The anticipation is over: Denver Nuggets center, Nikola Jokić, has been named the 2020-21 NBA MVP, per Shams Charania of the Athletic.
Going into the postseason, talk of this year’s MVP award was extremely saturated. Not just with the prevalence of conversation, but with the number of candidates who truly deserved it. This was a great season for many of the league’s players.
No one had a better year than Nikola Jokić, though. The Serbian averaged a stunning 26.4 PTS, 10.8 TRB, and 8.3 AST. Not to mention his 56.6% FG% with a near 40% 3PT%.
The Difference Between Jokić and the Rest
Jokić put up career-high averages in all three major categories…in the same year. His production was unapparelled, and #Jokić4MVP was trending throughout the season, for great reason.
Jokić’s durability was also to no equal. Of the other major MVP candidates, Jokić is the only one who didn’t miss a single game. In addition to playing through any minor injury that would keep other stars side-lined, Jokić stepped up as a leader.
Denver point guard Jamal Murray went down with an ACL injury in early April that forced him out for this year’s entire season. To fill the leadership void was Jokić. He acts as another coach on the court. Calling out plays and acting as the general to his younger teammates, his leadership and production are what have pushed the young Denver team this far in the NBA playoffs.
Jokić was initially drafted with the 41st pick, making him the lowest draft pick in NBA history to win the award. On top of this, he is also the first Serbian NBA MVP.
The Nuggets are still alive in the playoffs, Jokić could potentially add a Finals MVP to his trophy room. The Nuggets currently stand down 0-1 to the Phoenix Suns. The teams meet again tomorrow, June 9th, at 9:30 PM (EST).
All eyes on the Joker!