The discussion surrounding the NBA MVP race has gotten toxic in recent weeks, with pundits and fans throwing inane arguments at the wall for their favored candidate just to see what sticks. Even then, Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green is trying to swing the pendulum back towards the opposite direction by expressing his opinion over what looks to be a three-horse race for the MVP between Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid, and Giannis Antetokounmpo.
While it has been trendy to rag on Jokic and the Denver Nuggets for a variety of reasons (Jokic's questionable defense, Jokic's “stat-padding”, racial bias, and their uninspiring results as of late), the Warriors forward gave a reasonable enough explanation for why he is favoring Embiid and Antetokounmpo over the reigning two-time MVP.
“Joel Embiid and Giannis Antetokounmpo is who I believe the MVP race has come down to. [Nikola Jokic], incredible year, [but] as of late he's slipped and those guys have continued to ascend. As of late the Denver Nuggets have slipped and those two teams have ascended,” Green said in the latest episode of his podcast, The Draymond Green Show, per NBC Sports Bay Area.
The Warriors' longtime defensive anchor then dove even deeper as to why he thinks that Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid has overtaken Nikola Jokic after being in the Nuggets star's shadow in the MVP race for so long.
“Right now in the MVP race, I think it's Joel. I think it's Joel's award to lose. I think the way he loses that award is his team starts losing. Joel's going to put up Joel numbers, Joel going to do what Joel has been doing. It's Joel's award to lose,” Green added. “Joel should get his first MVP this year. I don't expect Philly to hit some crazy losing streak. And be that they won't do that, it should be Joel's to lose.”
Of course, the players' entire body of work for the 2022-23 campaign matters in the MVP voting, not just the past few weeks. Taking that into account, it's clear that the MVP race will come down to the wire. But with prominent names such as Warriors forward Draymond Green making one case after another for Joel Embiid, Nikola Jokic's MVP streak could very well come to an end.