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Canadian Shai Gilgeous-Alexander named finalist for NBA’s MVP award – Sportsnet.ca

Oklahoma City Thunder and Hamilton star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has been named one of three finalists for the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award, the league announced Sunday.

The 25-year-old will compete against the Denver Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic and the Dallas Mavericks’ Luka Doncic for the league’s most prestigious hardware. Gilgeous-Alexander hopes to become the second Canadian ever to win the award and the first since Steve Nash did so in consecutive seasons between 2004 and 2006.

Gilgeous-Alexander, a two-time All-Star, is having perhaps one of the best seasons ever by someone from north of the border, averaging 30.1 points (third in the NBA), 5.5 rebounds and 6.2 assists. His biggest growth has been on defense, as he has turned into an elite two-way player, averaging two steals (tied for first in the NBA) and 0.9 blocks per game.

He has led the Thunder to 57 wins and is ranked No. 1 in the West, their best record in a decade and the first time they have topped the conference since 2013. Oklahoma City will face the New Orleans in the first round Pelicans. of the NBA Playoffs, Gilgeous-Alexander’s first postseason appearance as a bona fide No. 1 option.

The finalists for seven end-of-season awards were announced at the Inside the NBA on TNT airs Sunday prior to Milwaukee Bucks vs. Indiana Pacers.

Here is a complete list:

Sixth Man of the Year

Malik Monk (Sacramento Kings), Bobby Portis (Milwaukee Bucks) and Naz Reid (Minnesota Timberwolves)

Rookie of the Year

Chet Holmgren (Oklahoma City Thunder), Brandon Miller (Charlotte Hornets) and Victor Wembenyama (San Antonio Spurs)

Most Improved Player

Tyrese Maxey (Philadelphia 76ers), Alperen Sengun (Houston Rockets) and Coby White (Chicago Bulls)

Defensive Player of the Year

Bam Adebayo (Miami Heat), Rudy Gobert (Minnesota Timberwolves) and Victor Wembanyama (San Antonio Spurs)

Clutch Player of the Year

Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors), DeMar DeRozan (Chicago Bulls) and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

Coach of the Year

Mark Daigneault (Oklahoma City Thunder), Chris Finch (Minnesota Timberwolves) and Jamahl Mosley (Orlando Magic)