The 2022 NBA MVP race has seen a major change at the top of the league's ranking, with Giannis Antetokounmpo losing the top spot after three weeks leading the pack. The Greek Freak surpassed Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant in December, but things have changed in the first 21 days of the year.
It seems like every time a player steals the top spot of the ladder, there's another one working silently to overtake them in a couple of weeks. It was the case with Giannis and now his replacement had a similar path to the top of the list.
As every week, Michael C. Wright of NBA.com takes us through the MVP ladder. This week, Nikola Jokic ranks 1st, surpassing Giannis Antetokounmpo, who remains a strong candidate for the coveted award. Jokic has proven once again he's incredibly valuable for the Denver Nuggets, and numbers confirm that.
Malone shouldn’t have to campaign for MVP on Jokic’s behalf because the truth is the production speaks for itself. Jokic currently ranks No. 1 in the league with 10 triple-doubles and seventh all-time with 67 career triple-doubles. Since Jokic arrived in Denver, the Nuggets are 47-10 when he finishes with 15 rebounds or more, and in four games this season he’s put together four showings with at least 24 points, 15 rebounds and seven-plus assists. The rest of the players in the NBA this season, meanwhile, have combined for just four such performances.
With Kevin Durant dropping on the ranking, just like Stephen Curry, new faces are finding their way to the top 5. Joel Embiid ranks 3rd now and seeing his recent performances, it won't be a shock if he's the one leading the ranking after Jokic.
Chris Paul has made it to the 5th position, trailing the giants Jokic, Giannis, Embiid and Durant. The Phoenix Suns point guard hasn't gotten the same attention as the other players, but he's working to lead his team to the playoffs with probably the league-best record at the end of the season.
This race keeps intensifying and we can't wait to see what's next for the competition. The top 10 is full of names that could steal the top spot in the following weeks, which is why every candidate should be careful.
The Next Five:
6. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors (Last week: No. 6)
7. DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls (Last week: No. 5)
8. Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies (Last week: No. 7)
9. Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz (Last week: No. 10)
10. LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers (Last week: No. 9)
Stephen Curry kept his position, DeMar DeRozan dropped two spots, Ja Morant dropped one, while Rudy Gobert went from 10th to 9th. LeBron James closes the top 10 after yet another tumultuous week for the Los Angeles Lakers. The MVP award is up for grabs right now, although Jokic seems to have the upper hand in this race.