Former NBA player and basketball analyst JJ Redick revealed his votes for who should win the NBA Most Valuable Player and New York Knicks star Jalen Brunson makes an appearance in his discussion. On his own podcast, he would list the players in order from who he thinks should win to the fifth best while also giving an honorable mention.

While usually the top three are the same among most ballots as it contains Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic, Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic, and Oklahoma City Thunder star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, he also talks about others on his ballot. He brings up Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum as the fourth and ultimately said Brunson at five which also had consideration of Milwaukee Bucks big-man Giannis Antetkounmpo.

“MVP for me, again it came down to 3 guys, it came down to Nikola Jokic, Luka Doncic, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander,” Redick said. “Ultimately I gave, by the slightest of margins, I gave my vote to Nikola Jokic for MVP. Luka Doncic in second, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in third, I had Jayson Tatum in forth in MVP, and Jalen Brunson fifth in MVP. Giannis was the other guy I gave consideration to just outside the top 5.”

Redick explains why he chose Brunson over Antetkounmpo in MVP race

 New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) smiles after scoring in the third quarter against the Chicago Bulls at Madison Square Garden.
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

It seemed as if the debate in his mind for fifth went from Brunson to Antetokounmpo, but edged out with the former because of the heights he took the Knicks as expressed by Reddick. Sunday, New York locked up the No. 2 seed as they await their opponent which will be from the seventh-eighth seed matchup in the play-in tournament.

“Jalen Brunson and Giannis, this is, I'm being serious, the fact that Jalen Brunson took the Knicks to the second seed was like the tipping point for me,” Reddick said. “Giannis had an incredible individual season, again relative to expectations, I believe the Knicks outperformed those particularly once Julius Randall was hurt. And the Milwaukee Bucks probably under performed relative to expectations.”

Redick has Antetokoumpo edging out Brunson in All-NBA honors

However, Redick also talked about All-NBA teams and where the best players land, but had Brunson in the second team and Antetokounmpo on the first team. While Knicks fans and others could be confused since Brunson was higher on his MVP ballot, he favors leading a team for that award as he judges more on individual statistics for All-NBA teams.

“Alright let's get to the first team this is where I have a discrepancy again, I'm weighing individual slightly ahead of team,” Redick explained. “Giannis to me you know 30, 10, and 5, on over 60% shooting. Nobody's ever done that in NBA history. Giannis gets a nod on first team of course Luka, Shay, Jayson Tatum First Team all NBA for me.”

“Jaylen Brunson Second Team All-NBA, Anthony Edwards Second Team All-NBA, Kevin Durant Second Team All-NBA, Kawhi Leonard Second Team All-NBA,” Redick continued. “I had a lot of back and forth internally for that fifth spot on Second Team All-NBA ultimately I went with a guy that to me was like the driving force of his team, led the NBA in double-doubles, had an incredible, I think it was 61 game streak. That's Domantas Sabonis for second Team All-NBA.”

Looking at the individual statistics of Brunson and Antetokounmpo

Looking at the individual numbers, Brunson averaged 28.7 points, 6.7 assists, and 3.6 rebounds per game while shooting 47.9 percent from the field with the Knicks this season. As for Antetokounmpo, he averaged 30.4 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 6.5 assists per game while shooting 61.1 percent from the field.

While individual awards is honorable to achieve, it seems as if the players are more focused on the playoffs and winning a championship. Especially the Knicks as their last title was won in 1973 and their last conference championship appearance was in 1999.

However, they are now the No. 2 seed and should be watching closely on Wednesday as the Miami Heat, who beat the Knicks in the semi-finals last season in six games, will travel to take on the Philadelphia 76ers with the right to take on New York. There's no doubt that Brunson and the team will have a lot of pressure for this postseason run as fans are aching to see them back on top.