NBA Week 12: Nikola Jokic Claims First Spot in MVP Debate

NBA Week 12: Nikola Jokic Claims First Spot in MVP Debate

In a shocking turn of events, LeBron James may be put out of the MVP Discussion due to an ankle injury

It turns out that Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James isn’t indestructible after all. During L.A.’s matchup with the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday afternoon, James was forced to leave the game after twisting his ankle during the second quarter. While trying to secure a loose ball, Hawks forward Solomon Hill fell on top of James’ right ankle and James fell to the floor in pain. 

After the initial MRI, it has been verified that LeBron James will be out for several weeks at the very least. Meanwhile, the already crippled Los Angeles Lakers without Anthony Davis will have to play their next 30 games without LeBron James as well while trying to maintain their seeding in the playoffs.

Nikola Jokic’s Case for MVP

At 25-17, the Denver Nuggets are currently amongst the middle of the pack in the NBA’s Western Conference. With only 30 games left to play, the Nuggets need to sharpen up and get locked in for the last stretch of play. Should the Nuggets hunker down, and put their best foot forward, it could yield a top seed in the playoffs and a possible MVP trophy for Nikola Jokic.

The Joker is averaging 27 points, 11.2 rebounds, and 8.6 assists per contest and has single-handily kept the Nuggets season alive on numerous occasions. There is no question that Jokic has been one of the top players in the league this season, but the team’s overall success at the end of the year might be the overall deciding factor in who will be named league MVP.

Competitors Gunning for MVP

Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers has also put together a compelling case. Additionally, household names like Giannis Antetokounmpo and James Harden have also entered the MVP conversation, but for the moment, they appear to have an outside chance for a variety of reasons. Harden’s decision to join a super team in Brooklyn makes it hard to put his success above Jokic or Lillard. Giannis has won the last two, and while he’s been great this season, he will need to really transform into a more elite version of himself down the stretch to win the award for a third straight year.

Lamelo Ball Potentially Out for Season

Meanwhile, the Rookie of the Year front runner Lamelo Ball may be facing the same fate as well – he is expected to miss the remainder of the season with a fractured right wrist, sources told ESPN.

The rookie of the year candidate has been averaging 15.9 points and garnered praises from greats such as Michael Jordan and LeBron James. His team Charlotte Hornets is currently standing 8th seed in the east conference with Lamelo leading the charge.

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