The NBA never disappoints when it comes to star power and excitement. The league has consistently raised the bar every year, keeping fans locked into their favorite teams and players. A major attraction this season will be the 2021-22 MVP race.
If players can remain healthy, it should be a fascinating competition, so why not make an early NB MVP winner prediction?
Two different groups of NBA players have what it takes to win the award. It’s the old guys and the young. For the past three years, the prize has been won by the younger group. Nikola Jokic, the 2021 reigning MVP, and Giannis Antetokounmpo won the other two back-to-back years before him.
Another player that fits in the group of young players who can potentially win the award is Dallas Mavericks magician Luka Doncic. Lastly, there is Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid, who finished second in MVP voting last season. These four are likely to be in the race every year, mainly because of their dominant numbers.
The thing that could eliminate The Joker and The Greek Freak is voters fatigue. Both players can put up outstanding numbers, but it’s hard to see real growth in their game. The reason Embiid could be left behind is injuries. The superstar center always seems to miss some action, which was the biggest reason he took second place in the MVP race last year. The youngest of the bunch, Doncic, could end up a runner-up because his team might not win enough games.
Last year Jokic averaged 26.4 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 8.3 assists, en route to the MVP award. Antetokounmpo recorded 28.1, 11.0 rebounds, and 5.9 assists, Doncic 27.7 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 8.6 assists, and Joel Embiid finished the year with 28.5 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 2.8 assists.
Then we have the older candidates: Golden State Warriors sharpshooter Stephen Curry, Brooklyn Nets scorer supreme Kevin Durant, and Los Angeles Lakers do-it-all icon LeBron James. All three of these future Hall of Fame players have won the NBA’s regular-season MVP award. The only thing that could keep these juggernauts out of the race is health.
James only appeared in 45 regular-season games while Durant suited up for 35. Being part of loaded teams could mean fewer minutes for both because winning the NBA Finals is the ultimate goal. Still, it would be no surprise if one of these two won MVP.
Last season the scoring champion Curry averaged 32.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 5.8 assists. Durant registered 26.9 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 5.6 assists, while James put together 25.0 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 7.8 assists per game.
No, Curry isn’t forgotten in the MVP picture. Curry is who is most likely to win the prestigious regular-season award. With his Warriors getting key pieces, Klay Thompson, and James Wiseman back in the lineup, the Bay Area’s team is expected to be in the playoffs. It’s not Curry’s health that can stop him from winning the award for the third time. It’s his teammates.
Curry’s 32.0 points per game was a career-best. It shows there are no signs of him declining anytime soon. It actually shows he’s getting better with age. If that indication is accurate, Curry will end up the 2021-22 regular season MVP.