The NBA season has passed the halfway point and the race for the MVP is heating up. The top candidates are mostly familiar to this award. Both Giannis Antetokounmpo and Steph Curry are multiple time winners and Nikola Jokic is the reigning MVP from last season. Lately, however, Joel Embiid has made a strong case to be considered in the running.
Here’s what SBNation had to say about Jokic in a recent MVP breakdown.
It’s heartbreaking that the Nuggets have so many major injuries to key players — Jamal Murray, Michael Porter Jr., and even P.J. Dozier — because Jokic is playing at an all-time great level. Jokic clearly had the best regular season in the league last year on his way to winning MVP, and he’s putting up even better numbers this year, with superior assist, block, steal, and rebound rates. He’s the runaway leader in all-in-one numbers like EPM. Anecdotally, Jokic finally seems to be shedding his undeserved reputation as a middling defender to become a legit plus on that end.
That the Nuggets would make the playoffs if the season ended today without needing to go in through the play-in tournament is the ultimate testament to Jokic’s greatness. Here’s hoping Denver can finally stay healthy next season so we can see what Jokic can do in the playoffs with a legit team around him.