Lakers’ Austin Reaves says Nikola Jokic should have won MVP over Joel Embiid

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Los Angeles Lakers Austin Reaves says Nikola Jokic should have won MVP over Joel Embiid

Los Angeles Lakers guard Austin Reaves revealed on the “Full Send Podcast” that he believes Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic should have won MVP over Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid.

“I personally thought he should’ve [won]. The way that he plays is so unique for a big man, but obviously, Joel’s really good and dominates the game in just a different facet,” Reaves said.

“It’s just Jokic, I think we were going back to the MVP, I think it was just voter’s fatigue. He won it the last two years. I think that was part of the issue.” Indeed, Jokic could have become the first player since Larry Bird (1984-86) to win three straight MVP awards.

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Nikola Jokic, 28, led the NBA last season in true shooting percentage (70.1%), player efficiency rating (31.5), win shares (14.9), box plus/minus (13), value over replacement player (8.8), and triple-doubles (29).

Meanwhile, Joel Embiid led the league in points per game (33.1), field goals (728), and 2-point field goals (662). In Philadelphia’s 105-98 win over the Utah Jazz on Nov. 13, 2022, the Sixers big man scored a career-high 59 points.

Although Jokic was MVP runner-up in the 2022-23 season, the five-time All-Star went on to win his first NBA Finals MVP and NBA championship. During the offseason, he also won Best NBA Player at the 2023 ESPYS.

Los Angeles Lakers guard Austin Reaves says Denver Nuggets superstar Nikola Jokic should have won MVP over Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid in the 2022-23 season

In 69 starts of the 2022-23 season, Jokic averaged 24.5 points, 11.8 rebounds, a career-high 9.8 assists, 1.3 steals, and 33.7 minutes per game. The eight-year veteran also shot a career-best 63.2% from the floor and 38.3% beyond the arc.

Jokic joined Celtics legend Larry Bird as the only players to average at least 20 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists for a career in NBA history. In Denver’s 94-89 win over the Miami Heat in Game 5 of the 2023 NBA Finals, Jokic became the lowest-drafted player in league history to win Finals MVP.

The five-time All-NBA member was selected 41st overall by the Nuggets in the second round of the 2014 NBA Draft. He passed Dennis Johnson, who was drafted 29th overall in 1979. Joker became only the third second-round pick to win Finals MVP, joining Willis Reed and Johnson.

Additionally, the Nuggets center joined Giannis Antetokounmpo, Dirk Nowitzki, Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, and Hakeem Olajuwon as the only players born overseas to win Finals MVP. Nowitzki and Parker will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame this Saturday.

In 20 appearances of the 2023 NBA Playoffs, Jokic averaged 30 points, 13.5 rebounds, 9.5 assists, 1.1 steals, 1.0 block, and 39.4 minutes per game. He also shot 54.8% from the floor and 46.1% beyond the arc.

Jokic is the first player in NBA history to lead the league in points (600), rebounds (269), and assists (190) in a single postseason. In July 2022, he signed a five-year, $272 million max extension with the Nuggets.

His multi-year contract was the richest deal in NBA history until Jalen Brown inked a five-year, $304 million extension with the Celtics last month.

A number of fans agree with the Los Angeles Lakers guard.

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