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Nikola Jokic, Giannis Antetokounmpo Overtake Joel Embiid, While Devin Booker Enters The Top 5 In The Latest NBA's MVP Ladder

Nikola Jokic, Giannis Antetokounmpo Overtake Joel Embiid, While Devin Booker Enters The Top 5 In The Latest NBA's MVP Ladder

The 2022 MVP race is anything but finished right now, as we enter the final 10 days of competition in an incredible campaign that has given us plenty of stories. This race is hotter than ever and nobody knows how it'll end as there are at least three players with chances to win the coveted award. 

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid, and Nikola Jokic are considered the three favorites to take the trophy home, but more players could make a surprising yet late push for the prize. 

As every week, Michael C. Wright takes us through the most recent NBA.com's MVP ladder, showing a couple of changes on the top 5. Joel Embiid has dropped two spots, ranking 3rd this week. Replacing the Sixers big man, Nikola Jokic takes the top spot, while Giannis Antetokounmpo ranks 2nd. 

After Jayson Tatum made it to the top 5 last week, Devin Booker surpassed Luka Doncic to close this mini-list. Wright broke down why Jokic climbed one position to become the front-runner of this race.

With Denver looking to avoid the Play-In Tournament, Jokic has averaged 32.7 points over his last three games to go with 14.6 rebounds and 9.3 assists as the Nuggets have won three in a row. Jokic dropped 37 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists in Wednesday’s win over Indiana, which moved Denver to fifth in the West. But Utah’s 122-109 win over the Lakers on Thursday pushed the Nuggets back down to sixth. That certainly ratchets up the stakes for Friday’s matchup against Karl-Anthony Towns and the Minnesota Timberwolves, who own a 2-1 record this season against Denver and have beaten the Nuggets by an average of 16 points.

When talking about the latest addition to the top 5, he explained that Booker deserves to have more recognition for this award by leading the Phoenix Suns to the top of the Western Conference while posting the best record in the NBA.

The best player on the NBA’s top team deserves to be in the MVP conversation. Booker’s been in it all season, just not at the forefront. That’s not a knock on his level of play this season. Over 11 games in March, Booker averaged 30.1 points per game on 52.5% from the field and 41.3% from deep with 6.1 assists and 1.3 steals as Phoenix won its ninth straight Wednesday at Golden State. Booker struggled somewhat, shooting 5 of 21 from the floor, but he drilled a couple of crucial free throws down the stretch with the game on the line. Named Western Conference Player of the Week on Monday, Booker and the Suns will be tested again Friday on the road at Memphis.

The Next Five:

6. Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks (Last week’s ranking: No. 5)

7. DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls (Last week’s ranking: No. 8)

8. Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies (Last week’s ranking: No. 6)

9. Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets (Last week’s ranking: No. 9)

10. Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves (Last week’s ranking: No. 10)

It'll be hard to see any of Tatum and Booker taking the MVP award this season, but this ranking credits the great season they've had. The Boston Celtics are fighting for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, while the Phoenix Suns will probably secure the best record in the league. 

Still, that won't be enough to surpass what Giannis, Embiid, and Jokic have done. These three have had an incredible season and we won't know until the last second who is the winner of the coveted award.