The 2017-18 NBA Central Division gave us no shortage of storylines. Throughout the entire season, every team gave us an outstanding player that we at lwosports.com wants to recognize. Here are the 2017-18 Central Division MVP’s.
Central Division MVP’s
Chicago Bulls: PF Lauri Markkanen
The most valuable player for the Chicago Bulls last season was Lauri Markkanen who was also their first round pick. Markkanen was picked with the 7th overall pick in last years draft which was acquired in the Jimmy Butler trade. The Chicago Bulls traded away their star player Jimmy Butler last offseason to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Kris Dunn, Zach Lavine, and the 7th pick in the draft which ended up being Lauri Markkanen.
Lauri is a perfect power forward in today’s NBA with his ability to stretch the floor and score from all different levels while defending at a high level. Markkanen started in all 68 games he played in last season. Lauri averaged 15 points per game and 8 rebounds per game as a rookie while shooting 43% from the field in 30 minutes per game. Markkanen had an incredible rookie season and will look to add to his game and become a dominate player in this league for years to come.
Cleveland Cavaliers: SF LeBron James
The most valuable player on the Cleveland Cavaliers last season was LeBron James. LeBron James is the best player in the league right now and is one of the greatest players to ever play this game. LeBron had a spectacular season last year and carried his team to the NBA Finals for the fourth straight year. LeBron should have won MVP of the league last season but with the remarkable season from James Harden he finished second.
James played all 82 games of the season for the first time in his career last year while averaging 37 minutes per game. James had spectacular numbers averaging 28 points per game, 9 assists per game, and 9 rebounds per game while shooting 54% from the field. Then in the playoffs LeBron played 22 games raising his total to 104 total games played last season. James averaged 42 minutes per game, 34 points per game, 9 assists per game, and 9 rebounds per game while shooting 54% from the field.
LeBron James might have had the best season of his career in his 15th season in the league which is remarkable considering everything he has gone through in his career. The Cleveland Cavaliers were led by LeBron James night in and night out and were never out of a game because of the brillance he displayed on the court.
Detroit Pistons: C Andre Drummond
The most valuable player on the Detroit Pistons last season was Andre Drummond. Drummond started in all 78 games that he played in last year and was a force in the paint on both ends of the floor. Drummond is one of the best rebounders in the league as well as a defensive game changer.
Andre averaged 34 minutes per game last season which was a career him for the 6 year player. Drummond also averaged 15 points per game and 16 rebounds per game while shooting 53% from the field. Drummond is known as a dominate player in the paint on the offensive end due to his offensive rebounding ability. Andre shot a career high from the free throw line also at 61% while he is a career 42% free throw shooter.
Drummond really took off after the Pistons made a midseason blockbuster trade with the Los Angeles Clippers. The Pistons traded Tobias Harris and Avery Bradley from Blake Griffin who is a star in this league and they wanted to pair Griffin and Drummond. Those two should have more chemistry next season and will look to make some noise in the Eastern Conference.
Indiana Pacers: SG Victor Oladipo
The most valuable player on the Indiana Pacers last season was Victor Oladipo. Oladipo was also nominated for most improved player in the league and ended up taking him the trophy last season. Victor was acquired from the Oklahoma City Thunder last offseason in the Paul George blockbuster deal. Oladipo had a remarkable season last year and credits his surgance to Russell Westbrook and his work ethic towards the game.
Victor started in all 75 games he played in last season while averaging 34 minutes per game and has proven himself to be a star in this league. Oladipo averaged 23 points per game, 5 rebounds per game, 4 assists per game, and 2 steals per game while shooting 48% from the field. Although the Pacers lost in the first round of the playoffs they took the Cavaliers to a 7th game. Oladipo was a huge key to their first round against Cleveland while averaging 37 minutes per game, 23 points per game, 8 rebounds per game, and 6 assist per game but his shooting percentage was down to 42%. Victor took a huge leap forward last season and has the Indiana Pacers looking towards the future and something special.
Milwaukee Bucks: SF Giannis Antetokounmpo
The most valuable player on the Milwaukee Bucks last season was Giannis Antetokounmpo. Giannis is on the rise in this league and has the potential to become one of the greats if he puts in the work. Giannis played point forward for Milwaukee which allows him to control the flow of the game and play in his comfort zone. The Bucks had a disappointing end to their season but will look to add to that next season.
Giannis averaged 37 minutes per game last season while starting all 75 games he played in last year. Antetokounmpo averaged 27 points per game, 10 rebounds per game, and 5 assists per game while shooting 53% from the field. Giannis knows his strengths and weaknesses to his game but if he can develop a consistent outside jumper then he will become unstoppable.
Giannis played in 7 games in the playoffs before the Bucks lost in game 7 to the Boston Celtics. Antetokounmpo avergaed 40 minutes per game, 26 points per game, 10 rebounds per game, and 6 assistes per game while shooting 57% from the field. Giannis will look to take another leap next season and become one of the best players in the league and lead his team to a conference finals in the Eastern Conference.
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