Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic Wins NBA MVP Award for Second Consecutive Year

Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic Wins NBA MVP Award for Second Consecutive Year

Nikola Jokic has won the 2021-22 NBA MVP award, earning the league’s top individual honor for the second straight year. The league announced this on Wednesday evening. Jokic received 65 out of a possible 100 votes for first place and received a total of 875 points, beating Joel Embiid’s 706 total points and Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 595 total points. Jokic’s back-to-back MVP awards match the performance of his finalist Giannis Antetokounmpo in the 2018-19 and 19-20 seasons. The third finalist, Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid, has never won the award.

Assists aside, Jokic managed to improve his per-game averages in every major statistical category during the regular season. He finished his career with highs in points (27.1), rebounds (13.8), blocks (0.9), and steals (1.5) per game. He also posted a career-best 58.3 percent of his field goals, and while he didn’t equal his career-high free throws or 3-point percentage, he did have highs in total free throws (379) and 3-point points (97). made.

The race between Jokic, Embiid and Antetokounmpo was tough. Embiid won the scoring title averaging 30.6 points. Antetokounmpo’s Milwaukee Bucks finished third in the Eastern Conference with a 51-31 record. Embiid’s 76ers had the same record but finished fourth due to tiebreaks. Seeded 6th in the West despite winning just three games fewer, Jokic’s Nuggets were edged out by the Golden State Warriors in the first round.

All three MVP finalists have had to overcome significant adversity to get their teams where they did. Embiid played the first half of the season without Ben Simmons, who sat out due to a swap request, and Antetokounmpo was left out of position due to Brook Lopez’s injury at center. But Lopez eventually returned and the 76ers traded Simmons for James Harden. Jokic didn’t get such relief. Star teammate Jamal Murray hasn’t played a single game this season, and option No. 3 Michael Porter Jr. has only played nine games. Jokic’s team might have had a worse record than the other two, but his ability to keep the Nuggets afloat without their second- and third-best players likely earned him that trophy.

Jokic is the 15th player to win multiple MVP awards along with Bob Pettit, Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Moses Malone, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Karl Malone, Tim Duncan, Steve Nash, LeBron James, Stephen Curry, and Antetokounmpo. He is the only nugget to win an NBA MVP award, although Spencer Haywood won an ABA MVP award when the team was still known as the Denver Rockets.

With Murray and Porter injured, Denver never had a realistic shot at a championship that season, but Jokic managed to lead them to the playoffs in a way that probably no other player could have done. He’s not a traditional MVP by style or ranking, but voters spoke up and noted that he was the most valuable player of the 2021-22 NBA season.

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