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 as he is currently number one on the MVP ladder. That being said, can Jokic win the MVP on three straight occasions?
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).
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. 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; Nikola Jokic still holds the top spot
1. Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets)
Two weeks into 2023, but Jokic is already the MVP – at least in the current rankings.
The Serbian superstar is the perfect embodiment of the “Most Valuable Player”. This season, Nikola Jokic has the highest plus-minus with +367. 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.
2022-2023 stats: 25 PPG, 11 RPG, 9.8 APG
2. Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics)
After losing in the 2022 NBA Finals, Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics are looking for revenge. The Celtics are currently 33-12, the first seed in the East and are the only 30-win team in the league, all thanks to Tatum’s basketball prowess.
Jayson Tatum is playing at a very consistent level which brought the C’s to the top spot in the league. Not only are they the best defensive team today, but they’re also a top-tier offensive club.
2022-2023 stats: 31.1 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 4.3 APG
3. Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks)
Among all the players in the current MVP ladder, Luka Doncic is easily the best player. He is averaging almost 34 points per game which is ridiculously good. This season alone, he made jaw-dropping performances like his 60-point and 21-rebound triple-double (60-10-21) followed by another stellar output of 51 points, 9 assists, and 6 rebounds in the next game.
The Dallas Mavericks are currently 5th in the west but it’s obvious that Luka Magic needs help. He is carrying the Mavs in a stacked conference and he clearly needs someone to be the Robin to his Batman to become a legit contender.
2022-2023 stats: 33.8 PPG, 8.9 RPG, 8.8 APG
4. Kevin Durant (Brooklyn Nets)
Surprisingly, the Slim Repeat made his way to the top again despite suffering multiple career-ending injuries. KD and the Nets went on a 12-game win streak to lift their team from the 10th seed to the 2nd seed.
Kevin Durant has been leading the Brooklyn Nets to the top of the East after a rough star of the season. The 2013 MVP is putting up huge numbers and does not look to be slowing down even at 34 years old. Although the Nets suffered a disappointing run last playoffs, their current team looks mighty good and seems like a great championship contender with Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Ben Simmons all healthy and playing well. Unfortunately, Durant injured his right knee last week forcing him to leave the game. He still hasn’t played since that incident.
2022-2023 stats: 29.7 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 5.3 APG
5. Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks)
Well, it’s great to see Giannis on this list but it’s unlikely he’ll win it again this year. The Milwaukee Bucks are the second-best team in the East but it’s not entirely because of The Greek Freak. Yes, he is a great player, a generational talent, but the two-time MVP has a lot of help from the likes of Jrue Holiday, Khris Middleton, and Brook Lopez.
However, the ball is still round. But, it’s been known in the past that Giannis Antetokounmpo is not after the MVP award or any trophy for that matter. He is after the championship and that’s the only thing that matters to him – TO WIN.
2022-2023 stats: 31 PPG, 11.9 RPG, 5.3 APG
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.
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