Giannis, George finalists for NBA MVP and defensive award

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - MAY 15: Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks dribbles the ball while being guarded by Marc Gasol #33 of the Toronto Raptors in the fourth quarter in Game One of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at the Fiserv Forum on May 15, 2019 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

NEW YORK — Giannis Antetokounmpo and Paul George have a chance to be both the NBA’s MVP and its Defensive Player of the Year.

Reigning MVP James Harden is the other finalist for the league’s top award. The NBA announced three finalists for six individual award categories Friday, based on voting results from a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters.

Antetokounmpo led Milwaukee to the best record in the league and a berth in the Eastern Conference finals. Oklahoma City was eliminated in the first round as George struggled with a shoulder injury that eventually required surgery.

The other finalist for the league’s top defensive award was Utah’s Rudy Gobert, who won the award last year.

The winners will be announced June 24 during the NBA Awards, when LeBron James will finish outside the top three of the MVP voting for just the second time in the past 11 years.

The other award finalists:

Rookie of the Year: Deandre Ayton, Phoenix; Luka Doncic, Dallas; Trae Young, Atlanta.

Sixth Man Award: Montrezl Harrell and Lou Williams, Clippers; Domantas Sabonis, Indiana.

Coach of the Year: Mike Budenholzer, Milwaukee; Michael Malone, Denver; Doc Rivers, Clippers.

Most Improved Player: De’Aaron Fox, Sacramento; D’Angelo Russell, Brooklyn; Pascal Siakam, Toronto

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