So far, MVP discussions have revolved around Kevin Durant and Steph Curry, who are both in the middle of leading their teams through a dominant season.
In an appearance on NBA Today, however, ESPN analyst Zach Lowe tossed a familiar name into NBA contention: Nuggets superstar Nikola Jokic.
Here's a clip of his emphatic rant:
"It's beyond stupid that we frame this as a two-man race. Nikola Jokic is averaging 26.5 points, 14 rebounds, 7 assists, 58% shooting 66% on twos. Pick whatever advanced stat you want, he leads the NBA in every single one. He's on pace for the highest player efficiency rating ever. The Nuggets with Nikola Jokic on the floor: +14 per 100 possessions. With Nikol Jokic on the bench, -16. With Nikola Jokic on the floor, the Denver Nuggets are basically the best team ever, off the floor they're the worst team ever and the only reason he's not in the MVP conversation is because the Nuggets, without everybody, are just 14-13."
If you look at the stats alone, Jokic is the best player in the NBA. He leads almost every advanced metric, is doing almost everything on the floor, and makes an enormous impact on his team.
But wins are ultimately at the heart of the MVP debate, and Jokic's Nuggets have been mediocre at best. While no fault of the big man, Denver is just 14-13 on the season and they probably won't do much better until the team gets healthier.
Michael Porter Jr. is out for the season and Jamal Murray has not yet returned from his ACL tear in the spring.
Unfortunately for The Joker, it's unlikely this season gets recognized as the masterpiece it is unless the team starts stringing together some wins.
In the meantime, he's just going to keep doing what he always has: play his heart out and dominate the court in unprecedented ways.