In the first month or so of NBA Basketball, there have been plenty of candidates staking their MVP claims.
But who’s the Real MVP?
Luka has come out firing on all cylinders, leading a battered and bruised Dallas Mavericks team to an 8-9 record, which currently has them just outside of the 8.
In all honesty, this is remarkable given the players Mavs were missing to start the season. Kristaps Porzingis has missed time, as well as Josh Richardson, Dwight Powell, Dorian Finney-Smith, and Maxi Kleber, all big contributors to this Dallas team. Luka has gone on to average 27.3 PPG, 9.8 RPG, and 9.9 APG.
There’s no doubting once this team gets back to full health their record skyrockets in a positive direction, as well as Luka’s Stat line (no longer getting constant double and triple teams), so watch for him to be there at the business end of the season in MVP discussions.
The Benjamin Button of the NBA, there’s no slowing LeBron James down.
At the age of 36, LeBron has his Lakers motoring towards back to back NBA Championships, leading the league with a 14-4 overall record.
It’s hard not to have an MVP discussion without his mention, so it would be rude not to now! LeBron is the current equal betting favourite with Luka Doncic (in a very hot field), averaging 25.2 PPG, 7.9 RPG, and 7.4 APG.
Not exactly the number quality of his Slovenian opponent, but at his age (as well as the Lakers dominating most opponents) it’s very impressive.
The Los Angeles Lakers have incredible depth this season, so you can see LeBron being rested a lot over the course of the season, something which may cost him MVP honours if those numbers take a dip with additional rest.
Coming off the Achilles injury KD had, it’s hard to think anyone envisioned him starting the season the way he has. He reminded us very quickly how good he still is. Durant leads a star-studded Brooklyn Nets line up with 30.4 PPG, 7.6 RPG, and 7.2 APG.
These numbers may very well drop off since the addition of James Harden, but there’s no doubting he’s well and truly in the conversation for MVP.
If the Nets can climb towards first place in the East and KD is still putting up those kinds of numbers with 2 ball-dominant guards, as well as coming off a big injury, it would be hard not looking twice at him for his 2nd MVP.
Now, THIS is the Joel Embiid we’ve been waiting for.
For years we’ve wondered when he was going to put that big frame of his down in the post and destroy anyone in his path, and finally the 2020-21 season we are seeing just how dominant he can be! Embiid is averaging 27.7 PPG, 11.5 RPG, and 1.36 BPG.
In the offseason, they made a move with signing Daryl Morey as their GM, who went on to surround their team with shooters, creating more space for Embiid to work with inside, and it’s paying huge dividends.
Doc Rivers also coming along has seemed to light a fire in Joel’s belly, one of which we haven’t seen much of in recent seasons.
The Sixers are in first place in the Atlantic Division, competing with the likes of Brooklyn and Boston in a brutal division, so they’ll need this kind of play from Embiid to continue this season if they are any chance of competing for an NBA Championship.
Are we seeing a changing of the guard with the MVP award this year?
Two dominant centres in this list, and deservedly so, as Nikola Jokic has trimmed down and continued on his dominant bubble display, getting himself in the MVP discussion in the first month of the season.
Denver has been disappointing to start the season, currently 10-7, and they know they’re far better than that.
Losing Jerami Grant (their glue guy) has been costly, but Jokic has picked up the slack for his Nuggets (winners of their last 4) and has them headed back in the right direction. Jokic has averaged 25.4 PPG, 11.9 RPG, and 9.3 APG. For a big with those kinds of numbers, he’s definitely one of the favourites in this race, and if he shows any kind of improvement on the defensive end of the floor, propelling the Nuggets into that Top 4 in their conference, he will be hard to go past for MVP honours this season.
So, who’s your MVP to start the season? Let's discuss.