Who is the NBA MVP?

By: Tyler Flowers

The MVP (Most Valuable Player) award, created in 1955, has been given to many of the basketball greats. Although there are about 20 games yet to be played in the 2022-2023 NBA season, there are five main candidates to win MVP: Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid, Luka Donic, Jayson Tatum and Giannis Antetokounmpo. 

After his historic season of leading the Celtics to an NBA finals, Jayson Tatum has become one of the MVP favorites. The four time all-star and two time all-NBA player is averaging 30.6 points, 8.7 rebounds and 4.5 assists through about 60 games this season, making him a front runner for the award.

Jayson Tatum, already a Boston legend, is very well liked in Massachusetts. Junior Zach Connors says, “He [Tatum] has transformed the Celtics and has been a constant performer over the past couple seasons”. 

“His stats always improve every year and this year they have been excellent. At 24 years old he still has many years left and he is the best player on a top 3 team in the league,” adds Junior Bryce Flowers. 

Boston fans hope that Tatum’s on-court dominance will lead to him receiving the MVP award. Sophomore Zachary Bernstein says, “Tatum should win this Award  because he always performs at a constant level and is the best player on the court everytime he plays against the best teams”.

Although many people believe that Tatum should win the award, others say that Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets should win it instead. Brian Martin of NBA.com says,  “He improved nearly across the board from his first MVP season to his second as only his assists per game, 3-point percentage and free throw percentage dropped. He led the league in win shares both seasons and, in his second MVP season, he ranked in the top 12 in points, rebounds, assists, steals and field goal percentage”. 

 Jokic could win the award over Tatum because he does not have as much help on his team and plays well on a constant basis. Dominic Hampton of Nugglove.com says, “In a season where Michael Porter Jr. has not played in a majority of his games this season and Jamal Murray has been trying to knock off the rust after returning from his torn ACL, Jokic has done everything he possibly can to keep the team in check and win games this season”. 

Jokic, the back-to-back reigning MVP, has many people discussing the fact that he is the only player fit for the award. Andre Sellings of ESPN says, “Jokic is the best passing big man of his generation (perhaps of all-time) while simultaneously possessing one of the best, most efficient jump shots of all time, a combo of which allows him to create team-offense and generate spacing that makes life easier on his teammates to a league-best degree”.

With Tatum being one of the youngest candidates in this vote, he must continue his superstar caliber gameplay while also ensuring that the Celtics maintain the top spot in the NBA standings. On the Celtics talk podcast made by Tim MacMahon, Chris Forsberg says, “The Celtics probably have to have the best overall record. If they have the best overall record, putting up 30-plus points per game pretty efficiently, the voters should understand that he is a two-way player. That he’s making an impact on the defensive end of the floor. Then I think he’ll have a legitimate chance”.

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