LeBron James-Esque Performances Means Nikola Jokic Should Break Nuggets’ MVP Duck: Alex English

Published 03/31/2021, 2:23 PM EDT
Feb 14, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) dribbles the ball up court ahead of Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) in the second quarter at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports


While the top dogs of the NBA made statement signings over the off-season, last year’s surprise Western Conference finalists, Denver Nuggets, took a step back by losing Jerami Grant to the Pistons. This meant that their hopes for this season rested more than ever on the shoulders of Nikola Jokic.

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This ability to carry a team on his shoulders reminds Nuggets’ great Alex English, of a certain GOAT-aspirant. That is none other than LeBron James.

Feb 12, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) reacts back to the referees in the fourth quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

English holds the franchise record for most points, assists, and minutes played. So, he recognizes the value that the Joker brings to the floor. With Jamal Murray unable to replicate his Orlando Bubble form, the Serbian has been the lone ranger for them.

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“I think (Jokic) has got a serious case,” said Alex English. “If they seriously look at him, the record’s been good, there’ve been times where he’s had to carry the team like LeBron (James) would’ve done, back in the day. Yeah, he’s got a legitimate shot.

“You take him out of the equation, the Nuggets are a good team. You keep in there, and they’ve got a chance to win the NBA championship.”

Why Nikola Jokic deserves to be the MVP over LeBron James & Joel Embiid, according to English

Not only is the Serbian averaging a career-high 26.8 points, 11.1 rebounds, 8.5 assists per game, but he is also doing it at a 57.1% FG efficiency. But that is not the main reason he deserves to be the MVP over LeBron James and Joel Embiid.

Unlike other MVP candidates, he has featured in every game for his franchise this season. Even with a grueling schedule, packed with multiple back-to-back games, he hasn’t taken a night off. The rest two are currently injured and on course to miss more games.

Hence, he is the favorite to take home the elusive gong. Assessing the candidature of the other two, English said –

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“Joel Embiid, you could say he had a good year. He’s been injured, he’s been out. I don’t think he’s had the impact on his team that Joker has with the Denver Nuggets. The only player that has that kind of stature, where he dictates whether his team loses or wins, is LeBron James. And he’s out, too.”

Feb 4, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) defends against Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) during the second quarter at Staples Center. Davis was called for a foul on the play. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Hopefully, Jokic can maintain his form for the rest of the regular season and beyond to the Playoffs. That will definitely see him walk away with the Maurice Podoloff Trophy.

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DIVE DEEPER

‘Frontrunner’: Former NBA Champion Counts James Harden Over LeBron James & Joel Embiid for the MVP 2021

about 2 months ago

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Bharat Aggarwal

695 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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