Updated: May 31
KIA NBA MVP Race: Jokic stays at Number 1
Written by: Andrew Felton
Another week of the NBA complete and the race for MVP is still as close as ever. With not much change to the MVP ladder as players hold their spot, has anyone managed to close the gap on Jokic, with an impressive week?
5. Luka Doncic, (Dallas Mavericks)
Luka carries on his strong push for MVP as he was announced player of the week for the second week of March, impressing not only with his scoring, but what sets him apart from other players is his ability to assist team mates averaging 8.5 apg. Going 2/2 in the last four games, the Mavs still sit fifth in the Western Conference trying to close in on the Utah Jazz who are fourth. With 11 games left, Doncic has the chance to move up the ladder and aim for at least the top 3.
4. Ja Morant, (Memphis Grizzlies)
With Doncic hot on the heels of Morant for this award, Ja had to have a night off against the Pacers due to a minor back injury, but has performed well in a win against OKC with a double-double and then came back to score 29 points, albeit in a loss to the Atlanta Hawks. The Grizzlies still sit second in the Western Conference, ahead of the Warriors however, even with a full strength squad back, Morant has a lot to do to catch Jokic for this award.
3. Joel Embiid, (Philadelphia 76ers)
Extremely close to the second spot, in fact basically tied, Joel Embiid is still battling it out with Giannis Antetokounmpo, for who can rival Jokic at the top of this ladder. A busy week for Embiid with four games, including three wins, scoring 30+ points in all games and contributing 16 rebounds against the magic and 17 against the Cavaliers. With 43 wins on the season, the 76ers are sat just ahead of the Bucks, which come the end of the season could make the difference in the latter stages of MVP voting.
2. Giannis Antetokounmpo, (Milwaukee Bucks)
Two games this week for Giannis, saw him contribute two doubles-doubles in wins against the Kings and the Jazz, scoring 30+ in both games, a combined 25 rebounds and 3 steals. With the hunt to become the franchise's highest scorer, trying to over take Kareem Abdul Jabbar, it looks likely that this will happen some time in March and could swing some votes his way, whilst trying to help the Bucks overtake the 76ers and catch the current number one seed the Miami Heat in the final games of the season.
1. Nikola Jokic, (Denver Nuggets)
Two wins out of the last three for the Nuggets has kept them sixth in the Western Conference and has seen Nikola Jokic add another three double-doubles to his career stats. This has also stretched his run of double-doubles to 12 consecutive games and scoring 83 combined points in his last three games. With consistency like this, it is clear to see why Jokic has been at the top of this ladder for so long and will be hard for him to be toppled, come the end of the season.