There are 13 games left in the 22-23 NBA season, and the MVP race is coming down to the wire. There are considered to be three candidates at this point in the season. These three players have not only helped their teams win games but also improved themselves as a player. Denver’s Nikola Jokic, Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid, and Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo have all set the standard for an MVP.
Nikola Jokic – PF/C – Denver Nuggets
Jokic has been the most dominant player in the association for three seasons in a row. Therefore, his play has awarded him with back-to-back league MVP awards. In his first MVP season, He averaged 26.4 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 8.3 assists. Additionally, Jokic shot 57 percent from the field and 39 percent from three. The nuggets went 47-25 and finished third in the Western Conference. His second MVP season was even more impressive. Jokic put up a stat line of 27.1 points, 13.8 rebounds, and 7.9 assists. He improved his field goal percentage to 59 percent, but his 3-point percentage dipped to 34 percent. The nuggets record also declined. They finished 48-34 and sixth in the west.
This season, Jokic is yet again in contention to win another MVP award. This season has really shown that the individual success of Jokic can translate to team success. The Nuggets sit with the best record in the West with 13 games remaining. Jokic is averaging 24.7 points, 11.9 rebounds, and 10 assists. He is also shooting career-high percentages of 63 percent from the field and 41% from three. This undoubtedly makes him a great MVP candidate.
Joel Embiid – C – Philadelphia 76ers
Joel Embiid is arguably the most dominant force in basketball. Many argue Embiid should have an MVP award by now. He is, according to the NBA MVP ladder, the current favorite to win the award. He has averaged an absurd 33.5 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 4.1 assists. The 76ers find themselves as the 2nd seed in the East behind the Bucks. Embiid and the 76ers have embodied what it is to be a MVP. Not only has Embiid succeeded individually, but the Sixers as a team have thrived this season. Embiid has been a candidate for the past 3 seasons, and might finally take home the award this season.
Giannis Antetokounmpo – PF/C – Milwaukee Bucks
They don’t call Giannis the Greek Freak for nothing. Not only is he 6’11 with a 7’3 wingspan, but his ball handling skills and leadership makes him almost unstoppable. He has been extremely successful over the past five seasons. The 2020 MVP, 2021 NBA champ, and team leader has been in the MVP conversation in recent years. This season, Giannis is averaging 31.2 points, 11.9 rebounds, and 5.6 assists. The Milwaukee Bucks are first in the east because of his performance. Many argue that Giannis could very well win the award this season, and it will be very hard for the deciding committee to choose a winner.
All of these players deserve the MVP award. There are a ton of factors that influence the winner, and these players have not only shown individual success but have been able to contribute to winning basketball as a whole. As for what this award means to the players, it would have a different impact on all three. Jokic would be adding his third trophy and the back to back to back title, Embiid would add onto his resume the award, and Giannis would win the second of his career. Adding an MVP award to a players legacy is something that can solidify them as one of the best players in the world.
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