Former NBA Champion Says Nikola Jokic is a Top-3 MVP Candidate Alongside LeBron James and Joel Embiid

Published 02/10/2021, 11:58 AM EST
Jan 14, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) controls the ball as Golden State Warriors center James Wiseman (33) guards in the fourth quarter at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports


Nikola Jokic has been playing some of the best basketball of his career of late. The Nuggets big man has been sensational the past few weeks, as he has helped the franchise turn around their poor start to the new NBA season.

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Jokic is playing better than the fans have ever seen him play, keeping the Nuggets’ miracle run to the Western Conference Finals in the Playoffs last year.

Nikola Jokic playing phenomenal basketball

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Former NBA champion Richard Jefferson addressed Jokic’s recent form on ‘The Jump’. He believes that Jokic is in the echelon as far as contenders for the MVP trophy are concerned alongside LeBron James and Joel Embiid.

He added that what James and Embiid are doing is phenomenal, and Jokic absolutely deserves to be in consideration for the MVP accolade this year with the kind of performances he has notched.

“I think he’s Top-3 in the MVP race. I think it’s really him, LeBron, and Embiid in the Eastern Conference. All three of them are dominating in different ways…

 

“But Jokic especially because of Denver’s slow start, he has picked it up and I think that definitely has vaulted him higher in that MVP race.”

Jokic has been phenomenal this season. He currently averages a double-double each game, with 27 points, 11 rebounds, and 8 assists this season.

Those numbers are absolutely remarkable for a player like Jokic, who is not gifted with athleticism or speed. However, he is so skilled that it allows him to convert the chances that he makes for himself.

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But despite Jokic’s performances, the Nuggets have been struggling this season. They were the 3rd seed last season, thanks to the performances of Jokic and Jamal Murray. However, this year the Nuggets have not played as well.

Jamal Murray has not been playing at the level he is expected to, leaving Jokic responsible to get the Nuggets over the line.

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Dec 28, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) shoots over Houston Rockets forward Christian Wood (35) in the first quarter at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Can Jokic win the MVP this season? The Nuggets’ performances this season will work as a hindrance to his chances. The Nuggets have lost 4 of their last 5 games.

However, if Jokic can continue performing at the same level that he is, it could inspire the Nuggets to improve and rally around him to try and secure a playoff spot before the end of the season.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1313 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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