The NBA has released their awards for the 2020-21 season, and a deserving winner was chosen in Nikola Jokic. The Nuggets star won MVP as well as scoring six of his team’s ten total wins.
Nikola Jokic is a 21-year-old basketball player who has been playing for the Denver Nuggets since 2017. He has 3 reasons why he deserves to win the 2021 NBA MVP Award. Read more in detail here: how old is nikola jokic.
Nikola Jokic is supposedly the 2021-22 Kia NBA MVP, however the NBA has yet to make it official. As a result, the Denver Nuggets’ superstar is in line to win the Maurice Podoloff Trophy for the second year in a row. He is now just the 13th player in NBA history to win back-to-back MVP titles.
Jokic beat over Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid and Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, who were all candidates for the same award. Many fans and voters feel Embiid should win his first MVP award following his outstanding season, which saw him lead the NBA in scoring. Meanwhile, others say Antetokounmpo deserves his third MVP in four years after putting up amazing statistics on both ends of the court once again.
The other two finalists each made compelling arguments. Nonetheless, it seems like Jokic has reclaimed the hearts of the people. Here are three reasons why Nikola Jokic, not Joel Embiid or Giannis Antetokounmpo, should win the NBA MVP award in 2021-22.
Three reasons why Nikola Jokic deserves to be named MVP
1. His overall stats were superior.
This season, Jokic’s stats were marginally higher than those of his 2020-21 rivals. His scoring increased marginally from 26.4 to 27.1 points, while his rebounding increased from 10.8 to 13.8. The Serbian’s field goal shooting percentage increased from 56.6 percent to 58.3 percent, improving his efficiency. He hit a career-high 65.2 percent from inside the arc, despite his 33.7 percent 3-point shooting.
Despite the fact that Embiid and Antetokounmpo were the league’s top two scorers this season, Jokic had higher overall averages. With a true shooting percentage of 66.1 percent (compared to 61.6 percent for Embiid and 63.3 percent for Antetokounmpo), he had the upper hand in rebounds and assists. What’s more ridiculous is that Jokic is doing this as the whole Denver offense is funneled through him. He had a high use rate of 31.9 percent throughout the season.
Jokic also established NBA history by being the first player to score 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, and 500 assists in a single season.
2. With less support, he guided Denver to almost similar records to the Sixers and Bucks.
Because Jamal Murray was originally expected to miss the whole season due to a ruptured ACL, preseason estimates didn’t really envision the Nuggets earning an outright playoff spot. Michael Porter Jr. went down with a back injury nine games into the season, thus leaving Jokic without his two co-stars.
Despite this, the soon-to-be two-time MVP led Denver to a 48-34 regular-season record and a sixth-place finish in a stacked Western Conference. That’s just three games behind the Sixers and Bucks, who concluded the season with matching 51-31 records. Throughout the season, almost every team battled with COVID and injuries, but the Nuggets were without two of their three best players, which makes Jokic’s achievement of guiding them to the sixth seed all the more astounding.
3. His worth to Denver is enormous.
While Joel Embiid and Giannis Antetokounmpo have had similar influence on their respective teams, Nikola Jokic’s worth to Denver is just far more.
The Nuggets would be relegated to the NBA’s basement tier without Jokic. This season, they finished 2-6 without the defending MVP. His on-off stats also support this. With Jokic on the court, the Nuggets had a +9.0 efficiency difference, according to Cleaning The Glass. When he’s on the bench, he’s 19.5 points per 100 possessions better.
Without Embiid, the Sixers are 6-8. When Embiid is on the court, they are +7.9, which is 11.3 points per 100 possessions higher than when he is not. On the one hand, Milwaukee is 6-9 sans The Greek Freak. With Antetokounmpo on the court, the reigning champions were +8.1 points, which is 10.8 points per 100 possessions higher than when he is on the bench.
Philadelphia is a 60-win club when Embiid is on the court, but they are a 27-win team when he is on the bench. When the Greek Freak is wreaking havoc on the floor, the Bucks become a 60-win club. However, with Giannis on the bench, they fall to a 34-win team.
When Jokic is on the court, Denver looks like a 62-win club, but when he isn’t, they seem like an 18-win team. When the Nuggets’ superstar sits on the bench, the team loses 44 games. It’s hardly rocket science to figure out how much more Jokic means to the Nuggets. That is why he is deserving of the MVP award for the second consecutive season.
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