Just two games into the 2017-18 season, the affectionately dubbed “Greek Freak” Giannis Antetokounmpo has given the NBA a bunch of highlights, on his way to 37 and 34 points in Milwaukee games versus Boston and Cleveland.
In his third game of the season, Antetokounmpo scored a career-high 44, beating Portland with a steal and a dunk in the final minute, complemented by a last-second block. The internet was expectedly sent buzzing. Is the Greek Freak making a solid run for MVP? Through the Bucks’ first five games, Giannis has already posted a franchise-best total of 175 points, and is already an early candidate for the post-season award.
Giannis drastically improved his numbers in all major stat categories last year, earning him the NBA’s Most Improved Player award. He was also named a starter in the All-Star Game, Milwaukee’s first representative since Michael Redd from over a decade before.
At just 22 years old, Antetokounmpo is already posting record-breaking numbers. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is now the first player in NBA history to average 35 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists through the first five games of a season.
It’s clearly too early to tell for sure, as there are many solid candidates for MVP this year: from Harden and James to Durant, Leonard, and possibly Westbrook anew. But if Giannis continues his dominance on both the offensive and defensive end, then that MVP award is, so to speak, truly all Greek to me.