The reigning NBA MVP is Denver Nugget Nikola Jokić, who is once again in the running this season, posting the sorts of numbers that just cannot be ignored.
However, there are a whole host of other contenders who are hot on the big Serb’s heels, all laying their claim to the hottest individual honour in the sport of basketball.
When the dust settles and all the dunks, three pointers, rebounds, and assists have been tallied, which of these incredible athletes will be declared the NBA’s most valuable player for 2022? That’s what we set out to predict below.
There is an old adage that form is temporary, but class is permanent, and the man known as the Greek Freak oozes class, no matter who his Milwaukee Bucks come up against. Having made a low-key start to the season, he was beginning to garner doubters among NBA betting tipsters and odds makers, but his fans stuck by him. The latter are now being richly rewarded, as Giannis really starts to motor down the regular season stretch – his name once again riding high in the NBA MVP odds lines as a result. The only thing that may hold him back from claiming the MVP crown for a third time is a niggling knee injury, which has hindered both his own progress this season and that of the Bucks. If it heals up, though, the whole league will be put on notice and his odds of becoming the MVP will tumble.
If there was any doubt about Jokić being a worthy MVP winner in 2021 it has been erased by his stunning performances in 2022, with the big man at times looking like he is playing the game in slow motion, his opponents powerless to stop his effortless layups and slick assists. Part of his success this season has been down to a telepathic understanding with teammates such as Aaron Gordon.
His unerring ability to always make the right choice when it comes to going to the rim himself or offering up a clear shot for a teammate is uncanny. At the moment he is being compared to greats such as Wilt Chamberlain and there may well be other stellar comparisons made by media pundits and basketball experts before the season is done. Back-to-back MVP triumphs could well be on the cards.
The NBA is really heating up as franchises bulldoze their way into the business end of the campaign, knowing that it’s now or never
The job that Joel Embiid and his teammates have done in turning around the 76ers is an incredible one, with Phillie fans loving life in the dizzying heights of the Eastern Conference. Embiid continues to get better and better, and at the end of March is topping most peoples’ MVP power rankings.
What has been particularly impressive is his ability to post MVP-worthy numbers in defeat. He recently showed this against the streaking Suns, with the 76ers falling to a loss but not for a lack of trying from Embiid, who came off the court with 37 points and a number of other huge plays at both ends of the court.
He is something of an outside shot, but there can be no doubting the abilities of Jayson Tatum to come with a late run and steal the MVP crown right from under the noses of Jokić and co. For large swathes of this season the Celtics have looked like rolling back the years, to a time when they were one of the most feared franchises in the league. Much of that has had to do with Tatum and his partners in crime like Jaylen Brown.
At a fresh-faced 24-years of age, there is no doubt that Tatum will be competing for MVP honours for years to come and should be heartened by his performances this season, even if he does eventually fall short in the 2022 MVP race.