Where Joel Embiid ranks in our latest MVP race update


Time for the latest update on the NBA MVP race. In our initial post, we simply listed the candidates, without ordering them in the race. Beginning today, we will rank them from the bottom up.

8. Anthony Davis

Season stats: 22.3 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 3.2 APG, 53.0 FG%, 70.2 FT%, 24.4 PER

Davis has been impressive, especially considering that he has been putting up these numbers while dealing with a handful of nagging injuries. The latest malady for AD is a nagging Achilles, which kept him out for Monday’s game vs OKC.

7. Kawhi Leonard

Season stats: 26.0 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 5.1 APG, 50.4 FG%, 37.6 3FG%, 89.1 FT%, 27.1 PER

The Klaw’s numbers continue to rise — that’s the good news. The bad news: his teammates aren’t following along; the Clippers are 4-4 in their last eight and have dropped to third in the West.

6. Giannis Antetokounmpo

Season stats: 27.3 PPG, 11.1 RPG, 5.6 APG, 55.7 FG%, 61.6 FT%, 27.1 PER

Consider the Greek Freak No. 6 with a bullet – hitting at 27.7/12.3/6.2 while shooting nearly 60% from the floor over his last nine games, leading the Bucks to a 7-2 mark over that span. 

5. Kevin Durant

Season stats: 29.5 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 5.2 APG, 52.9 FG%, 44.9 3FG%, 87.2 FT%, 25.8 PER

It was only a matter of time before something happened like what Durant dealt with over the weekend. After riding in a car maskless with a team employee who ended up testing positive for COVID-19, Durant began last Friday’s game on the bench due to contact tracing, then was allowed to play, then was pulled from the game, and is now in a seven-day quarantine despite testing negative. He makes his return Friday.

4. LeBron James

Season stats: 25.6 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 8.0 APG, 49.7 FG%, 71.5 FT%, 24.3 PER

King James led the Lakers on a 5-2 road trip, which was a Tobias Harris buzzer-beater away from being 6-1. He dropped 46 points on the Cavaliers and played 46:29 in a double-OT win over the Pistons Saturday night.

3. Luka Doncic

Season stats: 27.8 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 9.3 APG, 45.9 FG%, 78.8 FT%, 25.4 PER

Tough to imagine where the Mavericks would be without their young superstar. He averaged 29.2/6.8/8.0 over the last 10 games and his team went 3-7, including a 31-point home loss to the Warriors.

2. Joel Embiid

Season stats: 29.3 PPG, 10.7 RPG, 2.7 APG, 55.3 FG%, 85.0 FT%, 31.3 PER 

Embiid sat out two games over the last two weeks, but he has been virtually unstoppable of late, averaging better than a point for every minute he’s been on the floor over his last eight games (35.3 ppg, 32.6 minutes/game). We shall see how he deals with a minor knee injury, which kept him out for part of the team’s loss to Portland last Thursday.

1. Nikola Jokic

Season stats: 27.5 PPG, 11.5 RPG, 8.5 APG, 56.5 FG%, 84.7 FT%, 31.2 PER 

Jokic has the edge over Embiid here, but not by much. He tied a career high with 47 in a win over Utah on Jan. 31, then topped that with his first career 50-point game Saturday in a loss to the Kings. Tough to keep the top spot, though, if the best you can do is lead your team to a record right around .500.

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