Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry had yet another magical night in their 107-96 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday. Not to be outdone, Denver Nuggets superstar Nikola Jokic put forth an equally magnificent performance in their 139-137 double-overtime victory over the Memphis Grizzlies.
While Curry's incredibly scorching run this April has turned some of the MVP heads his way, Jokic still has a firm grasp on the 2020-21 Maurice Podoloff Trophy. In fact, with his monster outing on Monday, The Joker may have just shut the door on Chef Curry's bid to win his third MVP.
It's hard not to turn the spotlight toward Curry, especially since he has been on an absolute tear over the past month. He once again sent the NBA world into a frenzy on Monday by dropping 49 points and draining 10 3-pointers (again), marking the 21st time he made double-digit 3s in his career and the fourth time in five games. He also made history by extending his 30-point streak to 11 games, which is the most by any player 33 years or older.
Curry's past 11 games have been nothing short of spectacular. Over this stretch, the 33-year-old is averaging 40.0 points while shooting 54.1 percent from the field and 49.7 percent from long distance (while making 7.1 triples a game). This is insane.
Golden State's record will certainly haunt Curry from winning another MVP. But the counter to that is the fact that this Warriors squad is absolutely nothing without him. They're 1-7 without him this season and got obliterated in some of those losses. This could perhaps solidify Curry's claim for MVP.
However, Nikola Jokic also made his MVP case on Monday to match Chef Curry's 49-piece. The Serbian superstar powered the Nuggets to a double-OT win over the surging Grizzlies with 47 points, 15 rebounds, and eight assists. That's as much of an MVP performance as you'll ever see this season, and it's definitely up there with any of Curry's mind-boggling nights over these past 11 games.
Jokic is also as valuable for the Nuggets the same way Curry is for the Dubs. Without their Serbian superstar, there is no way Denver can still compete for a title. They probably wouldn't even make the postseason considering just how much of a load he carries for them on offense.
And it's not as if Jokic hasn't had his foot on the gas pedal the entire season. Jokic has been on point since Day 1 and is the main reason why the Nuggets hold a top-four seed in the bloody Western Conference this deep into the season. Denver struggled out of the gates to open their campaign, and if it wasn't for Jokic's Herculean efforts early on, they probably aren't as high in the standings as they are today.
The man is now averaging a ridiculous 26.4 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 8.8 assists while shooting 56.9 percent from the field and 41.9 percent from 3. His advanced stats are off the charts and at historic levels. He's legitimately having one of the most prolific seasons of all time.
Nikola Jokic won't get the top headlines and talk shows aren't going to open their shows featuring The Joker's dominant night. Stephen Curry is going to get the first segments and majority of the headlines for sure. We also can't forget about Joel Embiid's role in this MVP race.
Still, what Jokic did get on Monday is put a stranglehold on the 2020-21 MVP trophy.