NBA MVP Race Comes Down to Three Favorites

Daniel Cortez, Staff Writer

We’re more than halfway into the 2021-2022 NBA season and the MVP race is looking extremely close. The end of the year award is based on the stats of a player, their team’s seed, and the voting by sportswriters.

As of February 2022, the top three players leading the race are the Denver Nugget’s reigning MVP Nikola Jokic, the Milwaukee Buck’s two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, and the Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid.

Who knew the NBA would once again be run by big men after so many decades? These three players have been playing the best basketball out of anyone in the league and they deserve to be at the top of the MVP ladder.

The KIA MVP Ladder as of January 28, 2022

Jokic continues to dominate in the NBA after his MVP season last year. As of February 2022, Jokic is averaging 25.9 points, 13.8 rebounds, 7.8 assists, and 1.7 steals. Jokic’s team, the Denver Nuggets, are currently in 6th place in the Western Conference with a record of 28-22. This is extremely impressive considering that the Nuggets are missing their two other star players, Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr.

Jokic is able to carry his team to the 6th seed in the Western Conference and this proves that he is an MVP-caliber player and deserves to be at the top of the leaderboard. Jokic was named Western Conference Player of the Month for the month of January. The Nuggets had 11 wins and 5 losses during January.

Nikola Jokic wins Western Conference Player Of The Month for the month of January.

Embiid is another dominant player in the NBA. He is averaging 29.1 points, 10.8 rebounds, 4.4 assists. 1.4 blocks, and 1 steal. Embiid’s team, the Philadelphia 76ers, are in 2nd place in the Eastern Conference with a record of 31-19 and they’re doing this without their second-best player, Ben Simmons.

Embiid was in MVP talks last year but couldn’t stay on the leaderboard due to injuries. Embiid could win the award this year if he continues to dominate and if the 76ers can stay on top of the Eastern Conference. Embiid was named Eastern Conference Player of the Month for the month of January. The 76ers had 12 wins and 3 losses during the month of January. Embiid and Jokic winning player of the month awards only means that the race for the MVP is much closer than we think it is.

Joel Embiid won the Eastern Conference Player Of The Month for the month of January.

Antetokounmpo is arguably the most dominant player in the NBA since the legendary Shaquille O’Neal. Antetokounmpo recently lead the Milwaukee Bucks to the 2020-2021 NBA Championship and he also won the Finals MVP. Antetokounmpo has two MVPs to his name and a Defensive Player of the Year award. He is averaging 29 points, 11.3 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block. Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks are currently in 5th place in the Eastern Conference. They have a record of 32-21 and are looking to win another NBA championship.

Giannis Antetokounmpo vs the Washington Wizards.

All three of these superstars are at the top of their game right now and watching them dominate the NBA is a beautiful thing to witness. Some of the NBA’s best players are from foreign countries and that is a nice thing to see. It’s a step in the right direction to have more and more foreign players in the NBA.