Where does Nikola Jokic rank in latest NBA MVP ladder?

Denver Nuggets v Oklahoma City Thunder
Denver Nuggets v Oklahoma City Thunder / Joshua Gateley/GettyImages

The latest Kia NBA MVP ladder was released on NBA.com Friday morning, and after another impressive week, Nikola Jokic has held strong atop the list. The Nuggets’ big man has held the lead now for six straight weeks, and he’s led the ladder for 10 weeks overall this season.

The only other player to top the rankings this year has been Joel Embiid, the 76ers center and reigning MVP, who led the way from week 7 to week 14 before succumbing to a meniscus injury. Embiid hasn’t played since January, and won’t meet the 65 games played threshold to be eligible for postseason awards like Most Valuable Player.

Jokic pulling away

Jokic, the two-time winner of the award, is squarely in the driver's seat now with 18 games remaining on the Nuggets’ schedule. On the season, the Joker is averaging 26 points, 12.3 rebounds, and 9.2 assists per game. 

Denver is 8-1 since the All-Star break and they just beat the team with the league’s best record, Boston, behind a 32-point triple-double from Big Honey. On top of that, the brilliant Serbian big man has incredibly only missed two games this entire season and has his team in prime position to secure the number one seed in the Western Conference for the second straight season.

The top 5

After Jokic, the rest of the top 5 held true for the third week in a row. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of the Thunder is in second, Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Bucks is in third, Jayson Tatum of the Celtics sits in fourth, and Luka Doncic of the Mavericks holds the fifth spot.

The top 3 of Jokic, SGA, and Giannis have held those spots for five consecutive weeks now with no end in sight. At this point, it would take something pretty spectacular for anything to change and somebody to actually surpass Nikola.

This would be a third MVP award in four years for the 29-year-old, who somehow still seems to be getting better. That would put the Joker in elite all-time company as he’d become just the 9th player to win the award three times. He’d join the list of Hall-of-Famers (and one future HOFer), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Russell, Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, LeBron James, Moses Malone, Larry Bird, and Magic Johnson.