Breaking down why Nikola Jokic, the emerging face of the league, should win NBA MVP

The regular season has come to an end, which means the MVP race is finally complete. The question is, who should take home the hardware this year?
Denver Nuggets v Utah Jazz
Denver Nuggets v Utah Jazz / Alex Goodlett/GettyImages
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Which NBA MVP candidate is the most deserving of winning the award this season? We break it all down.

The NBA regular season has officially come to an end and that means the NBA MVP race, which has been very tight for most of the season, is finally complete. This year, three players finished the season as clear favorites to win the award: Nikola Jokic, Luka Doncic, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

If you look at the betting market and MVP power rankings online, you’ll see that one player has cemented himself as the likely winner. However, I’d argue the MVP race should be much closer than it actually is because the group of candidates is very strong this year.

Let’s dive into the three favorites for the MVP award going through each player’s case and see who should win the MVP award this year.

1. Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets

At this point, it’s not a real MVP race without Nikola Jokic, who will be an MVP finalist for the fourth year in a row.

At the moment, Jokic is the betting favorite to win the award and for good reason as he averaged a ridiculous 26 points, 12 rebounds, and nine assists per game this season while shooting 58.3% from the field and 35.9% from three. He also shot 44% from mid-range, which was well above average this year.

His offensive output was insane as he was one of the more productive scorers and passers in the league as a big man, which is unheard of. He was one of 10 players to average 25 points per game on 60% true shooting while shooting 35% from three, showing that he was able to score at a high volume with scoring versatility while being extremely efficient.

He also had an assist rate of 42%, the fourth-best mark in the league, and this is the fourth season in a row in which he has had an assist rate of at least 40%. Very few players in NBA history would be able to produce so much offense and be so efficient while doing it.

Another reason why Jokic is a strong MVP candidate is because his defense was very solid. Of course, he doesn’t wreak havoc on this end of the floor by racking up a ton of steals and blocks. However, his basketball IQ shows up on defense and he has developed into a very solid defender over the years.

This season, the Nuggets ranked top 10 in defensive efficiency largely because they had very good pick-and-roll defense and they did a solid job of keeping their opponents from hitting shots at the rim. This would be difficult to do if Jokic were a sub-par defender.

Nikola Jokic is a machine who, like some of the best players to ever play the game, is able to produce all-time great seasons with ease, year after year. He did it again this season playing at a high level on both ends of the floor and leading the Nuggets to 57 wins and the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference. it’s easy to see why he’s become the heavy favorite for the award even in a strong group of candidates.