Nikola Jokic is once again in the MVP conversation this season. However, his competition looks a little bit different compared to last year. Luka Doncic, Jayson Tatum, and Giannis Antetokounmpo are all making great cases for this season’s MVP award. However, the back-to-back MVP continues to make a great case to win his third straight. In the matchup against the Orlando Magic on January 15th, Jokic hit a game-winning three-point shot to give the Nuggets their sixth straight win at home. He hit the shot with 0.02 seconds remaining and also secured his 12th triple-double of the year, another category the Serbian big man is also leading in helping his MVP case. While there is still plenty of season left to play, the other MVP candidates certainly have a long road ahead.
Nikola Jokic’s Recent Game-Winner Adds to His MVP Case
Jokic’s Game Against Orlando and His Season
Nikola Jokic was the clear Nugget of the night. Not only did he hit the game-winner and secure a triple-double, he was also efficient all game long. He finished the night with 17 points, 10 rebounds, and 14 assists. Not to mention, the Joker also had a box plus/minus of +16 and also shot 72.7 percent from the field. What is surprising was Jokic’s game-winner was the only three-point shot he hit the entire game. It was clear the team was struggling with the scrappy Magic in the second half. The end of the third quarter to the start of the fourth quarter showed how needed the Joker is to this Denver Nuggets squad.
NIKOLA JOKIC CALLED GAME 😱 pic.twitter.com/5zu0ALNLn4
— NBA (@NBA) January 16, 2023
Jokic’s whole season has been MVP-worthy. On the year, he is averaging 24.9 points, 9.7 assists, and 11.0 total rebounds per game. He is also tallying an effective field goal percentage of 64.6 percent along with a box plus/minus of 12.6 which is a league-best as of right now. Jokic is also the league-leader in win shares at 8.4 and currently possesses a career-best offensive rating of 134. Per multiple betting sites, the Joker has the best odds to win the MVP as of now. However, his competition is not going anywhere.
Other MVP Candidates
The one candidate right on Nikola Jokic’s tail, Luka Doncic, is also having a historic campaign. Doncic is tallying 33.8 points, 9.0 total rebounds, and 8.8 assists per game to go along with a player efficiency rating of 30.7. Jayson Tatum, the Boston Celtics small forward, is also having a career year. He has his team in the top two of the Eastern Conference and is currently averaging 30.6 points, 4.3 assists, and 8.2 total rebounds per game. With his ability to score with ease, Tatum will have a legitimate chance to win the scoring title as well this season.
We have to mention the Greek Freak, Giannis Antetokounmpo. Despite a couple of hiccups this week, he still deserves MVP consideration. Remember, he also helped the Bucks start the season undefeated despite the team missing Khris Middleton. So far this season, the Greek Freak is averaging 31.0 points, 11.9 total rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game. While Nikola Jokic has a very strong case for the MVP right now, there is going to be a lot of competition for the award when it comes time to vote this year.