ESPN has carried out one of its usual polls to press the opinion of journalists who are usually selected by the NBA to cast the votes for the awards. This time, from the MVP. The 2020/21 season is advancing and there are several candidates who will fight to win the precious award for the most important player of the campaign. The test, led by Tim Bontemps, consults 101 analysts.
Nikola Jokic (Nuggets) is already the outstanding leader. He receives 90 of the first votes out of 101 possible, which prompts him to stay with 969 points. With more than half is Joel Embiid (Sixers), the other big favorite: 401. The current defender of the award, Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks), is third with 375 but without being the first option of any panelist. Damian Lillard (Blazers), with 283, and James Harden (Nets), with 231, they close the top-5. LeBron James (Lakers)Despite not having first votes, he is the last with three digits in votes: 105. Chris Paul (Suns), 7th with 98; Kawhi Leonard (Clippers), 8th with 80; Luka Doncic (Mavericks), 9th with 28; Rudy Gobert (Jazz), 10th with 26.
The Serbian center is marking a spectacular season. He has achieved 15 triple-double games and averages 26’1 points, 10’9 rebounds and 8’8 assists, setting himself apart from his competitors thanks to the leadership he exercises in the Nuggets. He has endured the team in the West during its worst moments and Murray’s absence should bring out the best of him for the last games of the regular season., where this award will end up deciding. The latest injury has taken its toll on Embiid, for which he has missed several games despite the fact that his Sixers dominate the East with an iron fist, and Antetokounmpo is struggling to see himself with worse numbers at the collective level than in the two seasons in which he won the precious trophy.
The Basketball Reference tracker also continues to give Nikola Jokic a wide advantage. He has 52.7% options, ahead of Harden or Antetokounmpo.