Awards season is HERE! There’s no greater individual honor than Most Valuable Player. After OneWildWalnut of Blazer5 Gaming captured the inaugural award last season, it’s time to see which player will bring home the hardware for their season 2 performance.
Here are the five finalists for the 2019 MVP Award: Reizey (Magic Gaming), Mama Im Dat Man (Blazer5 Gaming), oFAB (Celtics Crossover Gaming), Radiant (76ers GC) and Bp (Kings Guard Gaming). All five just so happen to be point guards.
Voting is now open until Friday, July 19, but before casting a ballot, familiarize yourself with the finalists with a breakdown of each of their candidacies. (Note: Player stats are updated through Week 10).
Reizey, PG, Magic Gaming
Regular-season stats: 17.7 PPG, 10.2 APG, 0.7 SPG
Why he should win: He’s the first of two rookies among the five candidates. That speaks to just how strong of a season h’s had since being taken ninth overall in the draft. The numbers back him up, as Reizey entered Week 11 ninth in the league in scoring and fourth in assists. His play has improved as the season has progressed, which not surprisingly has coincided with Magic Gaming’s recent push for the playoffs. It’s no longer a question if he’s one of the best first-year point guards; he belongs in the conversation for best point guard period.
Why he might not win: The upper-echelon of the point guard position is so stacked, it’s simply hard to stand out among the likes of veterans Mama Im Dat Man, oFAB and Radiant. The fact that Reizey has played his way into the conversation as a rookie is a feat in itself. He might be a year or two away from taking home MVP honors, but Rookie of the Year would be a solid consolation prize this season.
Mama Im Dat Man, PG, Blazer5 Gaming
Regular-season stats: 22.9 PPG, 11.7 APG, 1.5 SPG
Why he should win: He’s widely been considered the front-runner for the award for much of the season, and with good reason. A strong argument can be made in his favor from both a team and personal standpoint. He’s been the engine behind the league’s best team, with Blazer5 Gaming winning 14 straight games and wrapping up the best regular-season record with weeks to spare. Statistically, Mama is as good as it gets. He’s top-two in the league in both scoring and assists. Oh, he’s also been named Intel Player of the Month twice.
Why he might not win: For as good as Blazer5 Gaming have been in the regular season, they’ve struggled in tournament play. Blazer5 is 1-3 overall, including suffering first-round upsets at both THE TURN and THE TICKET. While, that’s not a total indictment of Mama, it’s worth wondering if the team’s tournament shortcomings will dampen some of his shine. That said, when lack of tournament success is Mama’s only blemish on an otherwise outstanding campaign, it’s hard to penalize him much.
oFAB, PG, Celtics Crossover Gaming
Regular-season stats: 22.7 PPG, 12.8 APG, 2.6 SPG
Why he should win: No player’s campaign for MVP is riding more momentum than Fab. Sitting at 1-5 and near the bottom of the standings earlier this season, Celtics Crossover Gaming entered Week 11 riding a seven-game winning streak to shoot up the standings and into the thick of the playoff race. Fab has led this resurgence, playing his best basketball of the season during the stretch. He’s neck-and-neck with Mama Im Dat Man for the league lead in scoring and assists. But if you’re looking for something that might separate him from his Blazer5 Gaming counterpart it would be defense, as Fab is the only point guard in the top-10 in the league in steals.
Why he might not win: Honestly, about the only thing holding him back is out of his control, and that is his fellow candidate Mama Im Dat Man. A case can be made that Fab is the most valuable player to his team across the league, but CLTX Gaming’s slow start and unsettled playoff spot when compared to the steady performance of Blazer5 Gaming could tip the scales in favor of Mama if it comes down to a comparison between the two point guards.
Radiant, PG, 76ers GC
Regular-season stats: 20.0 PPG, 9.7 APG, 1.4 SPG
Why he should win: A trendy MVP pick coming into the season, Radiant backed it up right out of the gate. He captured MVP honors at THE TIPOFF to lead 76ers GC to the tournament title in consecutive seasons. In the totality of the season, he’s been as steady as they come at his position. He’s one of just three players (Mama Im Dat Man, oFAB) ranking top-five in the league in both points and assists, while possessing the lowest turnover rate of the three. His inclusion as a finalist is much deserved after being snubbed as one of the five players up for the award last season.
Why he might not win: We mentioned how steady Radiant is on a weekly basis, but the spectacular moments haven’t been as easy to come by. Outside of the early tournament MVP, he’s lacking a ‘wow’ moment, especially in the second-half of the season. A deep run at one of the two mid-season tournaments would have likely aided that cause. It also hasn’t helped that 76ers GC have slid back a bit and aren’t yet a lock to make the playoffs. Regardless, there’s no argument that he’s squarely in the conversation for league’s top point guard.
Bp, PG, Kings Guard Gaming
Regular-season stats: 17.5 PPG, 8.1 APG, 1.5 SPG
Why he should win: As far as ball handlers go, there might not be a better one than Bp, who has handles to rival any player in the league. The third overall pick in this year’s draft backed up his flashy play with solid individual numbers, ranking 11th in the league in points and ninth in assists. Most importantly, he’s been the driving force for Kings Guard Gaming’s turnaround, propelling a squad that finished tied for the league’s worst record last season to being on the brink of a playoff spot this season.
Why he might not win: As one of two rookies among the finalists, his inclusion might be considered the most surprising of the five candidates, no fault of his own. His individual numbers are a tick below some of the other candidates, so the question remains how much will he be rewarded in the voting for his team’s turnaround. His highlight-reel plays might not be enough to sway enough votes in his favor over the other candidates.
This article represents the thoughts and opinions of the writer and not on the NBA 2K League.