NBA Playoffs MVP Power Rankings: Young guard trumps MVP winner for first place

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander / Tim Heitman/GettyImages
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On Saturday night, the Dallas Mavericks closed out their second-round matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder in six games. In one of the most impressive comeback displays this season, the Mavericks clawed back from down 17 to defeat the Thunder by one point off of P.J. Washington free throws.

Now that the Mavericks have advanced to the Western Conference Finals, they will be playing the Minnesota Timberwolves who just came off a huge Game 7 win over the defending champion Denver Nuggets. Similarly to the Mavericks, the Timberwolves made a magnificent Game 7 comeback where they were down by 20 points at one point in the second half.

This is the Timberwolves' first Western Conference Finals appearance since the 2003-04 NBA season. 

NBA Playoffs MVP Power Rankings: Young guard trumps MVP winner for first place

In the regular season, the Timberwolves owned the Mavs in the four games they played. The Mavericks only managed to win one game against the Timberwolves throughout the season and that just happened to be the only game Luka Doncic played against Minnesota.

In Doncic’s solo game against the Timberwolves, the Mavs went on to win 115-108. Doncic finished with an impressive 34 points, while Kyrie Irving led the team with 35 points.

The Mavericks have had a tough path to the Western Conference Finals but facing off against the Timberwolves will be their hardest test yet. Dallas will need all of Irving and Doncic’s capabilities, as well as other Mavs role players to have any shot at overthrowing the Timberwolves.

With the second round of the NBA playoffs coming to a close, let’s take a look at how the NBA Playoff MVP ladder would look after every player's second-round performance.

10. Rudy Gobert

Last rank: N/A

Rudy Gobert drew a tough second-round opponent with the Denver Nuggets. Being the main defender on three-time MVP winner Nikola Jokic was no easy task but Gobert proved why he was this season's Defensive Player Of The Year.

9. Jaylen Brown

Last rank: N/A

Jaylen Brown proved his worth after beating the Cleveland Cavaliers in a swift five-game series. Brown finally elevated himself to playoff status and looked like the second star alongside Jayson Tatum.

8. Pascal Siakam

Last rank: N/A

Pascal Siakam became a huge contributor for the Indiana Pacers in their hard-fought seven-game series with the New York Knicks. Siakam arguably displayed his best brand of basketball since his 2019 championship run with the Toronto Raptors. If the Pacers are to have any shot at beating the Boston Celtics, Siakam could give them a slight edge.

7. Anthony Edwards

Last rank: 7

Despite topping the defending champs in seven games, Anthony Edwards has yet to display his full talent for every game in a given playoff series. Edwards has exploded for some big-time performances since the playoffs began in late April, but fans have yet to see the young superstar finish a playoff series without a handful of stinkers sprinkled in. Edwards' defensive matchup against Kyrie Irving is going to be must-watch television, and fans of both teams can't wait to see it.

6. Jayson Tatum

Last rank: 6

Jayson Tatum single-handedly dismantled the Cleveland Cavaliers in five short games. Despite one questionable loss in Game 2, the Celtics finally looked like they could win a championship on the biggest stage.