The NBA has come out and said that the race for all individual awards in the NBA is over. They have said that the voting for All-NBA, Rookie fo the year and Defensive Player of the year would be completed before the restart scheduled July 30th. The Nba sent out a message to all the teams saying, “The decision to exclude seeding games from awards voting ensures a fair process in which players and coaches from all 30 teams will have the same opportunity to be honoured as top performers for the regular season.”‘
This decision was expected and means that Giannis Antetokounmpo’s campaign for back to back Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards ended before the coronavirus pandemic. Antetokounmpo won his first MVP award after averaging 27.7 points and 12.5 rebounds per game last season. This season, he is expected to be an MVP frontrunner again, with averages of 29.6 points and 13.7 rebounds for the Bucks, who have the league’s best record.
The decision now means that Zion Williamson who played just 19 games this season will not be able to make a late push to catch Memphis Grizzlies’ Joe Morant who is the front runner. Williamson may not even be part of the Pelicans restart as he left the bubble to deal with an urgent family medical matter.
Houston Rockets’ James Harden has a commanding lead in the scoring race as he closes on a third consecutive win in that category. A win would make Harden only the eighth player in NBA history to win the crown three seasons in a row. Andre Drummond has a sizeable lead in the rebound tile while LeBron James leads the assists/game race. The steals title is up for grabs with Ben Simmons leading with 2.13 rebounds per game and being chased by Kris Dunn from the Chicago Bulls.