Tigers make predictions on upcoming NBA MVP

As the NBA’s regular season closes to an end due to the playoffs. It is important to get insight on NBA fans’ predictions on who the 2021-2022 NBA MVP will be. With the top 3 ranked international players in the MVP race—Joel Embiid, Nickola Jokić and Giannis Antetokounmpo—constantly switching within the top 3 rankings, it has been a very tight decision for fans with Embiid being the most dominant center, Jokić being the most efficient center and Antetokounmpo being the most versatile power forward/center in the league. Each has their own factors as to why NBA fans might rank one higher than the other and one lower than the other. Most importantly, their performance and standings at which their team places at also plays a big role with the MVP votings.

Looking over the accolades for the three contenders, Antetokounmpo wins by a long shot. Having won last year’s Finals MVP and two MVP and DPOY within four years is historical. For Jokić, he has only won MVP once, which was last year’s 2020-2021 season. For Embiid, his highest accolade is being an All Star five times. NBA voters wanting to spread history will have to be decisive on who they vote for. For each contender there is a big factor that plays out if they win the award. Antetokounmpo would move up in G.O.A.T discussion, Jokić would win back to back MVP’s and Embiid would win his first ever NBA award being the one most NBA players strive for: NBA Most Valuable Player Award.

Carter Juhl, a senior and starting point guard for the basketball team, suggests that Embiid should be the selected MVP for the 2021-2022 NBA season. “Joel Embiid should definitely be the NBA MVP this season due to how dominant he is. Recently, Embiid has won the scoring title, averaging 30.6 points per game, which makes him the first center since Shaquille O’Neal’s 1999-2000 season to win the title. With that, people still hate on the fact that Embiid leads the NBA in free throws attempted per game at 11.8, even though Giannis Antetokounmpo averages 11.4 and gets no calling out or hatred for it. You can even watch a Philadelphia Sixers game. Whenever Embiid gets the ball in the post, the opponents coach will design a play to double team Embiid due to how dominant he is. Within the three contenders, it’s definitely neck to neck. Seeing and knowing that the NBA voters will want a new NBA star to win the MVP, there is a high probability in my opinion that Embiid wins.” 

Yonas Tesfa, a senior and starting center mid for the soccer team, believes that Jokić wins the MVP award for his efficiency and importance to the game. “Should Jokić win? Of course! His efficiency and numbers he puts up are just unbelievable, especially for a center. He has really changed the whole aspect of the game style and gameplay for a center. Jokić has also made history this year being the first NBA player to record 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 500 assists in a single season. He may not have the scoring ability as Embiid or versatility as Antetokounmpo, but he’s changing the game for the big man’s play style with his offensive playmaking gameplay. The guy nearly averages a triple double as well. Let’s not forget that he is also missing Jamal Murray. A huge and important key piece player for the Denver Nuggets.” Last year, Jokić won MVP for his outstanding playmaking style, which caught NBA MVP voters’ attention. The center’s usual role is to post up and score or be that defensive player that grabs rebounds and blocks shots due to their huge stature. Although Jokić lacks that crazy defensive ability, he stretches out the floor and makes up for it on the offensive side due to his playmaking and agility.

For most NBA fans, Antetokounmpo is favored to win MVP for his versatility and historic run. The historic run is even causing NBA sport analysis to compare him to Lebron James.  Grant Simonson, a senior and starting left back for the soccer team, hopes that Antetokounmpo wins MVP. “Let’s not forget who led their team to the NBA finals and won the Finals MVP last year. The one and only, Greek Freak! As of right now, he is also a top three contender for the DPOY and MVP, so why not make history again and win both again in one season? Antetokounmpo’s game is just remarkable. He is so versatile and shows up on both sides of the floor. He is a monster and gives his opponents struggles whenever he’s on the hardwood. The man is literally on track to be the Greatest Of All Time. He is also the highest out of the three contenders for the team’s seed. Giving him a higher probability of winning another championship and most likely that Finals MVP with it. Looking at his stats as well, he playmakes just as well as Jokić in my opinion. I mean he only averages 1.6 less assists than Jokić. Other than that, Antetokounmpo’s averages more and out beats him in every category.”

The decision for who will win the MVP will be announced sometime in June after the playoffs take place.

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