NBA awards finalists: Giannis in running for MVP, DPOY
Joe Murphy / National Basketball Association / Getty

On Saturday, the NBA announced the finalists for the league's regular-season awards: Most Valuable Player, Defensive Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Most Improved Player, Sixth Man of the Year, and Coach of the Year.

Voting was based on games played from the start of the season through March 11.

Winners will be announced during the NBA playoffs.

Most Valuable Player

Andrew D. Bernstein / National Basketball Association / Getty
Player Team
Giannis Antetokounmpo Milwaukee Bucks
LeBron James Los Angeles Lakers
James Harden Houston Rockets

After another dominant campaign for the Bucks, Antetokounmpo is seeking his second consecutive Most Valuable Player award. Meanwhile, James is in the running for a fifth career MVP award after leading the league in assists and helping transform the Lakers into a championship contender. Harden earned a third straight scoring title after recording 34.3 points per game.

Defensive Player of the Year

Jonathan Bachman / Getty Images Sport / Getty
Player Team
Giannis Antetokounmpo Milwaukee Bucks
Anthony Davis Los Angeles Lakers
Rudy Gobert Utah Jazz

Antetokounmpo could join Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon as the third player to win MVP and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season. Gobert is vying for a third consecutive DPOY nod, while Davis looks to be recognized as the game's top individual defender for the first time in his career.

Rookie of the Year

Joe Murphy / National Basketball Association / Getty
Player Team
Ja Morant Memphis Grizzlies
Kendrick Nunn Miami Heat
Zion Williamson New Orleans Pelicans

Morant led all rookies in total points and assists as the runaway Rookie of the Year favorite. Nunn emerged as a steady contributor for the playoff-bound Heat, while Williamson displayed flashes of dominance after having his debut delayed until January because of injury.

Sixth Man of the Year

Andrew D. Bernstein / National Basketball Association / Getty
Player Team
Montrezl Harrell Los Angeles Clippers
Lou Williams Los Angeles Clippers
Dennis Schroder Oklahoma City Thunder

Williams is in familiar territory after being named Sixth Man of the Year in back-to-back campaigns with the Clippers. Harrell joins his teammate as a leading candidate after producing impressive averages of 18.6 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. Schroder has been a key piece behind the Thunder's surprising success, serving as part of their lethal three-guard lineup alongside Chris Paul and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

Most Improved Player

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Player Team
Bam Adebayo Miami Heat
Luka Doncic Dallas Mavericks
Brandon Ingram New Orleans Pelicans

Adebayo transformed into a do-it-all forward for the Heat, anchoring Miami's defense while showcasing much-improved distribution skills and finishing touch. Doncic followed up last season's Rookie of the Year campaign by becoming a legitimate superstar, leading the league in triple-doubles. After arriving as the centerpiece of a blockbuster deal that sent Davis to the Lakers last summer, Ingram helped the Pelicans stay within striking distance of a postseason berth while Williamson remained sidelined with a torn meniscus.

Coach of the Year

Mike Stobe / Getty Images Sport / Getty
Coach Team
Mike Budenholzer Milwaukee Bucks
Billy Donovan Oklahoma City Thunder
Nick Nurse Toronto Raptors

Budenholzer, who won Coach of the Year last season, guided Milwaukee to the league's best regular-season record for a second consecutive campaign. Donovan helped Oklahoma City rebound from the offseason losses of Paul George and Russell Westbrook to exceed expectations in a competitive Western Conference. As for Nurse, he guided the Raptors to the third-best record in the NBA despite dealing with a litany of injuries to key rotation players and losing 2019 Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard to free agency.

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NBA awards finalists: Giannis in running for MVP, DPOY
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