Who are the favorites to win the NBA In-Season Tournament MVP?
The latest player rankings feature players from contrasting ends of the age scope, with several newcomers competing for the Tournament MVP title.
The NBA recently launched the inaugural In-Season Tournament, an exciting new addition to the league’s calendar. The tournament features new jerseys, courts, and high stakes, culminating in the first-ever NBA Cup race and the tournament’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) award.
One of the most exciting aspects of the tournament is the MVP award. Unlike the regular season MVP award, which is based on a player’s performance throughout the entire season, the tournament MVP will be based on the players’ performance in both the Group Play and the Knockout Rounds. This means the players who perform well in the tournament will have a better chance of winning the award, regardless of their regular season performance.
With relatively few games and only eight total teams advancing out of Group Play, the importance of winning is even higher in this tournament. The teams will compete fiercely to secure their spot in the Knockout Rounds, and the players will fight hard to earn the Tournament MVP award.
So, which players are leading the race for the Tournament MVP honors? Only time will tell, but the tournament promises to be thrilling, and we can’t wait to see who comes out on top.
Tyrese Haliburton, Indiana Pacers
Haliburton of the Indiana Pacers has been in top form lately, scoring an average of 28.5 points, 4 rebounds, 13.5 assists, and 1.8 steals per game with a 49.3% field goal percentage. He led the Pacers to a 157-152 victory against Atlanta with 37 points and 16 assists while still managing to score 26 points and make 10 assists in the Group Play finale against Detroit.
Haliburton has transformed Myles Turner into a feared pick-and-roll finisher, with the Pacers scoring an impressive 1.51 points per possession. The Indiana Pacers have won East Group A and are moving on to the Knockout Rounds, thanks to Haliburton’s remarkable performance.
LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers
James was ranked third last week in the tournament stats, averaging 25.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 7.5 assists, and 1.0 steals per game with a 60.0% field goal percentage.
He has missed only one of his 18 tournament shots in the restricted area and has made 14 of his 24 three-point attempts, all from above the break.
The Los Angeles Lakers (4-0) were the first team in the Western Conference to secure their spot in the Knockout Rounds. James has set a high shooting standard for the team, and all their top five scorers have a field goal percentage of over 50%.
Damian Lillard, Milwaukee Bucks
Lillard’s tournament stats are remarkable, with 29.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 6.3 apg, 52.9 FG%, 50.0 3FG%. He is an excellent 3-point shooter and has made seven of his nine 3-point attempts in the third quarter of tournament play. Lillard’s playmaking is improving, and he works well with his teammates. In the recent win over Washington, Lillard assisted Brook Lopez four times, leading to a career-high-tying 39 points for the big man.
Lillard takes fewer shots per game than most top 20 scorers, but he is still a superstar playmaker for Milwaukee. The Bucks are now in a good position to win East Group B, thanks to Lillard’s excellent performance.
Domantas Sabonis, Sacramento Kings
Sabonis has been averaging 19.7 ppg, 12.7 rpg, 8.3 apg, 2.0 bpg, with a 53.5% FG% in the tournament. His teammate, De’Aaron Fox, is catching up. He scored 36 points and made 12 assists in his last game. Sacramento (3-0) is now in control of West Group C thanks to Sabonis’ contribution of 15 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, two steals, and three blocks in Friday’s game against Minnesota.
If they win their final Group Play game against Oklahoma City, they will advance to the next phase of the tournament, which will be a testament to Sabonis’ excellent performance.
Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns have been performing impressively, scoring an average of 30.7 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 8.3 apg, 1.7 spg, and an impressive 55.4% FG% in the tournament. Booker’s return to the team was a game-changer, with the Suns outscoring their opponents by 55 points in the 99 minutes of play in which he participated. Phoenix is currently leading in the race for the lone wild card spot in the Western Conference, a significant turnaround from their loss to the Lakers and a narrow win over Utah.
In their recent match against Memphis, Phoenix played without Kevin Durant and won 110-89. Booker scored an impressive 40 points and helped increase Phoenix’s point differential. The Suns are now likely to make it to the Knockout Rounds.