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Nikola Jokic claims top spot on Kia MVP Ladder

Nikola Jokic claims top spot on Kia MVP Ladder

The race for the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award is heating up as the regular season winds down. Two front-runners, Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid, have been battling it out all season for the coveted trophy. However, Embiid’s recent absence from the Philadelphia 76ers’ game against the Denver Nuggets due to right calf tightness has reignited the debate over who deserves the award more. While Embiid’s decision to prioritize his health over individual accolades is commendable, it may have cost him the MVP trophy.

Nikola Jokic claims top spot on Kia MVP Ladder

In this hotly contested MVP race, perception matters, and voters continually seek tiebreakers to separate the candidates. Embiid’s absence from the Nuggets game could be the tiebreaker that tips the scales in Jokic’s favor. It is important to note that Embiid has missed 14 games this season, whereas Jokic has played in every game for the Nuggets. While Embiid’s body of work speaks for itself, the fact that he has missed a significant number of games could hurt his MVP candidacy.

However, one game does not define a player’s season. Embiid has been dominant on both ends of the court this season, leading the Sixers to the top of the Eastern Conference standings. He has averaged 30.0 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game, while shooting 51.4% from the field and 37.8% from beyond the arc. Embiid’s offensive production is unmatched by any other player in the league, and his defense has been equally impressive. He leads the league in blocks per game with 1.4 and has anchored the Sixers’ defense all season.

Meanwhile, Jokic has been putting up MVP-caliber numbers for the Nuggets, averaging 26.3 points, 10.9 rebounds, and 8.5 assists per game. He has also been a triple-double machine this season, recording 15 triple-doubles, which is the most in the league. Jokic’s versatility and ability to impact the game in multiple ways have been a key factor in the Nuggets’ success this season.

The head-to-head matchup between Embiid and Jokic is also worth noting. Embiid has a 5-2 record against Jokic and has outscored him in four of those games and outrebounded him in five. However, Jokic has been the more durable player this season, which could give him the edge in the MVP race.

Ultimately, the MVP award should go to the player who has had the biggest impact on his team’s success. Both Embiid and Jokic have been instrumental in leading their respective teams to the top of their conferences. However, Embiid’s absence from the Nuggets game could be the deciding factor in the MVP race. It remains to be seen whether Embiid’s individual brilliance will be enough to outweigh Jokic’s durability and consistency over the course of the season.

In addition to the two front-runners, there are a few other players who could make a late push for the MVP award. Giannis Antetokounmpo, the reigning two-time MVP, is quietly putting up another stellar season for the Milwaukee Bucks. He is averaging 28.4 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 5.9 assists per game while shooting 56.1% from the field. Antetokounmpo’s ability to dominate the game in all facets makes him a strong candidate for the award.