The NBA MVP ladder 2022 consists of the same top three NBA MVP candidates from last year. There are some underrated names that entered the MVP conversation given how well they and their team performed this season, too.

NBA MVP ladder 2022

The NBA MVP race is a tight battle between Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid, and Giannis Antetokounmpo. The remaining week will ultimately decide who will win the NBA MVP trophy. It’s up to these final games which could swing the race if they can put up monstrous performances and will their team to wins.

Here are the updated MVP rankings with a week to go.

5. Devin Booker

The leading scorer on the league’s best team needs to be in the MVP conversation and deserves a spot on the NBA MVP ladder 2022. Devin Booker is currently averaging 26.6 points, 5 rebounds, and 4.9 assists per game on 46% shooting.

His MVP case grew further when he elevated his offensive production during the time Chris Paul was out due to a fractured thumb. In March, Booker averaged 30.1 points, 6.1 assists, and 1.3 steals per game on 53% shooting from the field and 41% from deep.

 
 
 
 

Booker dropped a season-high 49 points against the Nuggets and another 35 points against the Sixers three nights after. The Suns are 10-2 and have won nine games straight during this stretch.

Booker’s counting stats may not be enticing enough compared to Luka Doncic, but that’s just as expected for a scorer like him. He’s not a floor general and the offense isn’t run entirely through him.

Phoenix’s best player has emerged as one of the best scoring guards this season. Yes, he won’t win the MVP award but his outstanding performances for the league’s best team should warrant at least some NBA MVP votes.

4. Jayson Tatum

No other team in the league has turned around as quickly as the Celtics. After a horrendous start to the season, Boston has been firing on all cylinders and has won 33 of their last 44 games. Defensively, they lead the league in defensive rating (106.1), opponent points per game (104.3), and opponent field goal percentage (43%). They are looking to make a deep playoff run.

A huge part of their success should be credited to their star, Jayson Tatum. His isolation scoring is one of the reasons why the Celtics are able to outscore their opponents and close games during the fourth quarter.

Tatum also had his fair share of shooting struggles at the start of the season but he finally found his rhythm. This season, he’s currently averaging 27 points, 8.0 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 1 steal, and 0.6 blocks per game on 45% shooting. Those numbers combined with the Celtics’ record are enticing enough to warrant some MVP votes.

Boston’s incredible turnaround combined with his hot shooting skyrocketed him towards the top of the NBA MVP ladder 2022. If the Celtics cement themselves as the number 1 team in the East, then this could further solidify Tatum’s MVP case.

3. Joel Embiid

After putting up monstrous performances in his healthiest season yet, Joel Embiid finds himself again on the top of the NBA MVP ladder 2022. Embiid picked up right where he left off last season and even increased his numbers this season. He’s currently averaging a career-high 30.2 points, 11.6 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.1 steals, and 1.5 blocks per game on 49% shooting on the floor.

When it comes to scoring anywhere on the floor, Embiid is arguably the best on this list. A huge chunk of his points come from the charity stripe since no one can stop him in the low post. The only thing that can stop him is to foul him. Embiid is averaging 11.8 free-throw attempts per game and he converts 82% of those on the season.

Embiid deserves credit for carrying Philadelphia’s offense throughout the Ben Simmons-less first half of the season and posting a career-best of 31 PER, third in the league.

The only thing that we can nitpick in Embiid’s MVP case is that the Sixers have suffered losses against contending teams such as the Nets, Bucks, Suns, Nuggets, Raptors, and Heat in March.

Even though Embiid has fallen two spots from our previous NBA MVP rankings, his MVP case still stands strong. There are still a few games left on the season and he will look to finish it strong.

2. Giannis Antentokounmpo

For the fourth straight year, Giannis Antetokounmpo lands near the top of the NBA MVP rankings. At age 27, he already has two MVPs, one DPOY, one NBA championship, one Finals MVP, and already surpassed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as Milwaukee’s franchise scoring leader.

The former MVP is currently averaging 30.1 points, 11.6 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 1.1 steals, and 1.4 blocks per game on 55% shooting. He’s one of the top three leading scorers in the league, joining the likes of LeBron James and Joel Embiid.

Even when coming off that championship hangover, Giannis continued to improve as a player. He improved his free-throw shooting (72.1% on 11.5 attempts per game), midrange shooting (43.5% on shots between 16 feet out and the arc), and playmaking (1.74 assists to turnover ratio). His three-point shooting isn’t consistent yet, but he can make 30% of his threes on 3.5 attempts per game.

Apart from being unstoppable on offense, Giannis is also a menace on the defensive end. His defensive impact is what separates him from other NBA MVP candidates on this list. He currently ranks first in the Defensive Player of the Year rankings. Giannis is potentially on pace to win another MVP and DPOY award in the same year.

The only thing that could work against him is the fact that he missed 13 games. Giannis is posting similar numbers to his previous two MVP campaigns and ranks second to Jokic in player efficiency rating and win shares.

Being one of the previous NBA MVP winners, Giannis looks to lead his team to the top of the East in the final few games of the season. They are just three games away to snatch the top spot from the Heat.

1. Nikola Jokic

For the second year in a row, Nikola Jokic leads the NBA MVP race with only a week remaining. We have already run out of superlatives to describe how Jokic is playing this season as he’s putting up ridiculous numbers every night.

The reigning MVP is currently averaging 26.8 points, 13.7 rebounds, 8 assists, 1.4 steals, and 0.9 blocks per game on .58/.34/.81 shooting splits. He leads Denver in all categories—points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks.

Apart from counting stats, Jokic is also leading the league in advanced statistics—player efficiency rating, win shares, real plus-minus, value over replacement player, and many more. His 32.8 player efficiency rating would be the highest mark ever recorded in league history.

But there’s more to statistics that solidifies Jokic’s MVP case. The fact that the Nuggets are sixth in the Western Conference standings without Michael Porter Jr. and Jamal Murray shows how valuable Jokic is to his team. His playmaking translates to winning and is the biggest reason why they have one of the best offenses in the league despite missing two of their stars.

But what about Jokic’s defense? This season, his defense improved considerably with a couple of clutch defensive efforts and game-saving blocks. He’s still far off the level of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid’s defensive impact, but Jokic showed that he isn’t a liability on the defensive end anymore.

Jokic’s monstrous season puts him on pace to win his second consecutive NBA MVP trophy. Whether he wins another or not, he will go down as one of the best draft steals in NBA history.

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3 thoughts on “Updated NBA MVP ladder with less than a week to go in the regular season”

  1. Luka should be on top 5. Jayson Tatum has Jaylen Brown averaging 23.7pts while Luka has Jalen Brunson as second leading scorer with 16.3pts. Boston and Dallas has almost same win-loss record.

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