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NBA MVP Power Rankings: Joel Embiid Finally Leads The Race

NBA MVP Power Rankings: Joel Embiid Finally Leads The Race

The All-Star break is nearing, and we have a ton of evidence on which players and teams are standing out from the rest of the pack. We have seen the lack of impact that expected MVP contenders including Anthony Davis and James Harden were supposed to have, while other players have stepped up their play tremendously this season. Of course, with half of the season completed, there is enough evidence to predict which teams will have deep playoff runs thanks to their superstar players.

It is time for updated MVP power rankings because the past few weeks have seen the rise of some All-Star players that will be destined for greatness this season and in their futures. There is a new name in the top-10 of the MVP race, while we might have a new favorite atop the standings. We are fortunate to be witnessing the play of some truly elite players in the modern game, and here is how the MVP race is shaping up as the All-Star break nears.

10. Luka Doncic

Luka Doncic

2021-2022 Statistics: 26.0 PPG, 8.8 RPG, 8.9 APG, 1.2 SPG, 0.5 PG

There is no doubt that Luka Doncic is a special talent because he plays the game as if he has 10 years under his belt. At only 22 years old, Luka is doing things way ahead of his time and age. Already carrying a franchise on his back as a foreign player, Doncic is doing everything on the floor at an elite level. Even his defense has taken steps forward because he is no longer a liability on that end. Instead, Luka is becoming a better leader by the season.

The Dallas Mavericks are not expected to make much noise in the postseason, although that is no fault of Luka’s. The roster is built on decent but unspectacular role players, and Luka does not have the help he needs to make a push past the first round. That will hurt Luka’s MVP chances because his team standing won’t be impressive, but he still deserved consideration for his fantastic play.

9. Zach LaVine

Zach LaVine

2021-2022 Statistics: 24.7 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 4.3 APG, 0.7 SPG, 0.4 BPG

Zach LaVine is a pure baller, and we have come to expect excellent production from him on the offensive end. The Bulls are one of the best teams in the NBA, holding a 33-19 record while their star scorer is putting up 24.7 PPG on fantastic shooting splits. The former Dunk Champion is nailing 48.6% from the field, 39.7% from three, and 87.1% from the stripe for Chicago this year.

A consistent scorer, LaVine has also been an excellent leader for the team as they welcomed new pieces DeMar DeRozan and Lonzo Ball. Zach has been a consistent player for Chicago since he arrived, and has rewarded the franchise with some excellent play all season long this year. The only thing missing is giving LaVine the chance to showcase his abilities in the postseason because he might be built for greatness there as well.

8. Devin Booker

Devin Booker

2021-2022 Statistics: 25.5 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 4.3 APG, 1.0 SPG, 0.3 BPG

What Phoenix is doing is truly amazing, and Chris Paul deservedly takes the bulk of the credit. But more credit needs to go to Devin Booker, one of the best shooting guards in the NBA. After James Harden, it is not far-fetched to consider Booker the most talented shooting guard in the league because he has no weakness on offense. Averaging over 25 PPG for 4 straight seasons now, the Suns have a budding superstar on their hands.

Thanks to Booker’s presence on offense and the partnership he has with future Hall of Famer Chris Paul, the Suns are having a sensational season once again. After failing in the Finals last year, Phoenix have returned with a vengeance this year as they hold the best record in the league at 41-10. With the Golden State Warriors creeping up on their record, Booker has to continue his level of play to keep his team at the number one spot.

7. DeMar DeRozan

DeMar DeRozan

2021-2022 Statistics: 26.5 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 5.0 APG, 0.9 SPG, 0.3 BPG

It is hard not to feel happy for DeMar DeRozan because he is having his best season since 2017. DeMar is simply balling on every level and is showing the world what he can do as the best player on a team. The Bulls have the best record in the East, and DeRozan has been their best player all season long. Alongside Zach LaVine, DeRozan has formed one of the most talented and exciting duos in the league.

That is why DeMar is in the MVP conversation, despite the critics pointing out the swingman’s past playoff failures. The former Raptors star has developed his all-around play and is much more trusting of his teammates, making for a scary offensive threat at all times. With his improved passing and defensive abilities, DeMar has a chance to finish the MVP race within the top-5 if he continues his excellent level of play.

6. Ja Morant

NBA Fans Called Out Ja Morant After He Posted A Tweet Right After Losing A Close Game Against The Lakers

2021-2022 Statistics: 26.3 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 6.9 APG, 1.3 SPG, 0.4 BPG

We are seeing the arrival of Ja Morant, a future superstar point guard for the Memphis Grizzlies. Despite being extremely athletic and quick, Morant does not rush into plays and is very controlled with his movements. Similar to a young Allen Iverson, Morant knows he can take control of a game when he has the ball and methodically picks apart the opponent.

