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Golden State Has A Problem, Sabonis’ Streak & Clippers Capitulating

The Race To The Play-In, Scoring Falls & Ant Edwards Rising

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