By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
It was a close race, but it was not a surprise. Nikola Jokic is named NBA MVP for the second straight season, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Jokic finished the 2021-22 season with a campaign even stronger than 2020-21 when he captured his first MVP trophy, continuing the international dominance in the award, after two titles for Giannis Antetokounmpo (2019, 2020).
Leading the heavily depleted Nuggets to the sixth seed in the West, Jokic racked up nearly 200 more minutes than second-place finisher Embiid while eclipsing 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, and 500 assists in a single season for the first time in NBA history.
Jokic averaged 38 points over his final four games with 17.5 rebounds and six assists, capping the regular season with 35 points, 16 rebounds, and six assists to go with a season-high five steals. The performance marked Jokic’s first career outing with that stat line, as he became the fifth player in league annals to accomplish that feat, joining the likes of Hakeem Olajuwon, Larry Bird, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and George McGinnis.
Jokic joined Karl Malone as the only two players in NBA history to put together five consecutive double-doubles with 35 points or more, and the Nuggets center topped his previous mark of 16 triple-doubles last season with 19 in 2021-22.
Both Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid were candidates for the award, securing the fact that once more the MVP would be an international player.
Averaging an NBA-best 30.6 points per game with 11.7 rebounds, Joel Embiid became the first center to capture the scoring title since O’Neal in 2000, and blistered opponents for 41 points or more in three of his last four games.
The reigning Finals MVP, Antetokounmpo finished just behind Embiid in scoring (29.9 points per game) and averaged 11.6 rebounds and 5.8 assists to become the first player in NBA history to average 25 points or more, 10-plus rebounds, and five assists or more in four separate seasons.