Denver Nuggets: Three reasons why Nikola Jokic isn’t the MVP

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Nikola Jokic deserves to win the 2021-22 NBA Most Valuable Player award. The Denver Nuggets center deserves to go back-to-back with the award because not only has his game grown since last season, he’s winning games for an injury-riddled roster.

But there’s quite a large possibility that he won’t win the award and there are plenty of deserving candidates in the league today.

Joel Embiid is currently the favorite to win with Giannis Antetokounmpo heading the Milwaukee Bucks’ offense and defense, Luka Doncic on a tear after the All-Star break, and both of the Phoenix Suns backcourt players in the conversation after sealing the best record in the NBA.

But writing for Nugg Love, a Denver Nuggets blog, might have slightly impaired my view. My Twitter feed is full of pro-Jokic MVP tweets and I wonder if I was writing for The Sixer Sense, would I think Embiid is a no-brainer MVP? Would it be the same for Behind the Buck Pass?

So I’ve decided to list three reasons why Nikola Jokic shouldn’t be the MVP in the 2021-22 season:

Denver Nuggets: Nikola Jokic doesn’t have the same storyline as other candidates

This past season, Nikola Jokic was the league’s MVP, he had all the respect he deserved and there’s even a cohort of the league who believe the Denver Nuggets could have made a strong title push if at full strength.

With Jamal Murray sidelined for the entire 2021-22 season, the focus was on Jokic, a potential Michael Porter Jr. breakout, and seeing if the team has the right supporting cast around their star Serbian.

Without any realistic title chances this season and everyone’s MVP puff pieces already being published after his first MVP, there isn’t much of a narrative backing for Jokic.

Compare that with Joel Embiid who has an extremely interesting story before he even reached the NBA. Embiid was scouted through the Basketball Without Borders program in Africa and when he did get drafted third overall, it was to The Process-era Philadelphia 76ers who had their own intriguing story.

An MVP trophy in Embiid’s cabinet will give plenty of ammunition to the pro-Sam Hinkie/tanking camp and act as a final note in The Process (a title would be better).

If Giannis wins, it’ll be his third MVP trophy, joining a very short list of players to ever win the award three times. After leading his Bucks to a title in 2021, voters won’t be scared away from underwhelming postseason appearances after his first two MVP seasons.

Chris Paul, the Point God, has never won the MVP trophy in his 17 seasons but has tallied plenty of votes. Despite this, he is once again leading his team to a strong showing in the Western Conference. Awarding him the league’s highest individual honor would be somewhat of a lifetime achievement award as well as a single season one.

A solid storyline should mean nothing when it comes down to ‘value’ in the Most Valuable Player award but it always does. LeBron James has succumbed to narrative plenty of times in his career as voters always lean towards the fun, upstart story.

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