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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2. Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks

Like Jokic, Luka Doncic had a tremendous season in which he was an unstoppable offensive force.

His box score numbers were ridiculous as he averaged around 34 points, nine rebounds, and ten assists per game on 61.7% true shooting. He was so close to averaging a 30-point triple-double, which has only been done two times.

While Luka had been an all-world offensive player for the past couple of years, he took his game to another level this season, especially as a scorer. He was one of just four players to average 30 points on 60% true shooting and he was a dominant three-level scorer, shooting 74.6% at the rim, 48.1% from mid-range, and 38.2% from three.

A big reason why his scoring output improved this year is because he got way better as a three-point shooter. He attempted nearly 11 threes per game and hit 38.2% of them. He and Stephen Curry were the only players to shoot above league average from behind the arc on at least 10 attempts per contest.

On top of being one of the best scorers in the world, Luka was also one of the best passers. His assist rate of 44.3% ranked top three and he led the league in box creation, a stat that measures how many shots a player creates for his teammates, per 100 possessions. With this level of production as a scorer, shooter, and passer, you could argue Luka was the best offensive player in the league this season.

The one area where Luka wasn’t elite was on defense. Still, he was very solid on this end of the floor. His defensive impact metrics were above average across the board and he performed well in certain areas like in isolation and on post-ups. Certain stats probably overrate his defense or aren’t precisely measuring his skillset as an individual defender, but I don’t think he was a terrible defender this year and I’d argue he showed improvements on this end of the floor.

Overall, Luka Doncic was a dominant player this season and led the Mavericks to 50 wins and the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference, giving him a very strong MVP case.