The MVP Race This Year Cannot Be Unanimous

There are three players in the NBA all deserving of the MVP, but who will get it? The guys try to break down the case, knowing how close it is.

You have an MVP vote in the NBA, who’s it going to?

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Matt Bassin: We’ve got a hell of an MVP race going on right now. So is it a repeat for the joker? Has Joel Embiid’s time finally come, are you feeling freaky? Greek freaky. These numbers keep changing. Ryan. I swear to God a week and a half ago, Embiid was the favorite and I swear I saw a negative number next to his name.

All of a sudden I’m seeing The Joker (Nikola Jokić) at minus 300 and Embiid at plus 270. Greek Freak (Giannis Antetokounmpo) plus 600. So I don’t know what happened in the last week to flip it back from Embiid to Joker. Looking like a Joker repeat right now, by the way, Vegas is talking about it.

Ryan Griffin: Yeah. What really changed the odds was the ESPN straw poll that they made for the MVP where you can roll your eyes, and people say, oh, it’s just ESPN, whatever. I would bet everything that I own, that they pulled at least a couple of MVP voters. And that’s a straw poll that Joker won by a landslide because the MVP voters are the media. So I don’t think ESPN just pulled a random one hundred people or like random people that worked in their office.

I think they got votes, just from guys who have MVP votes, or poll results from guys that have MVP votes. So I do think at least at that time, It was pretty indicative of how you can expect the MVP voting to go. Jokić has the advanced stats, beat out in terms of him versus Embiid versus Giannis.

I think Giannis, if you’re just looking at the eye test, is the best player from all three reign or reigning finals, MVP, NBA champion, obviously. Joel Embiid has just been consistent the entire year and he has seen some turmoil. Embiid has faced the biggest media circus with the James Harden thing now, and the Ben Simmons thing before, whereas when Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr., when Michael Porter Jr, we’re out for the season, everyone was just kind of like, “eh”, because they didn’t expect the Nuggets to really do anything anyway.

The trade-off of that is, that Nikola Jokić has the least amount of team success between Embiid and Giannis. I think the Nuggets right now, they’re not fighting to be in the plane, but it’s a team that’s trying to fight to get out of it. They’re kind of hovering with that seventh seed.

So it’s interesting. My vote would be for Jokić. I think what he’s done with the teammates that he’s had has been super impressive. The NBA had the Sixers at the top spot in the east or fighting for the top spot in the east for a really long stretch of the year. What Giannis has done just this last month, really two weeks, where it’s just, statement game after statement game. They had a game against the Sixers where he blocked Embiid to win the game. 

Matt Bassin: He had a 40 point double-double and blocked Embiid’s game-winner to win the game.


Ryan Griffin: I think Giannis is the best two-way player of the three. Jokić is probably the most interesting. Embiid’s probably more dominant than Giannis. It’s just how good Giannis is. It’s a really good MVP race. I had to take, a month ago, where I said, I think Jokić is MVP and I think it should be unanimous. Because I think most MVPs should be unanimous. I don’t think this one should be unanimous anymore. These three guys should be neck and neck. I think they will. It might not be the closest voting we’ve ever had but I think we’ll have all three of these guys with multiple first-place votes.

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Written by Amy Price

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