Nikola Jokic on a path to immortality

Nikola Jokic on a path to immortality

Nikola Jokic has no time for your “narrative” arguments against his pursuit of a third straight N.B.A MVP He’s too busy putting up historic numbers that simply can’t be ignored.

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The winner of two current awards has once again topped the MVP odds board, sitting as the odds favorite (-105) in BetMGM to win his third award in as many seasons. If that’s the case, he would join Bill Russell (1960-63), Wilt Chamberlain (1965-68) and Larry Bird (1983-86) as the only players in NBA history to accomplish the feat.

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Nikola Jokic on a path to immortality

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NBA MVP betting via BetMGM (150/1 or less)

Nikola Jokic -105
Luka Doncic +400
Jayson Tatum +700
Joel Embiid +800
Giannis Antetokounmpo +1000
And Morant +3000
Kevin Durant +3500
Stephen Curry +4000
Donovan Mitchell +5000
lebron james +10,000
Zion Williamson +15,000
Damian Lillard +15,000
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander +15,000

Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets accepts the 2021 NBA MVP award
Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets accepts the 2021 NBA MVP award
Getty Images

Jokic was favored to win his third straight NBA MVP

Jokic’s latest bid for the NBA’s top individual award comes despite speculation before and even during the season that voters would be reluctant to reward the Nuggets star for a third straight season, until all if his resume deserved another trophy on the shelf.

Indeed, numbers speak louder than words. Entering Monday, Jokic is averaging a ridiculous 25.1 points, 11 rebounds and 9.9 assists, the most by a center in NBA history, all while shooting an absurd 62.6 percent from the floor. He’s getting it on the defensive end, too, ranking 15th in the league in steals per game (1.4) and leading the league in defensive frame plus-minus (4.3) for the top-seeded Nuggets ( 33-14).

Speaking of which, Jokic’s advanced stats, which were a key pillar for his previous two MVP campaigns, once again tell the story of the best player in basketball.

Denver’s center is the leader in win shares (9.2), box-plus-minus (13.1), PER (32.4), value over replacement player (5.2) and almost every other metric that you can throw Somehow he’s doing it all despite ranking outside the top 25 in usage rate (27.9%), which is a testament to how much he’s affecting the game even without the ball in his hands.

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We’ve highlighted Jokic’s absurd resume one month ago, when he was still a 5/1 dark horse after a historic triple-double on Christmas Day. Since then, he’s stepped it up — since that contest, he’s averaging 25.6 points, 11.2 rebounds and 11.2 assists with eight triple-doubles in 13 games, including three in a week.

It should come as no surprise, then, that Jokic runs away with this year’s MVP award in a similar fashion to last year when tired arguments about the “narrative” of another Jokic win were overshadowed by the its great statistical brilliance. That run isn’t necessarily over, thanks to an impressive field behind him, but it’s clear that Jokic is in the driver’s seat to make history with arguably his best season yet.

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