Analyst Kenny “The Jet” Smith explains why Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic is currently not the favorite to win the MVP honors.
Nikola Jokic has been playing some incredible basketball for the past 3-4 years now. The Serbian big man even won his first MVP honors last campaign dropping 26.4 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 8.3 assists per game, while leading the Denver Nuggets to the 3rd best record in the league.
The Joker picked up this season, right where he left off the previous one. In the 17 games he has played so far, the 26-year-old is averaging 26.1 points, 13.6 rebounds, and 6.4 assists, with a solid +/- of +8.9 per game. With a 34.52 PER, Jokic is having the best Player Efficiency Rating in NBA/ABA history.
To put into perspective, the gap between Jokic’s current season’s PER and Giannis’ 2019-2020 season’s PER (2nd All-time) is 2.66. Whereas, the gap between the 2nd position and the 40th position (Jordan’s 1995-1996 season) is 2.51.
However, despite having a historically efficient season, analysts and enthusiasts have Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, and Giannis Antetokounmpo winning the prestigious honor. In fact, in the recent-most MVP ladder, Jokic was ranked 4th, falling down a position from last week
“Denver Nuggets were winning last year, Nikola Jokic got his rewards. This season, they’re not winning”: Kenny Smith
Analyst Kenny Smith is one of the many who doesn’t have Jokic as his top contender for the MVP award. “The Jet” blames the Nuggets for being a losing team for the same. Recently, as he spoke to TMZ Sports, he said:
“They’re not winning. Best record in the league, best players in the league get the rewards. It was the same way with him last year. They were the best team, he got the rewards. Steph Curry gotta get the love right now. Him (Curry) and Durant and Chris Paul.”
“His (Nikola Jokic) season’s great but his team is not playing well and they haven’t hit their peak yet.”
Kenny then gave his advice to Nikola Jokic to strengthen his case for the MVP race.
“Stay healthy, win games, and you get MVP awards. That’s how it works. You play the whole season, your team wins, we’ll be screaming your name.”
Currently, the Nuggets are a .500 team 7th in the Western Conference with an 11-11 record. They have lost their last 7 out of 10 games, and with Jamal Murray, and Michael Porter Jr. sidelined indefinitely, things look a bit difficult for Michael Malone’s boys.