Tuesday, November 29 2022

For the second consecutive season, Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic is the NBA MVP, a person with knowledge confirmed to USA TODAY Sports.

The person requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the award until it was officially announced.

Jokic edged out Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid and Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo for the award. Based on voters who made their ballot public, it started to become clear Jokic was headed for his second MVP honor.

A formal announcement is expected Wednesday. While results have not been released, it was expected to be a close contest between the three players.

There will be hand-wringing over this season’s winner. There is a contingent of voters and fans who believe Embiid should have received his first MVP this season. And there’s a case for Antetokounmpo winning his third MVP. But Embiid and the Sixers were most vocal about his case.

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Nuggets center Nikola Jokic averaged 27.1 points this season.Nuggets center Nikola Jokic averaged 27.1 points this season.

Nuggets center Nikola Jokic averaged 27.1 points this season.

The Nuggets were 48-34 and in sixth place in the West but played the almost entire season without Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr., and Jokic still led them to 48 victories.

Jokic averaged 27.1 points, 13.8 rebounds and 7.9 assists while shooting 58.3% from the field. The Nuggets were tremendous offensively with Jokic on the court, scoring 117.3 points per 100 possessions and steady defensively, allowing 108.9 points per 100 possessions. Jokic also posted the highest player efficiency rating – a measurement of a player’s positive and negative contributions — in league history at 32.85, according to basketball-reference.com.

For comparison:

The Sixers were 51-31, played a season in turmoil with the Ben Simmons situation and Embiid averaged a league best 30.6 points, 11.7 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.1 steals while shooting 49.9% from the field and 37.7% on 3-pointers. The Sixers scored 115.6 points and allowed 107.8 points per 100 possessions with Embiid on the court, and his PER was 31.2.

The Bucks were also 51-31 and Antetokounmpo averaged 29.9 points, 11.6 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 1.4 blocks and 1.1 steals while shooting 55.3% from the field. The Bucks scored 115.9 points and allowed 107.9 points per 100 possessions with Antetokounmpo on the court, and his PER was 32.1.

ESPN first reported the news.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Nikola Jokic, Nuggets center, to win back-to-back NBA MVP award

Source: Yahoo Sports

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