Why Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic deserves MVP votes: 3. Winning team
The MVP has to be based on the best player during that regular season. It cannot be given to the best player in the league at that moment, or it would be handed out before the season began. Fans often make the case the MVP should be the best player on the best team, and the team’s record should matters in the voting.
That argument is a significant part of putting Devin Booker or Ja Morant on the ballot. The Suns and Grizzlies have the two best records in the league, and both men have produced outstanding campaigns, but Luka Doncic has been statically better. The same case never gets made for number 77, though.
The Mavericks are 49-30, which is tied with the Boston Celtics for the fifth-best record in the league. They won both meetings against Boston this season, and Luka has better numbers than Jayson Tatum too.
The three MVP frontrunners are not at the top of the standings. Joel Embiid’s Sixers are tied with Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Bucks at 48-30. They are just 0.5 game back of the Mavericks and could finish higher, but they are not currently there. Nikola Jokic’s Nuggets are two games back of Dallas and are not passing the Mavs in the standings.
If winning matters, Luka Doncic is the best player on a top-five team in the NBA, and he deserves votes. Factoring it out means selecting the best player producing the best numbers whereas Luka also ranks among the unquestioned top five.