2. Keep up the scoring
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has an impact all over the floor. He scores, sets up his teammates, and defends well, averaging 1.6 steals and 1 block per game last season. This makes him a true all-around threat, but his scoring ability is still his biggest asset.
He can create his own shot at a high level and constantly gets to the line for plenty of freebies. Last season, he averaged 10.9 free throw attempts per game, which was third-most in the league behind only Antetokounmpo (12.3) and Embiid (11.7), and converted 90.5 percent of those shots.
His field goal shooting was equally efficient with 51 percent. Especially in the paint, he shot above league average and his mid-range attempts were good too. So, either Gilgeous-Alexander makes his way to the basket and scores, or he gets to the line. Or both.
He is already one of the best scorers in the game, but his three-point shot is still below league average. First of all, consider how impressive it is for a guard to have the fourth-highest scoring average in the league without being a three-point shooter. Now, if that changes, Gilgeous-Alexander will be pretty much unstoppable.
All this led to a scoring average of 31.4 points per game last season, which trailed only Embiid’s, Doncic’s, and Damian Lillard’s averages and jumped up from 24.5 points in the previous season. That is a crazy impressive leap and if he were to take another jump, the league better watch out. It would be truly terrifying for whoever has to try and guard Gilgeous-Alexander.
To truly enter the MVP conversation that might not even be necessary, though. If he can reproduce the same numbers or add one or two points per game to sneak into the top three, it will be hard not to mention him with the top players in the NBA. Out of the last MVP winners since 2016 only two averaged more points than Gilgeous-Alexander did last season; Embiid with 33.1 points in 2023 and Russell Westbrook with 31.6 points in 2017.
He already made it to the mountaintop when it comes to scoring. Now, he just has to stay there consistently to truly enter the MVP conversation.