Dallas Mavericks: Where does Luka Doncic stand in the MVP race?

Tyler Watts
Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Dallas Mavericks
Dallas Mavericks Nikola Jokic (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

5.  Nikola Jokic- Denver Nuggets

Deciding on which player deserved the fifth spot was difficult. Jayson Tatum has surged his way into the conversation by averaging 29.9 points, 7.9 rebounds, 1.6 steals, and 1.0 block in his nine games since the All-Star break. He is the trendy name, but still firmly outside the top five.

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Consideration was given to Russell Westbrook and Jimmy Butler, but they missed the cut too. That left Nikola Jokic, Kawhi Leonard, and Anthony Davis as the top names to round out the five. Davis has been incredible on both sides of the ball, but being teammates with LeBron hurts his case to win leaving Kawhi and Jokic as the last two candidates.

The decision could go either way. Jokic is one of only five players in NBA history to average over 20 points, ten rebounds, and 6.5 assists per game for a season. Kawhi is coming off leading the Raptors to a championship and ranks in the top ten in both points and steals per game. The two teams sit second and third in the Western Conference too.

Ultimately, the deciding factor was playing time. Jokic has 14 more games under his belt this season. That broke the virtual tie and gave the nod to the Joker.

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