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NBA MVP, Rookie of the Year Race Heats Up

Who Will Take Home Award in Superstar-Packed League?

The NBA is full of stars, but there’s always a space to reward the best of the best. Right now, Nikola Jokic leads the MVP race, but a couple of stars are trying to snatch the prize. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jayson Tatum, and Joel Embiid are in the race as well

This has been one of the best NBA seasons from the last few years, with crazy numbers and trades. Let’s analyze the race and see who will take these awards home this season.

Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets - Tim Nwachukwu/AFP
Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets - Tim Nwachukwu/AFP

Let’s check the latest NBA news, stats, injury reports, and NBA lines. We’ve got plenty of NBA picks for you.

Who Will Be NBA MVP?

  • Nikola Jokic: The reigning MVP is number one right now on the rankings. Averaging 25 points, 11.5 rebounds and 10.1 assists per game, we’re maybe witnessing the best center of all time after Hakeem Olajuwon. “The Joker” has 25 triple-doubles this season, dominating the league and leading the Denver Nuggets to the playoffs going number one in the West. Jokic has a particular playstyle. His passing skills as a center are a blessing to his teammates, and if he keeps this up, becoming a leader we’ll see the Nuggets win a ring soon.
  • Joel Embiid: Embiid is the second favorite on the rankings right now. Adding big numbers to his season stats, with 33.5 PPG, 10.1 RPG and 4.2 APG, Embiid is guiding the Philadelphia 76ers alongside James Harden, with the team standing third in the East. Embiid lost the MVP twice against Jokic, and it seems “The Joker” will finally get a three-peat this year if something magical doesn’t happen.
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo: This one explains itself. The “Greek Freak” will always be a contender for the MVP. He’s averaging 32.3 PPG, 12.3 RPG and 5.1 APG, but these numbers don’t do justice to his last few games. Antetokounmpo has been scoring 50-point performances lately like it’s nothing. Giannis and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar are the only two players to score 50 points in at least three games in one season. Maybe he deserves a higher ranking or maybe not, I guess we’ll never know.

Not Bad for First Year, Huh?

  • Paolo Banchero: If we are talking about rookies, Banchero is the man right now averaging 19.9 PPG. He is on the road to becoming the first No. 1 pick to win the NBA Rookie Of The Year Award since Ben Simmons (yes, Ben Simmons, idk how) in 2018. Admittedly, Banchero is not going through his best moment, only shooting 37% FG right now, but there’s no doubt he’s the best rookie out there.
  • Bennedict Mathurin: The Indiana Pacers forward is scoring incredible numbers off the bench, averaging 17 PPG. Not bad for his first year in the league, but he is still losing the race against Banchero, if you ask me. He’s the best player coming off the bench this season, and the kid will be headed for big things as soon as he becomes a starter for the Pacers, probably next season. However, he definitely needs more minutes on the court to become a better scorer.

  • Walker Kessler: A rim protector, that’s for sure. Kessler was originally drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves but ended up playing for the Jazz. The rookie plays a great defense, ranking fourth on total blocks, and is aware of his offensive limitations averaging 8.2 PPG but making a phenomenal 71% from the field. Kessler has a bright future as long as he keeps transforming his weaknesses into strengths.

And the Award Goes to…

There’s a lot of talent and hard work behind these awards races, but only one can win. To be honest, I think Jokic deserves the MVP three-peat because of his playstyle and skills. He’s one of the most complete players in the league right now. Also, the Nuggets are first in their conference and Jokic has been a big contributor to that. The regular season is almost over and we’ll see the winners crowned on June 8.

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