Nikola Jokic is the reigning NBA MVP having won the award in back to back seasons now. This season, he's making the case for a third straight MVP, but there are concerns that the voters might not want to award Jokic the MVP again due to him winning the previous two seasons. According to Nuggets head coach Michael Malone, that shouldn't have any bearing on the voting as per Mike Singer of the Denver Post.
Michael Malone: If people’s reason for not giving Nikola a third MVP is because he’s already won two in a row, “that’s lazy.”
— Mike Singer (@msinger) January 1, 2023
During the first season that Nikola Jokic won the MVP award in 2020-21, he averaged 26.4 points per game, 10.8 rebounds and 8.3 assists while shooting 56.6 percent from the field and 38.8 percent from the three-point line. The following season in 2021-22, he averaged 27.1 points, 13.8 rebounds and 7.9 assists while shooting 58.3 percent from the field and 33.7 percent from the three-point line.
This season, he is putting up 25.5 points, 10.9 rebounds and 9.5 assists while shooting 61.6 percent from the field and 33.8 percent from the three-point line. His numbers are pretty much in line with what he averaged during his two MVP years but with he's shooting more efficiently from the field and his assists are up. He's currently the best player on the best team in the Western Conference. Coming into Sunday's big clash against the Boston Celtics, the Nuggets are 23-12 and in first place in the West standings.
There have been a quite a few players who have won back to back MVP awards; Giannis Antetokounmpo most recently did so right before Jokic. But that last time a player won three-straight MVP awards was Larry Bird in 1984-86. Prior to that the only other players who have won three-straight MVP's are Wilt Chamberlain from 1965-68 and Bill Russell from 1960-63.