Shai Gilgeous-Alexander's case for the NBA MVP

Saturday, 13 April 2024 at 23:06
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With the NBA season winding down and with only one game remaining the focus has now shifted towards the postseason and season awards. The biggest season award you can get is the NBA MVP. With three guys being in the run for it in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Luka Doncic, and Nikola Jokic. All three of them have a different and very unique case to be the MVP, however today we are going to look at the case for why Shai should win the MVP.   
Shai has averaged 30.3 points, 5.6 rebounds, 6.2 assists, 2.0 steals, 0.9 blocks, and has shooting spilts of 53.6%FG/35.8%3-point/87.3%FT. These are all pretty impressive numbers but that doesn't even tell the whole story of his MVP case.  

The most 30 point games in the NBA 

We have narrowed it down to Shai's top five reasons on why he should be the MVP and the first reason is, he has the most 30 point games in the NBA this year. As a 6'6 point guard and for a player that is not a volume 3-point shooter, it is pretty insane that he is leads the NBA with 30 point games.  
If you look at other players this year that are averaging 30 points per game they are either bigs that play center or power forward like Joel Embiid and Giannis Antetokounmpo. The other one is Luka Doncic who is a volume 3-point shooter in which he shoots around 10 per game compared to Shai who only shoots 3.5 per game.
For a player who is not a big over the height of 6'10 and is not a player that shoots a ton of three's per game. To lead the NBA for the most 30 point games and too average 30 points per game is pretty remarkable.

Leading the League in Steals  

Not only is Shai a remarkable offensive player, he is also a very good defensive player as well. Now, is he the guy you are going to have cover the opposing team's best player, the answer would be no. However, he is not a negative in that area though were the other candidates like Jokic and Doncic aren't considered great defenders and are considered a negative when it comes to that.  
He leads the NBA in steals per game averaging around two per game and is top three in deflections per game averaging 3.5 per game. With him averaging over 30 points per game and averaging 2 steals per game it is the first time a player has done this since Micheal Jordan did it. The year Jordan did it, he won the MVP that year.
This is probably the reason out of the five that separates him the most from the other candidates in Luka and Jokic.

Top 6 in paint scoring 

The third reason would be that he is top six in points per game in the paint. This year the top 10 NBA players averaging the most points in the paint per game are all bigs or wings. The only guard in the top 10 is Shai.
Point guards aren't suppose to dominate the paint like this and average a lot of points in the paint. If you watch the Oklahoma City Thunder play, and watch how Shai scores in the paint and how crafty he is in that department it is pretty impressive.
Nikola Jokic who is the best big in the NBA and who dominates the paint every game only averages two more points per game in the paint than Shai, which is just a field goal more. Joel Embiid averages only .4 points less than Shai does in the paint. That is just a little bit more to put into perspective of how impressive this stat is for Shai.

Leading the second youngest team in the NBA to a top 3 seed in the West 

The fourth reason is the Thunder are the second youngest team in the NBA and have a chance to be the number one seed in the West and have the second best record in the NBA. Young teams aren't suppose to be doing things like this and it is mostly due to the fact of how good Shai has been for them.
To go along with this too is the improvement that they have had from last year to this year. Last year they were the 10th seed and had a record of 40-42, and this year they can finish no lower than the third seed and have already improved their win total by 16 games, in just one year.

Shai's Consistency/efficiency   

The final reason is how consistent Shai is. You rarely see a game in which he is struggling shooting the ball and for a point guard that scores a lot of his points in the paint and mid range shots. To average 53% almost 54% is just amazing.
Besides being very efficient, he has also been very consistent with his 30 point games something we have already talked about. In the 74 games he has played he has scored at least 30 points in 52 of those games. That is just 22 games in which he has scored less than 30 points. For someone that is a point-guard and is not a volume three point shooter, these stats that he is putting up on a nightly basis are just unheard of.
With just one more game left and with the MVP award going to be decided between either Luka, Jokic, or Shai. It shouldn't shock people if Shai is the MVP this year and he has a very good case to do so.