Top Players in the Running for MVP
By: Andrew Felton
Is Nikola Jokic NBA's 2021 MVP? / www.bing.com/images
With the All-Star break done and dusted, we are now over halfway through the NBA season and can start to have a serious look at who to consider for the NBA MVP award. Now this award in recent years has always been linked to politics rather than basketball, with Giannis Antetokounmpo winning this award for the previous two years, whether they were both deserved or not. Let’s take a look at some favorites for this year's MVP.
8. Stephen Curry - Golden State Warriors
Steph Curry is having an outstanding season for Golden State after having a tough time last year with injuries, causing him to miss most of the season. Golden State's success this season, can be down to how well the recently crowned 3-point contest winner is performing, and with already winning this award twice before, can Steph push up the ranks, to be in talks to win his third MVP title.
Stats: 29 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 6.2 APG
7. Lebron James - Los Angeles Lakers
4x league MVP Lebron James, who arguably could have won more, is once again in the frame to win this award. With Anthony Davies being injured since February, Lebron has had to step it up for the Lakers and carry this team to a very respectable 28-16 record. However, with Lebron suffering an ankle injury and out indefinitely, the Lakers will be looking to stay in playoff contention and get James back and healthy, hopefully for the playoffs. This injury has really dented his chances at MVP, but with a speedy recovery, he may get back stronger than ever, to force a late surge for this award.
Stats: 25.4 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 7.9 APG
6. Joel Embiid - Philadelphia 76ers
Another player affected by injury is Joel Embiid, who for a few weeks, was the frontrunner in this race to be MVP. Currently averaging a double-double in the league and sitting at the top of the Eastern conference, Embiid could come back with a big chip on his shoulder and make a real pushback to the top and win his first MVP award.
Stats: 29.9 PPG, 11.5 RPG, 3.3 APG
5. Damien Lillard - Portland Trail Blazers
‘Dame Time’ has become a trademark for Lillard over recent seasons, with his incredible Buzzer beaters and long-range 3’s. With him dropping a season-high 50 points against New Orleans recently off just 20 shots. A lot of fans may consider Dame to be a lot higher in the race for MVP and with plenty of games left he can easily reach these heights and add the MVP award to his illustrious career.
Stats: 30.3 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 7.6 APG
4. Luka Doncic - Dallas Mavericks
One of the best youngsters in the game, there isn’t much that Luka Doncic cannot do with a basketball. The Slovenian superstar is only 22, even though it feels like he has been around forever, he is definitely a candidate to carry the torch from Lebron when the time is right. With a vast amount of accolades already including a Euro League MVP, can he show the NBA why he is currently one of the best and win this MVP award.
Stats: 29.0 PPG, 8.4 RPG, 9.2 APG
3. Giannis Antetokounmpo - Milwaukee Bucks
Looking for his third consecutive MVP award, Giannis Antetokounmpo has really begun to score big for the Bucks, including helping his team come from behind to beat the 76ers and even posting a few triple-doubles. Would it upset many people for Giannis to win his third? Did he truly deserve his previous two? Surely no one can complain if he takes the crown again, especially after all the talk being around Embiid, Lebron, and Jokic in the early half of the season.
Stats: 29 PPG, 11.7 RPG, 6.4 APG
2. James Harden - Brooklyn Nets
Since joining the Nets, Harden has had to change his job role to more of a facilitator for Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, which he has embraced averaging close to a triple-double. With a move away from the Rockets, Harden will not only be looking to win his first NBA championship ring but also a second NBA MVP.
Stats: 25.3 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 11.1 APG
1. Nikola Jokic - Denver Nuggets
Leading the MVP race is the Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, who is close to posting triple-double season stats and currently leading the league in double-doubles. It was 2003 since the last time a center won the MVP award and with Jokic posting MVP numbers each game, he is staking his claim to be the next center to win this award.
Stats: 27.1 PPG, 11.2 RPG, 8.6 APG
So with a lot of injuries to top players, this MVP race is wide open, with any of the top 5 being deserving of this award. However, with the Brooklyn Nets’ insane roster and Nikola Jokic putting in MVP performances each night, this award could be between Harden and the man they call the joker.