Hello Smash Fans and welcome back to this week’s installment! In today’s article, we are going to cover my preseason MVP ladder in the NBA. Before we launch into my list we are going to need to address the criteria. Usually, to win MVP, a player needs to have three levels of success. They need statistical success, they need team success, and they need to have a successful narrative. With this in mind, let’s get into it
5: Luca Doncic.
I think that Luca does have a shot at winning the MVP, but it’s really not that high, I just don’t see his team success being there. His team is good but are they better than the Lakers, the Nuggets, the Jazz, the Warriors, or Portland? No. Because of the lack of talent around Luca, it makes it really hard for him to be taken seriously as an MVP candidate. However, if Porzingis and one other person were to get injured for the majority of the year and Luca was still able to will them to a 5th seed, then he could propel himself into the conversation.
4: Damian Lillard.
Damien Lilard has pretty much the same issue that Luca has. The Portland Trailblazers just are not good enough. So it will take the same miraculous “I’m gonna carry this team through injuries and make sure we are in playoff contention” for him to be in serious MVP conversations.
3b: Joel Embiid.
Regardless of whatever happens with Ben Simmons, the 76ers will be fine in the regular season. A line up with or without Ben Simions is still good enough to get a top 3 seed. However, the problem with Embiid’s case is that the 76ers are labeled as chokers which is going to hurt his MVP chances. The most valuable player does take into acount past narratives and that is going to be what stops him from winning MVP.
3a: Jimmy Butler.
Jimmy Butler is a very likable guy and I think his love for grit and grind is starting to catch on and people really respect what he does. With that being said, he team’s success will be up in the air. The Heat could be as high as two or even a one seat this coming year, but they could also be a 6th seed. However, I do believe the Heat will be really good next year and I believe that with this new success he’s going to have to be considered for MVP. I think with a candidate pool full of players with an MVP or tainted by a narrative Jimmy Butler has the opportunity to burst on the scene and really become one of the front runners for the award. However, I think the fact that he’s not quite a superstar is going to hold him back from actually winning the award.
Number 2: Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Giannis broke the stigma of not being a playoff performer last year. Giannis is also one of the most likeable guys in the NBA and everybody has fallen for his story, and rightfully so. Who could not love the story of a poor kid from Greece who came from nothing and has made a life for himself as probably the best player in the NBA currently? A person who is well on his way to be one of the best players of all time? With that being said, I think that voter fatigue is still going to exist from the other two MVPs. I don’t see it inhibiting him from winning the MVP, however, it’s gonna be harder for him to do so. And I believe there is one person who is going to have just as good of a statistical season as his, but has a better narrative.
1: Stephen Curry.
I have faith that the Warriors are going to be a top 4 seed. I think the narrative of the Warriors being back to championship contention is going to help Steph a lot next year. Additionally, the NBA is a place where comeback stories are loved and this year is a redemption story for Klay and for Draymond. Furthermore, a lot of people wanted to give the MVP to Steph Curry last year, and this year is going to be their chance to do that. I believe that Steph Curry will have as good of if not a better statical season than he did last year. So overall, I would strongly recommend that you put this man at the top of your MVP ladder.
You thought we were done, but now I have a Darkhorse candidate for you all. I believe a person who’s going to be in real contention for the MVP trophy is Jayson Tatum. He’s only been getting better every year, his team is going to be better next year, and if all the chips fall in the right places, the Celtics could be the 4 seed. Furthermore, he has the narrative of being the best young player in his conference and could even become the new hot player in all of sports. I think these two factors are going to help propel him into serious MVP conversations. However, I still believe he’s one step away from actually wining the award
Thank you Smash Fans for sticking with me until the end. If you want to talk about this topic or any other topic sports-related, please email me or text me using the information on the contact page. If you want to support me even more, please consider following my Spotify as well as subscribing to my youtube channel and blog for weekly podcasts and articles. Until next time, PD Smash signing off.