Current MVP Power Rankings
We are already nearing the half-way point of the NBA regular season. The All-Star Break is just around the corner and with that, the MVP discussion is amping up. In the race right now are some candidates that were to be expected, and a couple that seemingly came out of nowhere. So, how does the MVP race look as of today? Without further adieu, let’s take a look.
Current MVP Power Rankings
A week or two ago, Nikola Jokic would have only been mentioned as a candidate. Not because of him per se, but the Denver Nuggets started off the year relatively disappointing. This was the big knock on his case for MVP, but since then, he has climbed to the top of the MVP power rankings. The Nuggets have won their last five out of six matchups and also just snapped an 11 game win streak that their arch-rival, the Utah Jazz, was on.
In this particular game, the Joker tied his career-high in points with 47 while adding 12 rebounds and five assists at the same time. For the season, Jokic is averaging 26.8 points, 8.6 assists, and 11.8 rebounds per game. Not to mention, he has recorded 20 straight double-doubles to start the year which is now only second to the great Wilt Chamberlain in terms of double-doubles to start a season. With all of this in mind and with the Nuggets getting hot, Jokic is the MVP favorite as of now.
#2: The Process
Next up we have the other player who is always rivaling Jokic in the best center in the league discussion, Joel Embiid. The Philadelphia 76ers are at the top of the East at 15-6 and Embiid is having a career year. So far, he is tallying 28.3 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game. He did not play against the Indiana Pacers, but he recorded 37 points and 11 rebounds in the win over the Minnesota Timberwolves while shooting about 52.0 percent from the field. If the 76ers can keep up this level of play and remain at the top of the Eastern Conference, then Embiid can climb back to the top spot of the MVP race.
Kevin Durant is slowly creeping up the MVP ladder. Some questioned whether he would be the KD of old after the injury he suffered in the Finals two seasons ago. It is safe to say that we can lay those concerns to rest. Some of his numbers right now are even better than his MVP season in Oklahoma City. He is currently averaging 30.9 points, 5.6 assists, and 7.4 rebounds per game. He along with Kyrie Irving and James Harden have willed the Nets all the way up to the second spot in the Eastern Conference. Even though Brooklyn lost their latest game, Durant still finished with an impressive stat-line of 37 points, seven rebounds, and six assists, with two blocks on top of it. Those are definitely numbers worthy of MVP consideration.
#4: King James
When isn’t LeBron James in the MVP discussion? He is leading the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers to another impressive campaign this season. They are currently third place in the Western Conference at 15-6 and are looking like heavy favorites to repeat again this year. As far as LeBron James, Father Time has not got to him yet as he is tallying 25.2 points, 7.5 assists, and 7.8 rebounds per game. Despite a relatively underwhelming shooting outing (41.2 percent from the field), James still got 21 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists in the close win over the Boston Celtics. He may not win it, but LeBron is always going to find a way to be in the MVP conversation.
Paul George faced massive backlash after his performance in the postseason. He has rebounded well as he is arguably having a better season than his superstar counterpart, Kawhi Leonard. The Los Angeles Clippers are now at the top of the Western Conference and it is in large part due to PG13 finding his rhythm again. For the year, George is tallying 23.6 points, 5.4 assists, and 6.4 rebounds per contest.
In their most recent matchup, George put up a decent box score of 17 points, eight rebounds, and five assists. Remember, George is back with his old trainer, so that may be a big reason for his bounce-back year. With this in mind, he is certainly in the thick of the MVP race.
Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images