After three contests of the 2022–2023 NBA season, talents such as Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jayson Tatum, and Donovan Mitchell have already put on some impressive displays. In light of this, let’s take a look at the five NBA players that have established themselves as early contenders for the MVP award:
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In the first three games of the season, Jayson Tatum has been unstoppable for the Boston Celtics, guiding them to a perfect 3-0 start. Tatum just went to the NBA Finals for the first time, and he is playing even better now. His help will be important if the Celtics want to win a second straight championship.
The Celtics are now the early favourites to win the championship because of their best-ever NBA tandem with Jaylen Brown. Tatum is scoring 34.7 points per game on 58.7% of his shots through the first three games of the season.
Damian Lillard had a hard season in 2021–2022. He had surgery on his abdomen, which ended the season, and missed the playoffs for the first time in eight years. This season, the Portland Trail Blazers’ key player has been completely healthy and has helped the team to a perfect start (3-0).
With back-to-back 41-point performances against the Phoenix Suns on Friday and the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday, Lillard, who is averaging 34 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 4.3 assists, is now in the MVP discussion.
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Following a tumultuous offseason and a rejected trade request, the Brooklyn Nets’ star forward is particularly motivated this season and wants to disprove his sceptics. Since joining the team in 2019, the two-time NBA champion and Finals MVP has hoped to bring the city of Brooklyn its first championship.
Durant has contributed to Brooklyn thus far, averaging 29.5 points through two games. He and Irving set the tone as the Nets bounced back from their season-opening drubbing at the hands of the New Orleans Pelicans to upset the Toronto Raptors at Barclays Center (105-109).
This offseason, the elite guard switched conferences as the Utah Jazz traded him to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavaliers became title contenders as soon as he was added. He has proven that the Cavaliers’ choice to acquire him through a trade was the right one in his first three games.
The Cavaliers will assume leadership of the team when Darius Garland misses a few games due to an eye ailment, hoping to assist the Cavaliers in their first NBA Finals appearance since 2018.
The 2019 and 2020 NBA MVP is off to a strong start this season. He scored 21 points against the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday and 44 points against the Houston Rockets on Saturday in his first two games with the Milwaukee Bucks, averaging 32.5 points per game.
The “Greek Freak” will have more offensive responsibilities to cover for his teammate’s absence because co-star Khris Middleton will be out for the opening few weeks of the season due to a wrist injury. Antetokounmpo and the Bucks are on a mission to reach the NBA Finals for the second time in three years after last season’s defeat in the Eastern Conference Finals.