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Why Nikola Jokic Will Win MVP

Mar 14, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) drives to the net against Toronto Raptors forward O.G. Anunoby (3) during the second half at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

With just a couple of weeks left in the 2022-23 NBA season, the finalists for Most Valuable Player are becoming clear. At the top of that list is Nikola Jokic, who is looking to become the fourth player in league history to three-peat as MVP.

Why Nikola Jokic Will Win MVP

Jokic has been ranked first on the NBA’s KIA MVP Ladder for the past 10 consecutive weeks, and rightly so. He was the only player this season to average a triple-double, but he’s currently posting 24.8 PPG, 11.9 RPG, and 9.9 APG. He’s leading the league with 27 so far (Domantas Sabonis is second with 11), and the Denver Nuggets are 25-2 when he records one. The team has won 25 straight games when Jokic puts up a triple-double, breaking the record previously held by Magic Johnson. On top of that, this season, he became the sixth player in NBA history to record 100 career triple-doubles.

If that wasn’t impressive enough, no player has ever had multiple 35/20/10 games in the last 40 seasons, but Jokic managed to tally that twice this year. On December 18, he also became the third player to post at least 40 points, 25 rebounds, and 10 assists in a game (joining Wilt Chamberlain and Elgin Baylor). The center is also averaging career highs in assists, field goal percentage (63.3%), and three-point percentage (40.2%).

Overall, Jokic is a three-level scorer and one of the best offensive players in the league. He’s led Denver to the second-best offense (117.4) in the NBA through his efficiency (70.2 TS%) and exceptional playmaking skills. The 28-year-old’s impact on the Nuggets is astonishing, as he is also first overall in plus/minus (9.6).

The Case Against Jokic

Voter fatigue may be the biggest issue standing in Jokic’s way. The last time a player won MVP three consecutive times was Larry Bird from 1983-86. It could be boring for the same players to keep winning an award. But, when a player repeatedly has extraordinary seasons, like how Jokic continues to break multiple records and accomplish significant feats, there should be an exception.

The five-time All-Star has also been facing some criticism. Namely, he’s been called a “stat-padder,” though this is absurd considering the Nugget’s record when he posts a triple-double. And how could this be true when Denver is first in the Western Conference, and Jokic has repeatedly carried the team?

Jokic’s Competition

At the moment, it seems Joel Embiid is Jokic’s biggest rival for the award. As of late, Embiid is playing exceptionally and has been one of the most dominant players in the league, averaging a league-best 33.5 PPG along with 10.2 RPG and 4.1 APG. The center has been the MVP runner-up for the past few seasons, and each year he’s only improved his game. He’s led the Philadelphia 76ers to the third overall seed (46-22) and is elite on offense. Yet, Jokic still remains the favorite to win.

Giannis Antetokounmpo could be another competitor. The forward carried the Milwaukee Bucks to the best record in the NBA (50-20) while many of his co-stars dealt with injuries. But now it seems like his own string of recent injuries may hold him back in the race. Contrarily, Jokic has only missed eight games this season. His consistency and availability have been crucial to his success and his MVP run.

The Last Word On Why Nikola Jokic Will Win MVP

Jokic is once again having a historic season. He’s a phenomenal all-around player whose impact on the Nuggets goes beyond the stats. Denver is currently the first seed with a 47-23 record, largely thanks to the superstar level of play from Jokic. As he continues to dominate this season, he’s made a very strong case to three-peat.


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