Denver Nuggets: Ranking Nikola Jokic among the top 5 MVP candidates

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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Denver Nuggets
Julius Randle (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

How Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic ranks in MVP race: #4 Julius Randle

Julius Randle has been very impressive this season, the New York Knicks have made a leap and much of that can be credited to Randle’s improvement. He has improved in every aspect of his game and should be the league leader for the Most Improved Player of the Year Award when you consider where he was last year to where he is now.

Compared to Nikola Jokic, there is not much of a statistical difference between the two. Jokic does lead him in all major statistical categories. He has the nod with 26.4 points per game, 11 rebounds, and 8.7 assists per game. Randle is averaging 23.9 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 6.1 assists.

Randle’s ability to create his own offense while finding good opportunities for his teammates has really unlocked his game. He has doubled his career average in assists, and he is shooting 41 percent from three on almost 6 attempts per game.

While both players are equally as important to their respective team’s offense, the overall success of the Nuggets gives an advantage to the Joker.

Randle does have the Knicks up to the 4th seed in the East and is locked in on the defensive end of the floor. Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau has them playing 90’s style basketball with hard-fought defense and a slow pace which makes Randle’s efficiency that much more impressive.

While it is fun to have a New York Knick in MVP contention, this is not the season Randle will win the award. The Knicks have only won 33 of their 60 games this season, and while they are still a 4 seed, the team and Randle have not been dominant enough to be deserving of MVP.