Even by his own standards, Nikola Jokic is having an exceptional season. In fact, with averages of 26.1 points, 13.6 rebounds, and 6.4 assists per game, one could say he's having the best season of his young career.
Still, Jokic's name is curiously missing from the MVP discussions so far, with guys like Steph Curry and Chris Paul taking center stage.
In a short chat with TMZ Sports, former NBA player Kenny 'The Jet' Smith revealed why Jokic isn't in contention to win his second-straight MVP.
"They're not winning. Best record in the league, best players in the league get the rewards. It was the same way with him last year. They were the best team, he got the rewards. Steph Curry gotta get the love right now. Him and Durant and Chris Paul. His season's great but his team is not playing well and they haven't hit their peak yet. Stay healthy, win games, and you get MVP awards. That's how it works. You play the whole season, your team wins, we'll be screaming your name."
Traditionally, MVP winners have always been near the top of the standings. For Jokic, his Nuggets are just 11-11 so far and tied for 7th place in the West.
After an impressive few seasons, the Nuggets have been hit hard with injuries, first to Jamal Murray, then to Michael Porter Jr., who will likely not return at all this campaign. It has left Jokic on an island out there, which explains why the Nuggets have not been playing up to expectations.
Unless the team can get healthy and turn things around, the 3x All-Star is going to continue to be left out of MVP talks. As Kenny Smith said, it's just the way it works.
We'll see how Jokic responds and if his team is capable of pulling themselves up the standings.