Photo From: Sports Illustrated
Nikola Jokic, drafted in 2012, with the 41st pick in the second round to the Denver Nuggets. Yes, you heard that right, second round, 41st pick.
Photo From: Yahoo Sports
Jokic is now the first center since Shaquille O'Neal to win the MVP award since the year 2000. And it's safe to say, this award was well deserved. Jokic is unlike any player I have ever seen, he has such an unorthodox style of play, yet is so successful. This season, Jokic had one of the best offensive performances in the league, he finished the regular season averaging 26.4 points (56.6% from the field, 38.8% from 3-point range, and 86.8% from the foul line), 8.3 assist, and 10.8 rebounds (which ties his career-high).
Photo From: Boulder Daily Camera
Jokic has been high on the MVP charts all season long, and game by game I saw this prediction becoming more of a lock as he continued to deliver top-notch performances. Jokic, as most of you know, is a very chill player, by this I mean he's a smooth, silky, slow player. And it's clearly not a bad thing, because IT’S BEEN WORKING! We have seen the success of this Nuggets team all season long, but once Jamal Murray got injured with a torn ACL, NBA fans from all over had no faith in Jokic to lead this team without his sidekick Murray. In response to that, he led the Nuggets to end the regular season with the third seed, then led his team to the second round after an impressive 4-2 win against Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers. And now? Now is going to be tough for the Nuggets as they verse the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference semi-finals. Devin Booker has been absolutely electric in the playoffs so far, alongside Chris Paul as they hope to take their team to the western conference finals. But if any team can continue to shock us, it's the Denver Nuggets.
Photo From: KSNT
Joel Embiid was a close second to this award as he also endured the best season of his career, and led the Philadelphia 76ers to the best record in the eastern conference. Unfortunately, Embiid suffered a knee injury which had him longer than expected (missed 21 games), which is what I believed was the biggest case against him.
Photo From: The Ringer
Stephan Curry was the next MVP candidate that was also in the Top 3 as the season winded down. To me, it felt like Curry was stealing all the attention towards the end of the season, WHICH HE DESERVED BECAUSE HE WENT CRAZY!!! All I was hearing was “Curry MVP, Curry MVP, Curry MVP…” but unfortunately for his sake, his team, The Golden State Warriors didn't help his case as they just missed the playoffs, and were fighting to be in the top 10 in the Western Conference all season long.
Photo From: Forbes
All three players have been absolutely phenomenal this whole season, but Jokic’s consistency, leadership, and determination won him this well-deserved award. At the age of 26 years old, Jokic has most of his career in front of him, and I know he will continue to get our attention with the skill he has. As for the Nuggets, this team is extremely young and extremely talented, they have a hell of a future ahead of them and I am excited to watch them grow.
Photo From: Denver Stiffs
As for Jokic and the Nuggets this season, can they stop Devin Booker and the Suns? Can they make it to the Western Conference Finals?