On Wednesday, the NBA announced that Denver Nuggets superstar Nikola Jokic won the MVP award for the second year in a row.
Jokic finished the regular season averaging 27.1 points, 13.8 rebounds and 7.9 assists per game while leading the injury-plagued Nuggets to a 48-34 record and the sixth seed in the Western Conference. He shot an outstanding 58.3 percent from the field.
Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic entered the season as the MVP favorite, but due to a slow start, he never had a real shot of winning the award despite having a fantastic run since the beginning of the calendar year. Doncic finished the season with averages of 28.4 points, 9.1 rebounds and 8.7 assists while shooting 45.7 percent from the field, including 35.3 percent from deep.
After the Mavs got blown out by the Phoenix Suns in Game 5 of their West semifinals series on Tuesday — a game where Devin Booker mocked Doncic after flopping in order to earn a flagrant foul call on Dorian Finney-Smith — the final MVP voting numbers added insult to injury. Here is how the top-5 panned out:
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- Nikola Jokic (Denver) - 875 points
- Joel Embiid (Philadelphia) - 706 points
- Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee) - 595 points
- Devin Booker (Phoenix) -216 points
- Luka Doncic (Dallas) - 146 points
Booker averaged 26.8 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.8 assists on 46.6 percent from the field, including 38.3 percent from deep, for the 64-win Suns.
Although Booker is certainly worthy of MVP recognition, one could argue that Doncic is more valuable to the Mavs than Booker is to the Suns given the overall talent discrepancy between the two rosters. Dallas has some very talented role players that it has devolved well over the years, but Phoenix has higher-end talent across its roster, including future Hall-of-Fame point guard Chris Paul, Defensive Player of the Year candidate Mikal Bridges and former No. 1 overall pick DeAndre Ayton.
Regardless of who should’ve finished ahead of who, the league is in great hands moving forward with its young talent. Perhaps a rivalry between Doncic’s Mavs and Booker’s Suns will entertain us for years to come… and perhaps these MVP results will give Doncic a little more juice in Game 6 on Thursday as well.