Will perennial runner-up James Harden finally bag the NBA MVP?

Will perennial runner-up James Harden finally bag the NBA MVP?

But to keep our appetites satiated, the National Basketball Association announced the finalists for each award on Wednesday.

Houston's James Harden, Cleveland's LeBron James and Anthony Davis of New Orleans are the finalists for the NBA's Most Valuable Player award. Harden is considered a near-lock to win his first MVP award, after finishing as runner-up in 2015 and 2017.

Davis led the league with 2.57 blocks per game. And he raised his level of play after fellow all-star DeMarcus Cousins went down to an Achilles injury.

Even though Embiid probably won't win the award, as Gobert's defensive ranking is far and away the best mark in the entire league, it's nice to see the big man get some much-needed appreciation for his hard work.

The finalists were based on voting results from a global panel of sportswriters and broadcasters.

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Simmons and Mitchell's respective teammates Joel Embiid and Rudy Gobert are also nominated for Defensive Player of the Year along with Davis.

The 28-year-old star was also third in the league in assists (8.8) and seventh in steals (1.75).

The victor will be announced at the National Basketball Association awards show in Santa Monica, Calif., on June 25.

Simmons, Utah shooting guard Donovan Mitchell and Boston small forward Jayson Tatum are the rookie-of-the-year finalists.

Coach of the Year finalists include Boston's Brad Stevens, Quin Snyder of Utah and Dwane Casey, the Toronto coach who was sacked by the Raptors after they were swept 4-0 by the Cavaliers in the second round of the playoffs.