Who is the NBA MVP in 2021?
Top 5 NBA MVP:
- Lebron James +350
- Kevin Durant +500
- Joel Embiid +550
- Luka Doncic +550
- Nikola Jokic +600
A notable player missing?
Stephen Curry +1000
Statistics or Record?
When the season comes to an end, awards are distributed throughout the NBA. MVP, rookie of the year, defensive player of the year, 6th man of the year, coach of the year, and most improved player of the year are the main ones. The MVP of the league develops into being a threat to everyone else surrounding him.
So, the question is, what aspects help in determining the overall MVP each season? Is it the best player on the best team? Is it the person averaging the most points per game? Is it the person averaging a triple-double?
My answer is simple; it’s the player who has the most significant impact on their team and makes other team players perform better.
Who is That Player This Season?
Nuggets all-star Center Nikola Jokic makes it exceptionally difficult to go against him as an NBA MVP candidate in this 2021 NBA season.
- 26.1 points per game (13th overall)
- 11.7 rebounds per game (6th overall)
- 8.4 assists per game (5th overall)
- 12 wins, 9 losses
- 4th place in a tough Western Conference
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Nikola Jokic is responsible for changing the idea of how basketball can be played. Night after night, Jokic is dominating other teams like no center has done before. His stroke from beyond the arc, crafty running floater, smooth turnaround hook shot, and unique ability to find the open man have made him a serious candidate for the MVP this season.
Jokic plays basketball with a smartness and sense of patience that we haven’t seen before. It’s almost as if he is playing a game of chess, pausing the game to set up his next action. It’s significant in noting he has led the NBA in assists among all centers since entering the league his rookie season back in 2015-16.
Any true NBA fan knows that just racking up assists doesn’t earn you the MVP. Adding to the list of reasons Jokic deserves to be the MVP is the fact that he has gotten much better at taking care of the ball. When you pass it as much as Jokic does, it is likely to see turnovers pile up, but he consistently manages to keep it below 3 turnovers per game.
Putting Jokic’s Ability into Perspective
Jokic was able to accomplish 2,098 assists during his first five seasons in the highly competitive NBA. That is about 700 more assists than NBA hall of Famer Steve Nash had in his first five seasons and would ultimately lead the league in assists six times throughout his career.
Remember when Steph Curry entered the league and trademarked his 3-point shooting before tipoff? Perhaps, Jokic will have a similar impact in establishing his unique ability to make a no-look or behind the back passes.
Magic Johnson, standing at six feet and nine inches tall, is the tallest player ever to lead the NBA in assists per game. He was a point guard responsible for feeding people the ball. Jokic is a center responsible for getting rebounds and swatting the ball at any given opportunity.
If Jokic stays on this pace of what he has outlined for the rest of the season then he should undoubtedly be the 2021 NBA MVP by a landslide. He has redefined the position of what a center can be capable of. A steady shooter, consistent rebounder, and unreal vision deserves to be recognized.