The NBA MVP award has a lot of value in being vague and generic, but it also fails to accurately present the truly most valuable players, and too often skews toward a specific mold of player. This is because according to many, only those who are in the limelight are often given the chance to own the title, but how about those players who are truly deserving but are on the other side of the string?
True or not and all areas considered, here are the Top 10 MVP hopefuls this 2021.
TOP 6 – 10 are:
10 – Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz
9 – Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks
8 – Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls
7 – DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls
6 – Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat
And Now, for the Top 1 – 5 spots we have:
5. Chris Paul, Phoenix Suns
Paul and the Suns started out the week knocking off a red-hot Warriors team with the veteran point guard putting up 15 points and 11 assists to go with five steals. Paul followed that up Thursday with a 12-point, 12-assist night with two steals as the Suns – playing without leading scorer Devin Booker – defeated the Detroit Pistons to capture a franchise-record 18th consecutive win. The victory marked just the sixth time in NBA history a team finished a full calendar month undefeated. Best believe Paul had a lot to do with that.
4. Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets
Jokic returned to an undermanned Denver squad after missing four games due to injury on Monday to help the Nuggets snap a six-game losing streak with a win over a Miami team playing without Jimmy Butler. Then, Jokic and the Nuggets suffered their seventh loss in eight games with a 108-103 setback Wednesday at Orlando. Jokic shot a season-low 37% from the field in the loss to the Magic. Denver’s injury situation remains one of the worst in the league, and it doesn’t appear to be improving anytime soon. So, it’s on Jokic to continue to carry this team.
3. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
Averaged 29.4 points, 12.6 rebounds and 6.0 assists during Milwaukee’s eight-game winning streak, which was snapped Thursday by the Toronto Raptors as Antetokounmpo sat out due to a sore right calf. The last time Antetokounmpo played was Wednesday against Charlotte and he scored 40 points on 15 of 24 from the field to improve the Bucks to 7-1 when he scores 30 points or more. Antetokounmpo has posted a double-double in each of the last three games he’s played, and Milwaukee remains undefeated (10-0) when he’s on the floor with both Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday.
2. Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets
Durant still leads the league in scoring, despite ranking just 10th in field goal attempts per game (19.2), and was named alongside Curry as a Kia NBA Player of the Month for October and November. Even more impressive is the fact that Durant is shooting a career-high 53.9% from the field. But there are concerns about Durant’s heavy workload, as his 35.8 minutes per game are the most since 2015-16, his final season in Oklahoma City. Durant played 40:30 on Tuesday against the Knicks. “It’s not ideal to have him have such a burden,” Nets coach Steve Nash said.
1. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
It’s official: Curry watch is on, as we await the Warriors guard surpassing Ray Allen as the NBA’s all-time leader in 3-pointers made. Curry struggled in Golden State’s loss Tuesday at Phoenix, but you’ve got to give credit to the Suns’ defenders and the coaching staff for executing a solid plan for slowing down the crafty sharpshooter. Curry enters Friday’s rematch against the Suns ranked second in scoring, first in 3-pointers made (108) and first in free-throw percentage (94.3). The Warriors own the NBA’s best home record (11-0) and have won their last 10 games at Chase Center.
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