Joel Embiid, Nikola Jokic or Giannis Antetokounmpo: Who won NBA MVP 2023?

Joel Embiid finally took home the coveted award after finishing as the runner-up for the past two seasons.


Joel Embiid, Nikola Jokic or Giannis Antetokounmpo: Who won NBA MVP 2023?

Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid and Giannis Antetokounmpo

The NBA playoffs bring many exciting events and announcements. One such much-anticipated result is the winner of the Most Valuable Player of the season award. The MVP is awarded to the player who has excelled for his team during the regular season. Furthermore, their contributions to the success of the franchise for which they play are also taken into consideration while handing out the coveted award. This is regardless of whether the team wins the NBA title. As the results for NBA 2022-23 season MVP came in, the city of Philadelphia erupted in celebration. Joel Embiid was named the MVP for this NBA season, picking up his first honor.

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For the last couple of years, the NBA saw fierce competition for the MVP award. In the last five seasons, four MVP awards were shared equally between Giannis Antetokounmpo and Nikola Jokic, while Embiid was right on their tails. Jokic came out on top for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons. However, the Denver Nuggets center was denied a three-peat of MVP awards as the Sixers superstar finally beat his rival.

Embiid had yet another impressive season despite a few injuries and niggles on the way. He averaged a whopping 33.1 points per game with 10.2 rebounds and 4.2 assists. Moreover, he has led his side to a dominating first-round series victory in the 2023 NBA playoffs. The Philadelphia 76ers swept the Brooklyn Nets 4-0 in a sheer display of absolute domination.

Embiid is charging ahead in the postseason, as he is averaging 18.8 points per game with 9.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists. With his consistent and authoritative performance all season long, Embiid winning the MVP hasn’t come as a surprise to many NBA fans.

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Related: How many NBA players have won MVP and championship in the same season? Joel Embiid looking to join exclusive list

How are all three MVP finalists performing in the NBA 2023 Playoffs?

Nikola Jokic Joel Embiid Giannis Antetokounmpo 031323
Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid and Giannis Antetokounmpo (via Getty)

The 2023 season is one step closer to getting its two finalists. As the Conference Semi-Finals are underway, let’s look at the three finalists and their teams’ report cards so far.

Starting with the MVP, Joel Embiid is having an impressive run in the playoffs so far. Ahead of Game 2 against the Boston Celtics, the 76ers were 5-0 in the postseason as they swept Brooklyn in Round 1 and won Game 1 in Boston. However, playing the runners-ups from last year, the 76ers went down in Game 2 as the series is now tied a 1-1. Embiid was out of Game 1 due to a knee injury but returned in Game 2. He is expected to play in the Games to come as well and will be a key factor in Philly’s chances.

Nikola Jokic in the Western Conference is also having a great Conference Semi-Finals series. The Denver Nuggets are playing the mighty Phoenix Suns in the West. However, the trio of Devin Booker, Chris Paul, and Kevin Durant doesn’t seem to bother the two-time MVP and his side at all. Jokic, as of now, is averaging 27.7 points per game with 13.9 rebounds and 7.9 assists. Playing at home, the Nuggets have picked up a 2-0 series lead as they now head to Phoenix with a chance to win three straight games. Potentially sweep the series 4-0, too, if they manage to win both road games.

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Giannis Antetokounmpo, in contrast to his other two MVP finalists, didn’t have a great postseason. He led the Milwaukee Bucks in an outstanding regular season campaign. The Bucks secured the number one seed in the East as they were headed into the first round of the NBA playoffs. However, Milwaukee met a highly spirited Miami Heat led by Jimmy Butler, who upset them terribly. The Bucks lost the series 4-1 and were eliminated earlier than expected. Undoubtedly, Antetokounmpo will head into the off-season looking to regroup and come back stronger next season.

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