The NBA season has ended, and to me it feels like the last two weeks were all about Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant. Which players would make the top five list?
The “NBA MVP Power Rankings” are a weekly article that ranks the top players in the NBA. The rankings are based on statistics, each player’s performance, and how they compare to their peers. Stephen Curry has been ranked as the best player in the league for the last 2 years, but Kevin Durant is catching up to him.
The NBA season is well underway, with most clubs having completed at least ten games. While it is still early to tell, we have a good notion of both leagues’ rankings. In the West, the Golden State Warriors have appeared extremely dominating, while the Brooklyn Nets have been improving with each game. Aside from these two teams, Utah is a top-tier Western Conference squad, while Chicago and Washington have been huge shocks in the East.
But, thus far, which players have stood out the most? Each of the aforementioned clubs has star power and a name that NBA fans quickly recognize. Even though the season is still in its early stages, it’s time to reveal the current MVP rankings. These players have excelled for their clubs and made the most influence on the season so far, whether via offense or on-court leadership. There’s still a lot more basketball to be played, so things might change in a month. However, based on their performance this season, these are the players most likely to win the MVP award.
Joel Embiid (10)
Statistics for 2021-2022: 21.4 PPG, 9.6 RPG, 4.0 APG, 0.9 SPG, 1.4 BPG
Although Joel Embiid has not been at his best statistically this season, he has been a fantastic leader for the Philadelphia 76ers despite the Ben Simmons issue. Despite their second-best player acting out, the 76ers had an 8-5 record, good for fourth place. Embiid has openly said that the team’s chemistry is outstanding, and that the big man is at the center of it. The rest of the squad will follow your top player’s confidence and conviction in the team.
We all know that the runner-up for MVP last season will be back to his dominating self shortly. Embiid is a great scorer, defender, and rebounder, and the caliber of players surrounding him will only make him more lethal. The big man has only played in nine games this season and is averaging 30.0 points per game, but his influence off the court has been enormous for the 76ers.
Zach LaVine (nine)
Statistics for 2021-2022: 25.9 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 4.2 APG, 0.5 SPG, 0.4 BPG
Zach LaVine, one of the league’s most stunning dunkers, has progressed in every element of his game in recent seasons. The shooting guard can score from outside, is quick to the basket, and is now playing like an MVP contender. DeMar DeRozan, LaVine’s teammate, is also deserving of praise for his outstanding performance, but he was the one who joined LaVine’s squad in the summer. Because of Zach, the Bulls had a great foundation to build on when players like Nikola Vucevic and Lonzo Ball joined the club.
LaVine’s 3-point shooting is down (33.8 percent from 41.9 percent), but this is a problem for a number of players right now. Aside from that, LaVine has been a terrific offensive player who will almost certainly lead the Bulls to a top-4 Eastern Conference seeding by the conclusion of the season. Chicago is tied for first place with an 8-3 record, and LaVine’s performance is a big reason for it.
Paul George (number 8)
Featured image courtesy of USA TODAY Sports
Statistics for 2021-2022: 26.7 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 5.4 APG, 2.5 SPG, 0.5 BPG
Paul George’s incredible performance from last season’s playoffs has continued. Last year, the All-Star vowed a return season, and he hasn’t let anybody down until now. George is playing like an MVP candidate, and the Clippers have regained their playoff seeding in the Western Conference. The seven-time All-Star is still one of the top two-way players in the NBA, and even without Kawhi Leonard, the Clippers will be a playoff club.
That doesn’t mean George and the Clippers won’t win anything without Leonard, but they’ll be OK until the two-time Finals MVP returns at full strength. George has been an outstanding leader for Los Angeles this season, and his accomplishments have earned him a berth in the MVP voting.
Rudy Gobert (#7)
Statistics for 2021-2022: 14.6 PPG, 15.9 RPG, 1.0 APG, 1.1 SPG, 1.9 BPG
Even the harshest critics of Rudy Gobert cannot dispute that the Frenchman has been unstoppable in the paint for the Jazz this season. He’s virtually averaging 16 RPG, which is incredible for a guy who has previously been criticized for being too “finesse.” The big guy is also averaging 14.6 points per game and has teamed up with Donovan Mitchell to create a formidable combo. The Jazz are playing at the same level as last year, with an 8-4 record that puts them in third place in the Western Conference.
Rudy has been the most dominating defensive player so far this season. He blocks roughly two shots every game, pulls rebounds from any opponent, and contests shots left and right. The Jazz are one of the most tough teams to play against because of Gobert, and the big man has already earned a position on the MVP Power Rankings after just 12 games.
Giannis Antetokounmpo (#6)
Statistics for 2020-20201: 26.6 PPG, 11.8 RPG, 6.0 APG, 1.1 SPG, 1.8 BPG
As usual, Giannis has been outstanding, and his numbers are as impressive as ever. The Greek Freak has a difficult job in winning league MVP for the third time, but based on what we’ve seen from him in recent years, it’s a distinct possibility. The Bucks have been going through the motions with a 6-6 record while waiting to become totally fit. To be honest, no one is very concerned about them.
