Voting for the NBA 2K League MVP Award is underway, with the league announcing the winner at the conclusion of Saturday’s slate of games.
The five finalists for the award are: Lets Get It Ramo (Pistons GT), Hotshot (Heat Check Gaming), OneWildWalnut (Blazer5 Gaming), Boo Painter (Wizards District Gaming) and Mama Im Dat Man (Blazer5 Gaming).
Not surprisingly, each of the five players have spent a bulk of the season residing in the Race to the MVP Rankings. All are deserving candidates in their own right.
After taking into account the whole sum of each player’s season, including both regular season and tournament performances, here’s my order of contenders in the season’s final rankings.
Note: NBA2KLeague.com’s Power Rankings are the opinion of this writer and do not reflect the views of the NBA 2K League or its clubs.
1. OneWildWalnut, Blazer5 Gaming
Stats: 20.8 points, 13.7 rebounds, 2.6 blocks, 2.2 steals
Last week: 1
Walnut has been atop the rankings for a majority of the season, and he’s more than solidified his spot as the frontrunner for the MVP Award down the stretch. He’s the only player in the league averaging over 20 points and 13 rebounds. He holds the distinction of owning the only two 30/20 games in league history, a feat he achieved on consecutive weeks last month. Oh, and he might just be a shoo-in for Defensive Player of the Year as he leads the league in both rebounds and blocks and is third in steals.
2. Boo Painter, Wizards District Gaming
Stats: 31.6 points, 8.1 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 1.9 blocks, 1.4 steals
Last week: 3
Boo has put up solid numbers from Day 1, but he’s been a totally different animal in recent weeks. He’s averaging 46.2 points in the past four games, including the 57 he dropped in this week’s upset of Blazer5. The surge has propelled him to first in the league scoring race, making him the lone player currently averaging 30-plus points. Boo isn’t just a one-trick player either. He ranks fifth in blocks and seventh in rebounds among all players. Regardless of what frontcourt position he plays, he’s been a nightmare for opponents to contain.
3. Mama Im Dat Man, Blazer5 Gaming
Stats: 20.7 points, 13.0 assists, 1.5 steals
Last week: 2
The most dangerous point guard in the league just so happens to play alongside the MVP favorite in Walnut. While that potentially could cost Mama votes to his teammate, there’s no denying the campaign he’s put together. He’s the only player averaging at least 20 points and 13 assists, ranking sixth and third, respectively, in the league. People seem to overlook that Mama was named MVP of THE TURN after putting on a dizzying display to guide Blazer5 to the tournament title. He’s the only point guard among the five finalists, which speaks volumes about his level of play.
4. Radiant, 76ers GC
Stats: 19.7 points, 13.3 assists, 1.9 steals
Last week: 5
The biggest shock of the MVP finalists was the omission of Radiant. Not to take away from the other five candidates, but not including him seems like an oversight. He sat atop these rankings for multiple weeks early on, and with good reason. He guided 76ers GC to THE TIPOFF title and has hardly slowed down for the league’s second-place team. Radiant is second in assists, 10th in scoring and 15th in steals across the league. He also commits fewer turnovers than any other player on this list.
5. Hotshot, Heat Check Gaming
Stats: 27.8 points, 7.3 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.8 steals, 1.5 blocks
Last week: 4
After holding down the center position early on, Hotshot has elevated his play since moving to small forward. He held the league’s single-game scoring record for one week after pouring in 54 points in Week 9, following it up with a 51-point outing. As a result, he’s risen to third on the league scoring list. Hotshot leads his team in points, rebounds, steals and blocks, and is second in assists. He did draw some bad luck this week with Heat Check’s game being postponed, costing him one final chance at showcasing himself prior to the start of voting.
6. Lets Get It Ramo, Pistons GT
Stats: 19.7 points, 9.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.9 steals, 1.6 blocks.
Last week: 7
His presence among the finalists is validated by the success of Pistons GT, who currently reside in third place. Ramo’s impact has been felt throughout the season as he simply does a little bit of everything in putting up workman-like numbers. He ranks in the top 10 among all players in four categories: points, rebounds, steals and blocks. Not too shabby. He went for 21 points and 15 rebounds his last time out against Magic Gaming to help his squad clinch a playoff berth.
7. oFAB, Celtics Crossover Gaming
Stats: 19.3 points, 17.2 assists, 2.2 steals
Last week: 6
oFAB is another player that some thought was deserving of consideration for the five finalists. As far as pure point guards go, he’s right in the mix with any other. He’s been the best passer throughout the season, leading the league in assists by nearly four more per game than the next closest player. He’s also third in steals and seventh in scoring. oFAB led Celtics Crossover to a pair of tournament finals, joining Blazer5 as the only teams to achieve the feat.
8. Dimez, Mavs Gaming
Stats: 22.5 points, 11.4 assists, 2.4 steals
Last week: 9
The No. 1 overall pick was among the preseason favorites for the award. His stats certainly back up his play, as he ranks in the top 5 in both points and assists while leading the league in steals. It feels like expectations were so high for Dimez coming into the season that it’s hard for him to get his proper due. It also didn’t help his candidacy that his team has underperformed and is likely to miss the playoffs.
9. GOOFY757, Knicks Gaming
Stats: 21.2 points, 10.6 rebounds, 2.0 steals, 1.1 blocks
Last week: Unranked
He’s been on the cusp on joining the rankings at various points during the season, but makes his debut as playoff-bound Knicks Gaming gathers momentum to close the regular season. GOOFY is averaging 32.0 points and 14.5 rebounds over his past two games, both victories. But his success isn’t just recent. He’s one of just two players averaging over 20 points and 10 rebounds, while also ranking eighth in steals.
10. AuthenticAfrican, Grizz Gaming
Stats: 26.2 points, 9.2 assists, 4.6 rebounds, 1.2 steals
Last week: 8
Any player who scores 84 points in a game belongs in the rankings. He was probably one of the most slept-on players in the league for much of the season, mainly tied to Grizz Gaming’s struggles. But as they turned their season around, it was AA who was the spark plug. He owns the single-game scoring mark, a feat that is not likely to be broken, and ranks in the top 10 in both points and assists.