About the NBA MVP race և its international flavor

Voting is over. In the coming days and weeks, the NBA will announce the various winners of this regular season. And although no one still knows with absolute confidence where any of the cups will go, so much is known. The MVP will be an international player.


Get ready for the story as it comes. It seems that the consensus is that the MVP of this season will be either Nikola Jokic, Joel Embid or Janis Antetokunmpo. Jokic is from Serbia. Embiid from Cameroon. Antetokunmpon from Greece with ties to Nigeria. When the winner is announced, it will be the fourth consecutive season that the MVP will not be born in the United States, something that has never happened.

If Djokich, Embid և Antetokunmpo end the voting 1-2-3, regardless of the sequence, it will mean for the first time in NBA history that the top three in the MVP have been voted by foreign players.

Jokic is the current MVP և has had a brilliant record this season. An average of 27 points per game, 14 rebounds and eight assists are crazy numbers. No one has ever finished the season with those average figures, which only strengthens Djokic’s arguments for going together.

“I know, I’m very biased. “I take it to heart,” said Denver coach Michael Mellon. “MVP is not even a competition. I mean, there are other great players. I’m not saying they’re not great players. But what Nikola Jokic has done this year, with this team, with everything we have had to go through, is unbelievable. He was good last year. “She is better this year.”

Embid won the points title with an average of 30.6 points and almost 12 rebounds. With four assists in one game, իի Embid finished with average points that no one has had since Bob McAdu in 1975-76.

“I do not campaign much,” said Philadelphia coach Doc Rivers. “Joel has had quite a campaign with his game.”

Antetokunmpo’s last season in which Milwaukee defended the NBA title was 29.9 points, 11.6 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game. The numbers are terribly similar to Antetokunmpo’s MVP season two years ago, at 55.3%. And in terms of the average of each game, in 1965-66 after Wilt Chamberlain, no one earned as many points, rebounds and assists.

“He decides the color of everything,” said Bax coach Mike Budenholzer.

The international taste of the NBA is not so pleasant anymore! Sprinkle it, it is not an ornament. This is a very real, very talented segment of the NBA player population, where MVP leaders և Dallas’s Luka Donչi են are among those who deservedly carry the superstar flag in this playoffs, which starts with Tuesday’s play-offs and then Seriously, the tour games that start on Saturday.

Only Stephen Curry, who finished third last season, stopped Djokich-Embid-Antetokunmpo 1-2-3 in the MVP a year ago. This year, no one imagines that there is a real chance to disperse the trio. FanDuel Sportsbook says that Djokich is a tough favorite, and Embiid և Antetokounmpo are the only ones who have a real chance. The fourth choice after that is D. Booker from Phoenix Suns, 100-1.

It was not an easy choice. Most of the awards selection was not this season. The group of 100 sports writers, presenters covering the league, and voting will probably not agree unanimously on any issue. And in many cases, serious arguments can be made, in particular, the defending player of the year և The defending team, which is probably the most subjective of all the categories.

The coach of the year has many candidates. New Year’s was mixed at the end of the season. The whole NBA team will be a circus, especially since Embid and Djokich are both central; one of them will either not be the first team or the first team will be the striker. In any case, it is a joke. The NBA still insists on selecting the All-NBA team by position: two guards, two forwards, one in a central league, which is mostly out of position.

But the MVP is obviously the biggest.

If the definition is the most valuable player for his team, it should almost be Jokic. Without Jamal Murray և Michael Porter Jr., the Nuggets still make it to the playoffs, as their center can do everything և better than anyone.

If the definition is the player who was more dominant, then the argument shifts to Embiid. When he was in his best form this season, he could not be defended.

And if the definition is the best player, which seems to have become the prize, then it must be Antetokunmpo. He can reach the finish line whenever he wants at attack time, he’s talking again about the best defensive player. Dominance at both ends should not be underestimated.

Tim Reynolds is an NBA nominee for national basketball writer for The Associated Press. Write to her at treynolds (at) ap.org

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