Milwaukee Bucks guard Jrue Holiday argued Giannis Antetokounmpo should be this season's MVP and has blamed voter fatigue for why he is not the favourite.
The MVP race appears a battle of two, between Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic and Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid, but Antetokounmpo reminded everyone of his quality with his 31st 30-point double-double in Sunday's 117-104 win over the Sixers.
The win boosted the Bucks' (56-22) chances of finishing in the one seed in the Eastern Conference, pulling two games clear of the Boston Celtics (54-24) in the two spot with four games to play.
In a match-up against Embiid, Antetokounmpo finished with 33 points, 14 rebounds, six assists and three blocks and is averaging 31.1 points, 11.8 rebounds and 5.6 assists this season. Embiid had 29 points, nine rebounds and five assists.
The Greek forward is fifth overall for points per game, led by Embiid (33.0), while he is third for rebounds, behind Domantas Sabonis (12.4) and Jokic (11.9).
Holiday argued that because 2019 and 2020 NBA MVP Antetokounmpo has been elite for a long period of time, voters take his quality for granted.
"[Giannis] has been MVP too much," Holiday told reporters when asked about the MVP race. "He's been doing this too much, I feel like people get bored of it.
"It's kind of like the Bron effect. LeBron has done it so many times that people think that it's normal now. And it's not.
"He makes it look so easy. The first couple years that he got it, it's like wow, nobody can do [that] and it's still, to this day, nobody can do what he does.
"He's on the number one team, not just in the East, but in the league."
A dominant force.— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) April 3, 2023
33 PTS | 14 REB} 6 AST | 3 BLK | 77 FG% pic.twitter.com/oulEbY55ri
Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer echoed Holiday's sentiment, believing that Antetokounmpo is this season's rightful MVP, arguing "he does everything".
"We certainly feel like Giannis is the MVP," Budenholzer said. "Best player, best record, what he does on both ends of the court, the rebounding, the blocked shots, the defense, guarding on the perimeter.
"He does everything: play-makes, attacks, gets to the free throw line. We feel like he's in the conversation and he should be the guy."
Antetokounmpo's 31.1 points per game this season is a career best and comes at 55 per cent shooting across 62 games.
"I thought Khris set a good tone for us offensively."— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) April 3, 2023
Coach Bud ASL Press Conference: pic.twitter.com/o4FS0NR6gs