In Giannis Antetokounmpo, the reigning NBA champs’ most dominating player, he has shown the capacity to turn it on when it counts most. Even if the Bucks are currently.500, Giannis has been a phenomenal individual talent who continues to demonstrate new aspects of his game each season. Because the five people ahead of him have been dazzling to begin the year, the Greek Freak is looking beyond the top five in the rankings.
Ja Morant is number five.
The Associated Press (AP)
Statistics for 2021-2022: 26.5 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 7.3 APG, 1.7 SPG, 0.3 BPG
Because he is playing like an elite-level superstar, Ja Morant seems to be a certainty for Most Improved Player. With Morant’s improvement, Memphis was projected to be an up-and-coming squad, but they’re already looking like a playoff team. The Grizzlies have a lot of skill, but they’ll only go as far as their star point guard can lead them.
Scores, rebounds, and shooting percentages are all at career highs for the 22-year-old. This season, Morant is shooting 34.5 percent from three, 48.5 percent from the field, and 77.9% from the line. Those stats will work as long as he averages over 26 points per game and plays with greater control this season. Because of his athleticism, Morant has been compared to a young Russell Westbrook, but he is shooting the ball better, which could be a nightmare for opposing players.
Jimmy Butler (#4)
Statistics for 2021-2022: 23.6 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 5.1 APG, 2.1 SPG, 0.4 BPG
Jimmy Butler is the clear captain of the Miami Heat, and his absence has had an impact on the court during the last two games. Butler is Miami’s best all-around scorer, passer, and defender, thus they aren’t nearly as successful without him on the floor. He also plays harder than practically everyone else on the floor. As of now, Butler’s performance on both sides of the floor has helped the Heat to a 7-5 record.
Jimmy is currently nursing an injured ankle, but it should not detract from his MVP hopes to begin the season. His off-court leadership has rubbed off on the team, and everyone has improved their game, especially Tyler Herro, who is averaging 20.9 points per game off the bench. Jimmy has established a culture in the NBA of putting your head down and working hard, earning him a top-four slot in the MVP voting.
Nikola Jokic is number three.
courtesy of USA Today Sports
Statistics for 2021-2022: 25.4 PPG, 13.6 RPG, 5.7 APG, 1.6 SPG, 1.0 BPG
Throughout the season, the gifted center has been near-perfect. So far this season, he’s averaging a monstrous double-double and has carried Denver sans Jamal Murray. Nikola Jokic is the finest big player in the NBA, and his passing and rebounding abilities are unrivaled. The Serbian is an unstoppable force for the Nuggets, and they wouldn’t be where they are without him.
Not to mention the fact that the reigning league MVP is a difficult competitor. Players have been attempting to punk Jokic in recent seasons, and the big man finally had enough this week when he nailed Markief Morris to the ground. Denver will be a major concern if Jamal Murray returns to the floor if Jokic continues to dominate the game and put his physical abilities on the court.
Kevin Durant, No. 2
Statistics for 2021-2022: 29.5 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 5.0 APG, 0.6 SPG, 0.7 BPG
Kevin Durant is back to his best form. Despite the presence of 3-time scoring champion James Harden, the Slim Reaper is the clear greatest player in Brooklyn. While playing alongside Harden should detract from Durant’s numbers, it hasn’t so far, as KD is enjoying one of his finest seasons to date. While Harden is still getting acclimated to not drawing fouls on every possession, Durant has proved that the new rules have had no effect on his game. After all, he’s making 40.4 percent of his three-point attempts and 58.5 percent of his field goals in general.
This year, Brooklyn is a strong contender for the NBA Finals, and Durant is a big reason for it. The Nets are still waiting to see what will happen with Kyrie, but they seem to be dead set on trading him and putting an end to the saga. Kyrie’s absence will not be felt as long as KD continues to play like a top-three player in the league. Durant will be in the MVP competition all year, but he is currently behind Stephen Curry.
Stephen Curry is number one.
Statistics for 2021-2022: 27.7 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 6.1 APG, 1.2 SPG, 0.1 BPG
What more is there to say about Stephen Curry that hasn’t already been said? He is the top shooter in the NBA and the driving force behind his team’s 10-game winning streak. While Klay Thompson’s return will be beneficial, Curry’s scoring (top-5 in the NBA) has powered the team to the best record in the Western Conference. Curry’s name will remain at the top of the MVP standings for the rest of the year if the Warriors keep winning.
Curry will have a genuine opportunity to earn MVP after Klay Thompson returns, as the club will continue to win games. Curry, a two-time MVP, has managed to improve those around him, including Jordan Poole and Gary Payton II, right now. Curry has been the clear MVP in terms of scoring and on-court leadership. Although averaging 27.4 points per game on 38.5 percent three-point shooting is not his greatest season in terms of accuracy, the point guard has been the most responsible player for the club with the best record at this point.
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The “nba mvp voting” is an ongoing process that takes place every year. Every player in the league has a vote, and the top five players with the most votes are named to the All-NBA team. The NBA MVP award is given to the best player of each conference.
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