Published on 20 Feb 2022 5:10 pm (UK Time)
The NBA’s All-star game will take place on the 20th of February being the 71st edition of the All-star game, hosted in Cleveland as the NBA celebrates its 75th season but our question is who will be the All-star MVP?Embed from Getty Images
Monty Williams of the Phoenix Suns will coach Team Lebron who will be going against Miami Heat’s Erik Spoelstra who will be coaching Team Durant.
Team Lebron has 4 of the current top 5 leaders in the NBA MVP race with Nikola Jokic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Chris Paul and Stephen Curry this destructive force looks to be the better team on paper but will it be enough to overcome Team Durant?
Top 3 All-star MVP candidates from Team Lebron
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
Averaging 29.4 PPG 11.3 RPG 6 APG and currently ranked 3rd in the MVP race and the NBA’s leading scorer, Antetokounmpo looks to win his 2nd consecutive All-star MVP after last year he took the title without missing a shot going a perfect 16/16 from the field.
Giannis has been in impeccable form recently with 2 of his last 3 games putting up 50 points 14 rebounds and 4 assists whilst shooting 81% to get past the Pacers.
This performance comes just a week after Giannis terrorised the Lakers as he scored 44 points supplemented by 14 rebounds and 8 assists.
Giannis has the perfect style with his high flying explosive and dominant skillset to take over a game full of offensive output with competitors playing little to no defence in the All-star break. Lebron selected ‘The Greek Freak’ 1st in the draft as he labeled him the hardest playing competitor in All-star history, will this pay off, and will Giannis earn back-to-back All-star MVP’s?
Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
Averaging 25.89 PPG 5.38 RPG 6.3 APG Curry takes the number 5 spot in the MVP race which has led his team to the 2nd best record in the NBA, will Curry be able to capture his 1st All-star MVP title in Cleveland a city Curry has much history with.
After losing Draymond Green to injury the Golden State Warriors have struggled recently; however, Curry has still been putting up great numbers as he scored 33 points whilst shooting 61.1% from the field and a mind-blowing 8 threes at a 61.5% from 3 point range against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Curry also put up on a show earlier in the week against the New York Knicks as Steph notched 35 points alongside 10 assists in a close fought lose.
Steph set history this year and broke the NBA record for 3 pointers made, can he implement this incredible shooting skill to carry him to his 1st All-star MVP?
DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls
Last season 11th seed has skyrocketed since the addition of DeRozan as he’s been averaging 27.94 PPG 5.3 RPG 5.1 APG DeRozan, alongside partner Lavine, has led the Chicago Bulls to the joint-best record in the Eastern Conference tied with the Miami Heat.
In his last outing DeRozan lit it up as he scored 40 points against his former team the San Antonio Spurs, DeRozan shot an amazing 66.7% from the field and added 7 assists to go with his 40 points.
The Bulls have put together 4 straight wins where DeRozan has averaged 37.25 over the 4 game stretch. A stand out performance over this stretch was against the Charlotte Hornets where Demar scored 36 on 68.4% shooting from the field and an outstanding 75% from 3 point range.
With Demar having one of the best seasons of his career will he be able to use his uncanny mid range shooting and athleticism, to win the game and be named MVP? If he can reproduce plays like this below the award seems inevitable.
Team DurantEmbed from Getty Images
Top 3 All-star MVP candidates from Team Durant
Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies
The first time All-star has shone in his 3rd season in the NBA averaging 26.87 PPG 5.86 RPG and 6.9 APG leading the 2nd youngest team in the NBA, The Memphis Grizzlies, to the 3rd best record in the NBA.
Morant’s leadership of the youthful Grizzlies was shown earlier in the year as he and his team broke the NBA record for largest win margin with a resounding 73 point win against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Grizzlies 5 game win streak was snapped on the 17th of February as they came up short against the Portland Trailblazers but Morant didn’t go down without a fight as he let loose with a career high 44 points not to mention his 11 assists and 5 rebounds.
Morant also put up another 40+ point performance earlier last month as he dropped 41 points 8 assists and 5 rebounds to get past the San Antonio Spurs on 53.6% field goal shooting and 60% shooting from 3 point range.
Morant has a fan friendly play style with an incredible feel and understanding of the game combined with his youthfulness and being one of the most athletic and exciting players in the NBA, the All-star game is an excellent opportunity to display his talent but will it be enough to capture the MVP?
Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers
Embiid is having the best season of his career as he has been battling for the season’s MVP as the NBA’s 2nd top scorer and 8th leading rebounder has been averaging 29.32 PPG 11.18 RPG and 4.5 APG.
On the 13th of February Embiid went berserk as he put up an insane 40 point triple-double with 14 rebounds and 10 assists with the 7 footer showing his versatility shooting 80% from 3.
The Big Man tied his career high earlier in the season with 50 points and added 12 rebounds to his tally all in just 27 minutes .
Embiid is an impressive combination of an old-school big man with a mixture of modern game ability who can score on the low block whilst also being able to handle and shoot the ball whilst being 7 foot.
With the addition of James Harden, Embiid and the 76ers look to be championship contenders, but can Embiid be a contender for All-star MVP?
LaMelo Ball, Charlotte Hornets
LaMelo Ball make his debut All-star game and will become the 4th youngest All-star behind legends of the game like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Magic Johnson. Ball has averaged 20.22 PPG 7.04 RPG and 7.4 APG for the 5th youngest team in the NBA and is battling for the eastern conference’s 8th seed.
On the 12th of February, Ball would snap a 6 game losing streak against the Pistons as he would unleash 31 points with 7 threes, 12 assists and 5 rebounds with 71.4 % from the field and 77.8% from 3 point land.
On the 3rd of February, Ball set a career high 38 points with 9 assists and 6 rebounds in an all around performance.
LaMelo’s flashy style with his unique passing ability and dangerous dribbling will only be bolstered by the playful nature of the All-star game, perfect for the exuberant nature of Ball to make his mark and become the youngest ever All-star MVP.
The Favourite to be All-Star MVP
The ‘Greek Freak’ takes it as his effortless ability to score in a competitive game never mind a charity game gives him an advantage over the competition as shown by his last All-star game as he didn’t miss a shot, going 16/16 from the field.
Can the 2021 NBA Finals MVP and last year’s 2021 All-Star MVP become only the 3rd player to win consecutive All-star MVP awards, alongside Bob Pettit (1958, 1959) and Russell Westbrook (2015, 2016), we will have to find out on the 20th of February.