NBA MVP Race; Back to Back for Nikola Jokić?
With only a few games left in the NBA season, Nikola Jokić has emerged as the front-runner to win the 2021–2022 NBA Most Valuable Player award AGAIN.
ESPN’ recent straw poll has revealed Nikola’s 62 first place votes, followed by Joel Embiid and Giannis Antetokounmpo, who are both having outstanding seasons for the 76ers and Bucks.
Nikola is averaging 26.5 PPG, 13.6 RPG, and 8.0 APG this season for the Denver Nuggets. In his 2020–2021 MVP season, he averaged 26.4 PPG, 10.8 RPG, and 8.3 APG. Jokić is currently averaging better numbers than his MVP season.
Why He Deserves MVP
Jokić has carried the Denver Nuggets to the 5th seed in the Western Conference, all while dealing with the absence of the Nuggets second best scorer all season, Jamal Murray. Jamal tore his ACL in April of 2021, but he may return soon. The Nuggets’ third best scorer (based on last season), Michael Porter Jr. has also been sidelined for most of the year (played 9 games this year) with a back injury. MPJ averaged 19.0 PPG last year. Jamal Murray averaged 21.2 PPG last year.
Due to these setbacks, a lot of pressure has been put on other Nuggets players like Aaron Gordon, Monte Morris, Will Barton, and Jeff Green to score consistently. Nikola Jokić is getting some help from them, but no where near the help he got last year with 40+ PPG from Jamal and MPJ combined, which is why he deserves MVP this season.
Notable Performances This Season
- 46 Points, 12 Rebounds, 11 Assists on March 6 vs. New Orleans Pelicans
- 49 Points, 14 Rebounds, 10 Assists on Jan. 19 vs. Los Angeles Clippers
- 38 Points, 18 Rebounds, 8 Assists on March 9 vs. Sacramento Kings
- 39 Points, 11 Rebounds, 11 Assists on Dec. 8 vs. New Orleans Pelicans
- 32 Points, 15 Rebounds, 13 Assists on March 7 vs. Golden State Warriors
*There are several other incredible performances from Nikola this season.*
Statistics Comparisons This Season