Embiid and Jokic battling for NBA MVP
Nikola Jokic has plummeted from a -393 NBA MVP favorite just over two weeks ago to now being +250, far behind Joel Embiid (-240).
The Joker was poised to become the fourth player ever and first since Larry Bird in 1984-86 to win three straight MVPs. The Denver Nuggets’ recent downturn, combined with Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers’ dominance, has caused a massive shift in odds in a very short time (odds from DraftKings sportsbook).
With just ten games left to play for Denver and 11 for Philly, it seems as if Embiid will win his first MVP. The Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo (+400) is also not too far behind.
Here’s how each player’s numbers stack up this season:
- Embiid: 33.6 points, 10.3 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 1.8 blocks, 54.6% FG
- Jokic: 24.7 points, 11.9 rebounds, 9.9 assists, 63.4% FG, 39.4% 3PT
- Antetokounmpo: 31.3 points, 11.9 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 54.6% FG, 32.5 minutes per game
Embiid finished runner-up to Jokic in each of the past two seasons. Antetokounmpo also won back-to-back MVPs in 2019 and 2020.
An ESPN straw poll in mid-February revealed that 77 of 100 people had Jokic as their MVP. Antetokounmpo received 11 votes and Embiid received six.
35.2 points, 10.6 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and 2.6 blocks since the All-Star break
Increased scrutiny of the Joker’s questionable defense and the Nuggets’ recent slide, during which they lost five of seven games, have prompted many to rethink their vote. Embiid is also averaging an astonishing 35.2 points, 10.6 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and 2.6 blocks since the All-Star break. His team is 10-4 during the same stretch.
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