With the start of the postseason in a couple of days, the NBA has announced the finalists for all of the 2021 regular season awards. Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid, and Stephen Curry were chosen for the Most Valuable Player of the season.
Take a look at your 2020-21 #KiaMVP finalists…
?? Nikola Jokic
?? Joel Embiid
?? Steph Curry #NBAAwards pic.twitter.com/CsfcHdBSfb
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) May 20, 2021
Two centers are the favorites to win the award and if any of Embiid or Jokic wins they’ll be the first “traditional” big men to be named MVP since Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan in 2004 and 2003 respectively.
Jokic has been the most consistent in the season playing all 72 games and also having a great offensive season with 26.4 points and 8.3 assists per game. His ability to create opportunities for his teammates has been a known skill in the past seasons but the increase in scoring and the Nuggets maintaining themselves at the top teams in the West standings put him in the conversation.
Embiid’s case for the award managed to prevail despite missing 21 games in the course of the season. He had a dominant season at the start of the season averaging 30.2 points and 11.6 rebounds per game before the All-Star break and the injury. In the games, after he returned to the court, he did just enough for the voters to get him in the top3.
As for Curry, the two-time MVP was the primary option for a depleted Golden State Warriors and put on a scoring show after the All-Star Break averaging 34.6 points with 6.0 three-pointers made per game while also getting the team into the play-in conference.
The finalists for the rest of the awards goes as follows
Rookie Of The Year:
LaMelo Ball (Charlotte Hornets)
Anthony Edwards (Minnesota Timberwolves)
Tyrese Haliburton (Sacramento Kings)
Coach Of The Year:
Monty Williams (Phoenix Suns)
Tom Thibodeau (New York Knicks)
Quin Snyder (Utah Jazz)
Most Improved Player:
Julius Randle (New York Knicks)
Jerami Grant (Detroit Pistons)
Michael Porter Jr. (Denver Nuggets)
Sixth Man Of The Year:
Jordan Clarkson (Utah Jazz)
Joe Ingles (Utah Jazz)
Derrick Rose (New York Knicks)
Defensive Player Of The Year:
Rudy Gobert (Utah Jazz)
Ben Simmons (Philadelphia 76ers)
Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors)
The finalists were presented during NBA On TNT preview coverage of the play-in game between the Washington Wizards and the Indiana Pacers.