The most important regular season award in the NBA is the MVP trophy. Every year it becomes increasingly more competitive. The 2021-2022 season has a plethora of qualified candidates, but I believe it will come down to one of 4 players, Embiid, Giannis, Derozan, or Jokic.
1-Joel Embiid C Philadelphia 76ers
29.6 points/game, 11.2 rebounds/game, 4.5 assists/game, 1.4 blocks/game, 1 steal/game.
Joel Embiid has been an MVP finalist for a few seasons now, including finishing 2nd last year to Nikola Jokic. This season has been a different story. He currently leads the NBA in scoring, 3rd in PER, and is one of the top defensive players this season. The main reason why I have Joel Embiid in first place is largely due to how great he has performed with more weight added on his shoulders. Without Ben Simmons, Embiid has to take on more defensively. Without Seth Curry and now James Harden, he has more on his plate offensively as well. Joel Embiid has made the most of it. Leading the Philadelphia 76ers to the 3rd seed in the eastern conference with clutch performances. Including a victory over a great defensive team in Cleveland and outperforming Giannis for a head-to-head win over the Milwaukee Bucks.
2-Demar Derozan G Chicago Bulls
28.1 points/game, 5.2 rebounds/game, 5.1 assists/game, 0.3 blocks/game, 0.9 steals/game.
When Zach Lavine got injured with Lonzo Ball already out, things in Chicago didn’t look promising. But Demar Derozan put the Bulls on his back. He has scored 35 or more points in 7 straight games while also posting a 6-1 record without Lavine. Derozan has transformed the entire team into a winning culture again. The Bulls were 31-41 and in 11th place in the eastern conference with Lavine and Nikola Vucevic last season. Since Derozan has arrived, Chicago is now 38-21, and 2nd in the eastern conference.
3-Giannis Antetokounmpo F Milwaukee Bucks
29 points/game, 11.2 rebounds/game, 6 assists/game, 1.4 blocks/game, 1 steal/game.
4-Nikola Jokic C Denver Nuggets
26 points/game, 13.8 rebounds/game, 7.9 assists/game, 0.7 blocks/game, 1.3 steals/game.
5-Chris Paul G Phoenix Suns
15 points/game, 4.5 rebounds/game, 10.7 assists/game, 0.3 blocks/game, 1.9 steals/game.
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