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Giannis Tops LeBron James with 60 out of 70 Votes for NBA MVP in ESPN Survey

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMarch 23, 2020

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, tries to get past Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, March 6, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

LeBron James may have built some momentum before the NBA suspended its season because of the coronavirus pandemic, but Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo is still reportedly the clear-cut MVP.

Tim Bontemps of ESPN conducted a survey of 70 media members and mirrored the MVP voting process as closely as possible. Antetokounmpo was in first place in 60 of the 70 ballots and second place behind James in the other 10. James finished in second place in all but two of the other ballots, with third- and fourth-placed finishes on those.

James Harden, Luka Doncic and Kawhi Leonard rounded out the top five.

Antetokounmpo's Bucks have the best record in the league at 53-12, and he leads James in points (29.6 to 25.7), rebounds (13.7 to 7.9), blocks (1.0 to 0.5) and free-throw attempts (10.0 to 5.7) per game while shooting 54.7 percent from the field to the King's 49.8 percent mark.

However, James—who leads the league with 10.6 assists per game—did have some momentum after guiding his Los Angeles Lakers to a head-to-head win over Giannis' Bucks and another over Leonard's Los Angeles Clippers before the league went on hiatus.

What's more, Antetokounmpo was sidelined by an injury.

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It is clear the Milwaukee star will be in pole position if and when play resumes as he chases a second consecutive MVP award. Still, both would surely rather have the NBA title, which could come down to a head-to-head showdown.