As the NBA regular season nears an end, speculative conversations surrounding potential champions swirl around. The winner of the MVP race, in particular, is also a subject of exciting events. Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic have been the dominant frontrunners for the ultimate honor for the past few seasons. While Embiid has been a dominant contender, Jokic has clinched the award twice back to back. Fans around the world are excited to see who comes out on top with little over a week left in the regular season.
Everyone has an opinion on who deserves it more, and the fandom is split between the two centers. Among many others, Damian Lillard, the Portland Trail Blazers point guard, opened up about his views on the MVP contention. In a recent interview, the Portland guard revealed his choice, picking Joel Embiid over the reigning MVP. While Embiid has stayed on top of the MVP rankings most of the season, Jokic recently snuck up to reclaim the number one spot.
While fans in favor of Jokic were taken by surprise, Dame went on to present his reason for the pick. “I feel like he’s been dominant all season long” he said. “His team is winning. I feel like he could’ve won it the last two years,” Dame went on to talk about how Embiid’s continuous contention and authoritative performance over the last few seasons should be a good reason to win him the award.
He also went on to express how he doesn’t agree with the same player getting the award every year, especially when they’ve won twice in a row in the presence of another player who’s been equally good. “You can’t continue to give it to a guy who’s won it twice in a row especially when you have.a guy like this who’s performing at the same level, maybe even higher,” he said.
Related: Unbelievable stat suggests Joel Embiid has already lost MVP award to Nikola Jokic or Giannis Antetokounmpo
Who are the MVP race leaders this season?
The MVP race has been tight all season, with Joel Embiid leading the list for most of the season. However, his prime adversaries for the award, Nikola Jokic and Giannis Antetokounmpo, have been right on his tail. Jokic recently took first place on the ladder courtesy of a triple-double against the Philadelphia 76ers. As the playoffs loom, here’s how the MVP ladder looks:
Nikola Jokic now leads the pack with 24.9 points per game (PPG), 11.9 assists per game (APG), and 9.9 rebounds per game (RPG). He’s managed to lead his team into the playoffs sitting on top of the Western Conference.
Following him closely is Joel Embiid. Averaging about 33.2 PPG, 10.2 APG, and 4.2 RPG, his team, the Philadelphia 76ers, sitting at number three in the Easter Conference.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, with averages of 31.2 PPG, 11.9 RPG, and 5.5 APG, is in third place. Although the Milwaukee Bucks lead the Eastern Conference, Giannis has had the stellar support of his talented teammates.
It will be interesting to see how the top two players shape up in their remaining games. With Jokic out against the Phoenix Suns, Embiid might still have a chance at reclaiming his number-one spot.
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