KIA NBA MVP Race: Morant and Giannis Making Moves
Written by: Andrew Felton
With around one month of NBA games left, the race for MVP is in the final stages and in this weeks article we take a look at the latest movement within in the ladder and who is making the extra push to try and knock Nikola Jokic of the top spot.
5. Luka Doncic, (Dallas Mavericks)
Taking the place of DeMar DeRozan in the fifth spot this week, is the Dallas Mavericks point guard Luka Doncic. Currently averaging 28.1 ppg, 9.3 rpg and 8.6 apg, close to a triple-double for the season, Doncic has helped the Mavs to 5th in the Western Conference, one place above the Denver Nuggets and chasing down the 4th spot, currently occupied by the Utah Jazz. Winning 11 of their last 14 games, Doncic has scored 30+ in 10 of those games, including nine double-doubles, two triple-doubles and 4 40+ point scoring games, with 51 points against the LA CLippers. With 15 games left, there is no telling what Luka could achieve, with a possible shot at the MVP award.
4. Ja Morant, (Memphis Grizzlies)
Morant moves up to fourth spot this week after the Grizzlies have won three out of their last four games, with the loss coming as a surprise against the less than impressive Houston Rockets. This has not affected Morants charge for the MVP award as he has scored 20+ points in all four games including 37 in their most recent win against the New York Knicks. Morant has also contributed seven steals across these games, with a very impressive performance against the New Orleans Pelicans, draining a buzzer-beater three from just inside half court and a double handed dunk from an alley-oop. With 14 games left this award may just be out of reach for Morant with the three big men in front of him, dominating the NBA.
3. Joel Embiid, (Philadelphia 76er's)
Down one place in the rankings this week, Embiid struggled Friday night against the Brooklyn Nets with a disappointing loss, shooting only 29.4% in field goal percentage, completing only 5 of 17 attempts. Embiid still contributed 27 points and 12 rebounds, although 15 points came from the free-throw line, in a night im sure he would rather forget. Embiid did drop 43 points against the Bulls on Tuesday night, with another double-double for the season and with 17 games left of the regular season, Embiid is still one of the front runners for this award.
2. Giannis Antetokounmpo, (Milwaukee Bucks)
Moving up into second place, Giannis has been on a charge in his last four games, winning three in a row, with the loss coming against the Golden State Warriors. Scoring a total of 132 points across these four games, including two double-doubles, Giannis is fully focused on retaining this NBA championship, going for a second ring in a row. With this impressive stretch of scoring and 14 games still left, Giannis is now chasing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the all time Bucks franchise record scorer with 14,211, which he should accomplish being only 201 points behind.
1. Nikola Jokic, (Denver Nuggets)
Still in control of the number one spot, Nikola Jokic is carrying the Nuggets with the team being hit hard with injury after injury. Losing their last two games against the Raptors and Warriors, Jokic has contributed three double-doubles and two triple-double in the Nuggets tough week of five tiring games, including an overtime win against the Pelicans. Sat sixth in the Western Conference, with 14 games left, the Nuggets may look to push for a realistic fourth spot come the end of the regular season and to do so Jokic will have to keep contributing high scoring games, only boosting his chances of this MVP award.