Why Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic deserves MVP votes: 2. Advanced metrics
There is no perfect statistic that encompasses a player’s contributions on the court, but several advanced metrics try to do that as Luka consistently rates as one of the best players in the league. He is fourth in value over replacement player (VOPR) and box score plus-minus. Doncic ranks seventh in player efficiency rating and eighth in FiveThirtyEight’s RAPTOR.
Luka does lead the league in usage percentage, and he is second in assist percentage. He produces numbers that translate to victories. No expert predicted the Mavericks to be a top-five team in the league this season, but Doncic has them there entering the final week.
He trails just the three MVP favorites (Jokic, Giannis, and Embiid) in both VORP and box score plus-minus.
In PER, Jokic, Giannis, and Embiid are the top three followed by LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Trae Young before Luka. The Nets, Hawks, and Lakers are destined for the play-in tournament or lottery, so if winning matters, Doncic should be fourth in MVP voting based off this metric.
RAPTOR has Luka below the big three, Jayson Tatum, Stephen Curry, Fred VanVleet, and Rudy Gobert. It is difficult to make a strong MVP case for any of those players except Tatum and Curry. The Warriors are currently ahead of the Mavericks in the standing, and the Celtics have an identical record. Luka has produced superior counting stats, and the Mavs have exceeded expectations more than the Golden State or Boston.
Factoring in the advanced metrics, Luka Doncic deserves a place on every MVP ballot.