This year's MVP race is one of the closest in recent memory. From the season's opening game, it was obvious that LeBron James was pushing hard for his fifth Most Valuable Player title. LeBron felt that the NBA owed him one or two titles, but as the season unfolded, the Lakers superstar slipped down the rankings. And when the ankle injury stepped in, LeBron lost every chance to grab the title. Despite that, his numbers are great – LeBron is averaging 25 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 7.8 assists per game this season on 51.3% shooting from the floor and 36.6% from behind the arc. But rather than thinking about the MVP award, LeBron has to get his team away from the play-in tournament. The Lakers are on a losing streak and considering their health, they don't need any additional games before the playoffs.
Joel Embiid was also dominant from the start, and unlike in previous years, the Sixers big guy stayed dominant throughout the season. Embiid is leading the Sixers to the number one spot in the East while putting down career-high numbers. He is currently averaging 29.3 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 3.0 assists, and his Sixers are on a 43-21 record. However, Embiid is not the favorite to win the title, mostly due to missed games. At this point in the season, there's an obvious MVP.
Without the injured Jamal Murray, Nikola Jokić lost his star teammate and refused to give up. Jokić is playing on a high level the whole season, and he earned some fans along the way. One of them is Magic Johnson, who thinks the Serbian center has been the most constant player this season.
"LeBron and Joel Embiid started the season leading the MVP race, then Steph Curry had a hot streak. BUT the most consistent guy all season long has been Nikola Jokić. He's led his team to a 9-1 record since star guard Jamal Murray went out, proving he's worthy of being named MVP"
Jokić is having a very productive season – 26.2 points, 10.9 rebounds, and 8.5 assists per game, along with 55 double-doubles and 15 triple-doubles. He is also the betting favorite, with Embiid being a close second. Right up there with them is Stephen Curry, who is probably playing the best basketball in the NBA over the past two months. Curry averages 31.3 points per game, with 48.6% shooting from the field and 42.6% from deep this season. The Golden State point guard set an NBA record for most 3-pointers in April, but the Warriors aren't having a particularly good season.
You gotta love Magic - less than a month ago, he had no doubt that Steph was the MVP. His Twitter game is hilarious. Yes, Jokić leading the Nuggets on a winning streak after Murray's injury is spectacular, but it's not like he hasn't been balling the entire season. It seems whoever is dominating that week can count on Magic's support.
As tight as the race has been at times, Nikola Jokić should be the MVP. His insane numbers, the impact Jokić has on Denver's position in the standings, and the fact he didn't miss a single game this season make Jokić the obvious '20/'21 MVP.