NBA MVP Race: Jokic’s Consistency Clinches Third MVP, Top Picks Denied Again

NBA MVP race

Examining noteworthy details and statistics from this season’s NBA MVP race:

Impressive Across the Board

Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets stood out as the sole player to secure top 10 rankings in points (10th), rebounds (4th), and assists (3rd) per game. This remarkable consistency undoubtedly bolstered his case for the MVP title, marking his third win in four years.

Only three other players managed to crack the top 10 in two of these categories. Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks claimed the scoring title and secured the second spot in assists per game. Meanwhile, Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks ranked second in points and sixth in rebounds per game, with Sacramento’s Domantas Sabonis leading in rebounds and ranking sixth in assists.

Top Pick Drought Continues

Victor Wembanyama, last year’s No. 1 draft pick for San Antonio, may be a future MVP contender, but Nikola Jokic’s victory extends a unique streak. For the 11th consecutive year, the MVP honor eluded the top overall draft pick, marking the longest such period in NBA history. The last top pick to win the MVP was LeBron James in 2013.

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Consistent Top Performances

Nikola Jokic joins elite company as the fifth player in NBA history to secure first or second place in MVP voting for at least four consecutive seasons. His wins in 2021, 2022, and 2024, along with a second-place finish in 2023, solidify his status among NBA greats. Bill Russell and Larry Bird lead with six consecutive top-two finishes, followed by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Tim Duncan with four each.

Doncic’s Historic Season

Despite Luka Doncic’s remarkable averages of 33.9 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 9.8 assists per game, unprecedented in NBA history, he fell short of the MVP title. Notably, there have been only 14 previous instances of a player averaging at least 33 points and nine rebounds in a season, resulting in five MVP wins. However, historical dominance doesn’t always guarantee the award, as seen with past legends like Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor, and Rick Barry.

Dominance of Big Men

Nikola Jokic’s win marks the sixth consecutive MVP title for players listed at 6-foot-10 or taller, a first in NBA history. This streak highlights the enduring impact of dominant big men in the league. While guards occasionally break through, the MVP landscape has predominantly favored players with size and versatility.

Giannis’ Voting Streak

Despite receiving only one first-place vote, Giannis Antetokounmpo extends his impressive streak of receiving at least one MVP vote for the sixth consecutive season. This streak rivals LeBron James’ eight-year run and underscores Giannis’ consistent presence among the league’s elite.

LeBron’s Unprecedented Record

LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers failed to secure a single MVP vote this season, marking only the second time in his illustrious 21-year career. This ends a remarkable 19-year streak of MVP votes for James, a testament to his enduring impact on the game. With a potential 20th appearance on the All-NBA team, James continues to set records unmatched by any other player in NBA history.

Complete List of NBA Awards
  • Most Valuable Player: Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets
  • Most Improved Player: Tyrese Maxey, Philadelphia 76ers
  • Rookie of the Year: Victor Wembanyama, San Antonio Spurs
  • Defensive Player of the Year: Rudy Gobert, Minnesota Timberwolves
  • Sixth Man of the Year: Naz Reid, Minnesota Timberwolves
  • Clutch Player of the Year: Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
  • Coach of the Year: Mark Daigneault, Oklahoma City Thunder
  • Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year: Mike Conley, Minnesota Timberwolves
  • Executive of the Year: Brad Stevens, Boston Celtics

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