2023 Kia NBA MVP ladder: Can Nikola Jokic win his 3rd MVP in a row? + Why Joel Embiid is not the MVP

Is Nikola Jokic the 2023 NBA MVP 2

The reigning and back-to-back NBA MVP, Nikola Jokic, is yet again on his way to winning another Most Valuable Player award. The Joker won two straight MVPs (2021 and 2022), joining NBA greats like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, and many others. This season, Jokic is still playing at an elite level of basketball, but as the season is coming to a close, the MVP has been a tight battle between Jokic and Sixers’ center Joel Embiid. Can the Joker win this third-straight MVP or will Joel Embiid finally win it this year?

But, before that, has anyone ever won back-to-back-to-back MVPs? (3 consecutive MVP awards)

In history, there have been 12 players who won two (2) consecutive MVP awards. However, only three of them have gotten the chance to win three straight. These three legends are namely Wilt Chamberlain (1965-68), Bill Russell (1960-63), and Larry Bird (1984-86).

Wilt Chamberlain VS Bill Russel 1964
Wilt Chamberlain VS Bill Russel 1964 NBA Finals, Photo Courtesy of celticswire.usatoday.com

Indeed, it’s extremely rare for an athlete to win the award in three consecutive seasons. Heck, it’s even a difficult feat even for some of the greatest players to achieve at least one. But, these three Hall-of-Famers did exactly the impossible. By that, it’s not entirely impossible for Jokic to win his 3rd MVP this year.

2022-2023 Kia NBA MVP Ladder: The battle between Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid

1. Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers)

As of today, Joel Embiid is the no.1 in the NBA Kia MVP ladder for the 2022-2023 season. He’s held onto the spot for weeks now and he is on his way to finally winning his first MVP award. For the past couple of years, he has been losing it to the Serbian phenom, Nikola Jokic.

JoJo has been spectacular with his offensive output by averaging 34.1 points per game while leading the Sixers to the 3rd seed in the Eastern Conference.

2022-2023 stats: 34.1 PPG, 10.4 RPG, 4.2 APG

Also Read: NBA: 2023 All-NBA team selections – Who will get in?

2. Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets)

As the season is coming to a close, even though he is at no.2, but Jokic is already the MVP for his fans.

The Serbian superstar is the perfect embodiment of the “Most Valuable Player”. This season, Nikola Jokic has the highest plus-minus with +666. This means that he brings a lot to the team when he is present on the court. Moreover, except for blocks, the Joker leads the Nuggets once again in every major stat (points, rebounds, assists, steals, and shooting percentage). Honestly, just by looking at his impact and his numbers, the 27-year-old center could possibly win the MVP again this year. In addition, Jokic is leading the NBA in the total amount of triple-doubles. With just a few games left before the 2022-2023 season ends, he is already on his way to ending the season with a triple-double average.

2022-2023 stats: 24.9 PPG, 11.9 RPG, 9.9 APG

Also Read: NBA: What’s happening with Andrew Wiggins? – Latest updates

Why Joel Embiid is highly “unlikely” to win the 2023 MVP award

Embiid may be the top in the MVP ranking, but he may just not be able to win it over Nikola Jokic. After sitting out on the anticipated showdown with Denver Nuggets in Jokic on Monday, Embiid’s chances of being the MVP probably go down. Not to mention, basketball fans are angry that Joel Embiid chose not to play against Denver.

This season, JoJo has already missed 14 games. In NBA history, only one player who missed 14 games or more has won MVP, and that is Bill Walton (1977-1978). With competition so tight, the odds between Embiid and Jokic for winning the MVP have been very similar. That being said, it’s unlikely he will be the MVP given the fact that Nikola Jokic is a much more valuable player than him with regard to impact.

Do you think Nikola Jokic can do the unimaginable? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. For more content, stay with us, here at Spiel Times.

OTHER NEWS: 2023 NBA Regular Season Awards, Top 3 Frontrunners (MVP, DPoY, RoY, MIP, 6MoY, CoY, Scoring Champ)

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Sources: NBA, Statmuse

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