If you claim to be sure of who should be the best player in the NBA at this point, more power to you. Personally – and I don’t think I’m alone here – I change my mind almost every night. The league’s talent pool has never been deeper at the top, and these massive performances have become such standard practice that it’s hard to even put them in perspective anymore. I dare say we all take it for granted.
Yet here we are (or should I say, here are the electors, of whom I am not), charged with the next to impossible duty of separating these candidates from the top of the nutritional list by means of the thinnest of threads. It’s like trying to decide who gets into Stanford or Harvard. Each of these kids has a genius GPA and an SAT score to moon ball.
As it happens, we have our own acronyms in the NBA, and the guy who sits again at the top of the damn near each one of them is where I’d start. Entering play on Wednesday, January 11th, here it is very Fluid MVP Rankings.
- Caesars Sportsbook Odds: +325
PER (Player Efficiency Rating). VORP (Value Excess of Alternative Operator). WS (Win by Participation). BPM (plus/minus box). RAPTOR (Powerful Algorithm (Using) Player Tracking (and) On/Off Ratings!) WAR, TOTAL RAPTOR AND RAPTOR DEFENSE. No matter how you feel about the NBA nerd move, being primarily No. 1 across the advanced stats board is, again, no coincidence. Jokic’s value to his team is still off the charts. (Yes, I know that applies to everyone else on this list as well, but Jokic stands a little above the rest.)
Jokic — who has the second-shortest odds for a MVP on the Caesars plate right now, behind Luka Doncic — leads the league with 54.7 front-court touches per game. For reference, Doncic averages 33.9 touches per game. Does this mean that Jokic controls more property? No, but that means he doesn’t hold the ball for long, which enables him to get multiple touches per possession. This is why Denver’s offense is flowing so well. Jokic is the pivot, but he only holds the ball for an average of 4.4 seconds per possession, while Doncic controls it for nearly 10 seconds per possession.
This isn’t a hit on Doncic, who is everything for Doncic Mavericks Both because it’s incredible and because they don’t have any other ways to create a consistent attack, while Jokic works with NuggetsChampionship caliber roster with Jamaal Murray returning to the fold and Aaron Gordon, who has blossomed into an All-Star since joining Jokic.
However, this Denver roster doesn’t look so hot without Jokic doing it all, dropping more than 25 points per 100 possessions when he’s not on the floor, in Cleaning the Glass. In other words, when Jokic plays, Denver is running an offensive rating that would rank as the best in history. When he sits down, they have the worst offense in the league.
And it’s not just an insult. Jokic’s defense has steadily strengthened over the past few seasons, to the point where he’s now the anchor of a formidable unit in saving the Nuggets an extra 3.9 points per 100 possessions when measured against a league average defender. (This is called Defensive Box Plus/Minus, and yes, Jokic leads the category, too.)
Oh, by the way, the Nuggets are also tied for first in the West, so Jokic, who is half an assist per game shy of an average triple-double, doesn’t have to meet the hefty burden of proving he did last season when he won his second straight MVP award. Despite the Nuggets finishing as the No. 6 seed. If Denver stays at the top of the standings and Jokic continues to play this way, he should become the first player in the league with three shutouts since Larry Bird in the mid-1980s.
Two classes of advanced stats that Jokic does not rule over are the Basketball Reviewer’s Offensive Win Stats (OWS) and the Raptor’s offensive 538. Luca, the best man of the match according to Caesar at the moment, tops those. He is second to Gokic in almost all the others. Doncic leads the league in scoring with 34.2 points per game, and his 61-20-10 triple-goal streak—the first such streak in NBA history—is still fresh in everyone’s mind.
Doncic recorded three 50-plus games during the last week of December, and so far in January he’s gone 39-34 and 43-11-7 on Tuesday night against the Clippers, albeit in a loss. Most impressively, Doncic has the Mavericks, with nothing close to a second All-Star (all respect to Christian Wood, who was obviously great) as a top-four center in the West as of this writing.
There is tremendous value here on the recently injured Durant, and if he comes back in a month and picks up where he left off, and especially if he is networks Take out the top seed in the East, and he’ll be one of the favorites at the end. Unfortunately, I don’t see Durant filling that position in the short term during an absence, but he’s been so exceptional this season that you could make a case that he should be at the top of this list at this moment.
Again, the margins here are small. Durant shoots 57 percent on seven mid-range shots per game this season. It’s 56 percent overall with a true shooting ratio of 0.637—a mark that includes 38 percent of the 3 and nearly 80 percent clipped at the edge.
These numbers, in the diet of hotly contested looks that Durant essentially lives on, are nuts. Durant has also been the driving force behind Brooklyn’s Top 10 defense. His effort never falters defensively. He makes the second and third attempts every time he’s in a position to do so. It guards tightly on the perimeter. Spins. Protects the edge. Moves between tasks smoothly. He’s as close to defensively smooth as he is offensively, which is obviously saying a lot.
Brooklyn’s season has completely turned around. This is amazing He is the Nets team everyone envisioned when Durant came aboard. He’s always made that kind of effort, but now, at least for the time being, he has the drama-free in-season support he deserves, and the Nets seem like a top-tier contender because of that.
MVP of the best team in the league all season. If you have Tatum in the top three on this list, or even the top, you have a sobering argument. Tatum averages 30-plus games and scores 124.3 points per 100 shot attempts, per Cleaning the Glass, which is by far the most efficient mark of his career.
Tatum just put up a 29-14-10 triple-double against Dallas last week and did a great defensive job on Doncic. Tatum is in the right place in his career where he is at or near the peak of his skill level but is also young enough that he has something to prove every night. Tatum plays as hard as anyone else. He’s chasing a title. He’s chasing the best player. It has risen to the ranks of the game’s elite but still lacks hardware with a similar stature. It makes him even hungrier for something close enough to taste.
Giannis is less than two weeks away from becoming the first player since Wilt Chamberlain to record two consecutive games of 40 points and 20 rebounds, and followed that up with a career-high 55 points in the win over wizards last Tuesday. Giannis averages huge numbers again, but despite scoring close to 32 points per game, he doesn’t quite have the same offensive impact as the other players on this list.
That’s a huge handicap to point out given the seasons Jokic, Doncic, Durant, and Tatum have had, but that’s the deal in an MVP race this tight. the dollars She’s a half-court offense in the bottom 10, and the middle-draw shot used by Antetokounmpo last season, just to watch her go down this season, indicates that (44 percent from 10-to-19 feet last season, 34 percent this season, per the NBA. com). The Bucks have lost six of their last 10.
Still in the race
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