NBA MVP ladder 2021-22
This year’s NBA MVP race has been tough to predict. Some of the leading candidates have fallen off due to injury, while others continue to rise. But there’s still one half of the season left for them to make their case and prove they’re the best in the league.
With half of the campaign already in the rearview mirror, we can get a better picture of what we can expect from every team and player.
That’s why today, we’re going to share our updated MVP race for the 2021-22 campaign. Who’ll win? Let’s find out.
10. Rudy Gobert
Albeit not the most popular player in the league, and often questioned as to the best defender in the game, Rudy Gobert is a stalwart for the Utah Jazz. He’s anchored their defense for years and continues to be the most dominant rim protector in the Association.
Once again, people doubt whether the Jazz will be able to deliver come playoff time. And, even though Donovan Mitchell is their best player, they’ll only go as far as Gobert can lead their defense. Somehow, he’s still criminally underrated.
9. LeBron James
LeBron James continues to turn back the clock and play like one of the best players in the world. He’s excelled at center without Anthony Davis, enduring the physical burden that comes with it. But there’s only so much a 37-year-old can do.
The Los Angeles Lakers have been one of the most disappointing teams in the NBA this season, which is why LeBron isn’t likely to win the award. Then again, they’d reside near the bottom of the Western Conference if it wasn’t for his contributions. But keep an eye on him in the NBA MVP tracker if the Lakers turn things around.
8. Chris Paul
While his numbers may not be MVP-worthy, Chris Paul once again has the Phoenix Suns near the top of the West. People questioned if he could still play at the highest level or if last year’s success was a fluke, and he’s done enough to silence his critics.
Paul is one of the greatest point guards of all time and the best passer of his generation. Devin Booker gets most of the credit in Phoenix due to his scoring outbursts, but it was Paul who was the one who turned this franchise around in almost no time.
7. Ja Morant
Ja Morant continues to prove that he, not Zion Williamson, was the best prospect in his class. He’s a young leader with a killer mindset and the Memphis Grizzlies look far ahead of schedule right now. He’s reminiscent of a young Allen Iverson.
Morant is fast, athletic, electric, and aggressive. He won’t hesitate or back down from any challenge, and you know he’s looking forward to putting your favorite player on a poster. He’s drawn a lot of praise from the best players in the league as of late.
6. Stephen Curry
Stephen Curry was having a career year to begin the season but he’s fallen off a cliff since the start of 2022. Some claim that his hand injury has taken a toll on his efficiency, as he’s gone ice-cold over the past couple of weeks. That’s why he slid out of the top five in the NBA MVP ladder 2021-22.
Curry is still the greatest shooter in the world, and the Golden State Warriors will only get better with Klay Thompson back. But perhaps he needs a little rest to heal and go back to being the explosive, unstoppable scorer he was at the beginning of the year.
5. Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant could’ve and should’ve ranked higher in the NBA MVP rankings 2022 but he’ll be sidelined for the next 4-6 weeks. A knee injury put an asterisk on what was an MVP-caliber season, leading the Brooklyn Nets night in and night out.
Durant has proven that he’s one of the few players who can come back from any injury as good as always. So, maybe, he’ll be back at the top of the NBA MVP ladder 2021-22 at the end of the season, assuming he can come back soon.
4. DeMar DeRozan
Before the start of the season, analysts deemed DeMar DeRozan as the worst signing of the season. He clearly took things personally, as he’s playing the best basketball of his career and leading the new-look Chicago Bulls to the best record in the Eastern Conference.
DeRozan became the first player to hit back-to-back game-winning three-pointers. He’s been money in the clutch, a willing passer, and even a better defender than most people credit him for. The Bulls aren’t a fluke, they’re real contenders.
3. Joel Embiid
For some reason, people continue to sleep on Joel Embiid. He scored 30 or more in seven straight games, becoming the first Philadelphia 76ers player to do so since some guy named Allen Iverson. He can put up points against the best stoppers on earth, and that’s despite his size and weight.
Embiid is as dominant as they come on both ends of the floor. He dominates the glass, swats shots, and can even hold his own on the perimeter. The Sixers have struggled to find consistency but would be a play-in team at best without Embiid.
2. Nikola Jokic
The Denver Nuggets have had some tough luck with injuries this season. Besides losing Jamal Murray for most of the year, they also lost Michael Porter Jr. COVID-19 and minor ailments have also hurt their locker room, but Nikola Jokic has played his heart out.
Jokic continues to be a triple-double threat and put the Nuggets on his back night in and night out. He’s improved as a defender and is the flashiest playmaker in the league, alongside maybe LaMelo Ball. He’s climbing the NBA MVP race and could win back-to-back awards.
1. Giannis Antetokounmpo
And, once again, Giannis Antetokounmpo sits at the top of the NBA MVP ladder 2021-22. The Milwaukee Bucks are slowly coming together despite the injuries, and most of that credit goes to the Greek Freak. Once again, he leads the team in nearly every major stat.
We’re getting used to watching Giannis drop 30 points with 12 boards, 5 assists, and 2 blocks every night but there’s nothing normal about that. He can play and guard one through five and continues to expand his range as a shooter as well.