It is scary to imagine this, but Morant could be a more controlled version of Russell Westbrook. With his elite scoring and passing ability, Ja completes his game that already has unique athleticism. The young man can jump out of the gym, but he also has quick feet and hands. Memphis have one of the best point guards in the NBA on their hands, which is why they hold a top-3 record in the West when nobody could have predicted that.

5. Stephen Curry

LeBron James And Damian Lillard Were In Awe Of Stephen Curry's 45-PT Explosion

2021-2022 Statistics: 25.9 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 6.3 APG, 1.5 SPG, 0.4 BPG

Two-time MVP Stephen Curry is back in the MVP race as he continues to lead the Warriors to wins in the West. The point guard has had his shooting struggles well documented this season, but his leadership and impact in important moments this season cannot be ignored. Steph is only shooting 42.1% from the field and 38.1%from three, subpar numbers for the greatest shooter ever.

Curry has set the bar so high, that shooting under 40% from three is considered strange. Despite his inconsistent shooting, Steph has undeniably been the best point guard in the league as he leads the Warriors to a top-two record in the Western Conference. There is so much talent in the NBA right now, which is why the 2-time MVP is behind 4 other stars for the coveted MVP award so far.

4. Chris Paul

Chris Paul

2021-2022 Statistics: 14.9 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 10.5 APG, 1.9 SPG, 0.3 BPG

LeBron James is receiving a ton of praise for his play at nearly 37 years of age, but Chris Paul deserves that same energy. The point guard is averaging an impressive double-double while leading Pheonix to the best record in the NBA, incredible achievements for a veteran who is known to miss a ton of games per season.

CP3 is still arguably the best leader in the game alongside LeBron James, and he continues to build his Hall of Fame legacy. The only things missing from Paul’s incredible career are an MVP award and an NBA title, two things he might have a chance at getting this year. If the Suns continue their play, the latter is possible. In order to win the MVP award, Paul will need to battle for 3 big men for the rest of the year.

3. Nikola Jokic

Nikola Jokic

2021-2022 Statistics: 25.9 PPG, 13.8 RPG, 7.8 APG, 1.4 SPG, 0.7 BPG

Reigning MVP Nikola Jokic is balling at an elite level, putting up monster stats as he carries Denver to a playoff seed. To many fans and pundits following the Nuggets closely, Jokic is the runaway MVP for his big performances all season long. Despite his relaxed demeanor and rather funny disposition on the court, Nikola is incredibly dominant.

The big man is missing the help he needs from Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr but is still doing the best he can to keep Denver in contention. Jokic needs his two stars alongside him to truly shine as a winner in the playoffs, but the MVP award is a regular-season achievement. So far, Jokic is easily a top-3 MVP award candidate even if his team record is not particularly impressive.

2. Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis Antetokounmpo 2017

2021-2022 Statistics: 28.9 PPG, 11.3 RPG, 6.0 APG, 1.0 SPG, 1.4 BPG

Two-time MVP and reigning NBA champion Giannis Antetokounmpo is having an excellent year for the Bucks, putting up incredible numbers across the board. The Greek Freak impacts the game on every level, and he continues to be an extremely versatile star throughout the season. He is simply unstoppable when he attacks the rim and can defend all five positions on defense.

A player of Giannis’ skillset comes along once in a lifetime, which is why the Bucks continue to climb the Eastern Conference standings. With two All-Stars beside him in Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday, Giannis has the juice to try to repeat for the NBA title again. If The Greek Freak can win his 3rd MVP award, we could be looking at a top-20 player of all time already.

1. Joel Embiid

Charles Barkley Says Joel Embiid Is The Current MVP Favorite: "There's Nobody Playing Better Basketball In The World Than Joel Embiid Right Now."

2021-2022 Statistics: 29.1 PPG, 10.8 RPG, 4.4 APG, 0.9 SPG, 1.4 BPG

Due to his outstanding play and leadership this season, Joel Embiid is the MVP favorite. What he is doing without Ben Simmons beside him is amazing, because the center has the 76ers in prime position to capture a top-3 seeding in the East. If Embiid can achieve that by the end of the year, it will be hard to vote against him as the MVP of the league.

His scoring has been ridiculous, but he has also been a spectacular playmaker as well. Embiid has elevated the play of others around him including Tyrese Maxey and Matisse Thybulle, while Philadelphia continues their search for another star to pair with him. With the big man having a career year against all odds, it would not be shocking if Embiid leads the MVP race for the rest of the season.


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