Embiid, Giannis and, Jokic

Just a few games before the conclusion of the 2021-2022 regular season, the battle for the MVP title is getting more and more exciting.

10 years ago, if I would tell you that the top 3 front runners for MVP in 2021-2022 would all be NON-AMERICANS, you probably won’t believe me. However, that’s already the case for this season!

The top three in MVP talks right now are:

  • Nikola Jokic (Serbia)
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo (Greece)
  • Joel Embiid (Cameroon)

Coincidentally, they are also all BIG MEN. It’s quite odd to see the bigs dominating an era where it is commanded by guards who thrive in the trifecta.

Anyway, let’s get to the point. Given the chance to bet for an MVP candidate, who would it be?

Let’s have a look at the MVP Odds as of today (March 22, 2022):

Season Averages:

  • Joel Embiid: 29.8 PPG, 11.3 RPG, 4.3 APG, 1.4 BPG, 1.1 SPG, 48.7 FG%, 35.9 3P%
  • Nikola Jokic: 26.1 PPG, 8.0 APG, 13.6 RPG, 0.8 BPG, 1.4 SPG, 57.0 FG%, 34.8 3P%
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo: 29.8 PPG, 5.8 APG, 11.5 RPG, 1.4 BPG, 1.1 SPG, 54.7 FG%, 30.0 3P%

Head-to-Head Matchup Standing this season

Team W-L Record when these guys play:

  • Philadelphia 76ers – With Embiid (39-19 or .67), Without Embiid (5-8 or .38), and a -4.5 point differential per game without JoJo
  • Denver Nuggets – With Jokic (40-25 or .62), Without Jokic (2-5 or .29), and a -7.0 point differential per game without The Joker
  • Milwaukee Bucks – With Giannis (39-20 or .66), Without Giannis (5-7 or .42), and a -3.5 point differential per game without The Greek Freak

It still is difficult to judge who is going to win the MVP award this season by just looking at the stats above. But, if we carefully look at all of it, we can make a sound judgment:

  1. Jokic has a winning record against both Embiid and Giannis
  2. Though the Sixers are more likely to win with Embiid on the court, the Nuggets, on the other hand, are also struggling to win if Jokic does not play. (Looking at their W-L record and point differential)
  3. Nikola Jokic played the most games out of these three, with 65. He’s also very consistent with his elite level of play, night in and night out.
  4. Out of them all, The Joker is also the most efficient in scoring.
  5. Additionally, Jokic is the lone star of Denver. He does not have any current or recent all-stars on his roster.
  6. Jokic is also leading his team in a very loaded Western Conference.
Nikola Jokic, photo courtesy of wallpapersden.com

To conclude, it’s a really close fight between Jokic and Embiid. But, basketball analytics and stats would show you that Jokic is the more valuable player to a team. He is the reigning MVP for a reason.

If you have any questions regarding the NBA, feel free to ask in the comments below. For more content, stay with us, here at Spiel Times.  

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