This season’s MVP race is the most exciting race in a long time. The road to the award is no longer a two-man race, and the tightly contested MVP-ladder presents a solid case for virtually every player on it.
With the end of the regular season in sight, we should expect the race to become even tighter. While it’s still difficult to predict who will actually end up winning the award, let’s take a look at why each frontrunner may be deserving to win the coveted award.
The one-of-a-kind Nuggets center is undeniably having the best season of his career. Jokic is almost averaging a triple-double, with absurd averages of 26.3 points, 10.9 rebounds, and 8.8 assists per game.
Jokic has been incredibly consistent since the start of the season, and his play has made Denver a legitimate contender to make it out of the West. The Nuggets are currently 4th in the Western Conference.
Jokic’s Case for MVP: Jokic is perhaps the most consistent player among the current candidates in the MVP race. He’s undoubtedly the centerpiece of the Nuggets and defenses have no answer to him. There’s also no question that Jokic is the most skilled big man in basketball today.
Harden has been no less than incredible for the Brooklyn Nets. The 2018 MVP is currently averaging 25.2 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 10.9 assists for the Nets.
The Nets were scary enough at the start of the season, with superstars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant joining forces in Brooklyn. Brooklyn acquiring Harden from the Houston Rockets has made the Nets an absolute powerhouse. Brooklyn is currently the top seed in the top-heavy Eastern conference and is poised for a deep playoff run.
Harden’s Case for MVP: The Nets are perhaps the most feared team in the league because of their Big Three, but Harden is arguably the centerpiece of the team. While Irving and Durant are equally stellar on the floor, Harden’s leadership and his role as the Nets’ floor general is the reason why the Nets are as dangerous as they are today.
Could Giannis Antetokounmpo three-peat as MVP? With averages of 28.8 points, 11.4 rebounds, and 6.2 assists per game, it may be difficult to argue otherwise.
Giannis has shown consistent improvement every season he’s been in the league. Antetokounmpo has made strides in his shooting this season, and the Milwaukee Bucks are third in the Eastern Conference thanks in large part to his efforts.
Antetokounmpo’s Case for MVP: If there’s one player who’s virtually unstoppable in today’s league, it’s Antetokounmpo. The Greek Freak isn’t even at the peak of his prime and he has unfathomably shown improvement from his last two MVP seasons.
It’s safe to say that the Process paid off. Joel Embiid is averaging 29.4 points and 11.1 rebounds per game for the Philadelphia 76ers.
Despite doubts early in his career because of his durability, the 27-year-old Embiid has proven that his immense potential can be realized. Along with Jokic, Embiid has proven that big men can still dominate in today’s NBA. With Embiid’s play, the Sixers are currently the second seed in the East.
Embiid’s Case for MVP: There were talks of the Sixers blowing up in previous seasons, but the team has finally found its groove this season, and Embiid is a huge reason why. Embiid is having the best season of his career and has been a dominant force in the paint. He has likewise been brilliant on both ends of the floor, and is without a doubt the best two-way center in the NBA today.
For the longest time, Lillard has been one of the most underrated players in his position, but his regular season performances not to mention his playoff heroics has given him his well-deserved recognition. Lillard is averaging 29.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 7.7 assists a game for the Portland Trail Blazers.
Lillard is one of the greatest shooters in today’s NBA, having the ability to pull up from almost half-court as if he’s shooting from midrange, and his scoring at the point guard position is on another level as compared to his peers. Under Lillard’s leadership, the Portland Trail Blazers presently hold a 30-21 record.
Lillard’s Case for MVP: Damian Lillard is a player that’s hard to come by in today’s NBA. Whereas most of today’s stars team up or sign with teams in pursuit of winning a championship, Lillard has remained loyal to Portland and has become an icon for the Blazers. Despite having perhaps the least impressive supporting cast among these players, Lillard has been able to consistently lead Portland deep into the playoffs, and the example he sets this season is no different.