Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid MVP debate ignites social media as Nuggets star reportedly set to win award | WSN

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Social media reacted Monday to reports indicating that Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic is set to take home his second straight NBA MVP award.

While the official voting results have yet to be announced, ESPN first reported that Jokic would be named MVP over Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid and Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo.

The Nuggets center was the first player in NBA history to eclipse 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 500 assists in a season. He averaged 27.1 points, 13.8 rebounds and 7.9 assists and guided the team to the playoffs despite missing two key teammates, Jamal Murry, and Michael Porter Jr.

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Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets looks on during the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on March 26, 2022 at the Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado.

Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets looks on during the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on March 26, 2022 at the Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado.
(Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images)

“It’s just remarkable what he’s done,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said recently of the 7-footer. “I know that I’m very biased, I admit it wholeheartedly — the MVP isn’t even a competition.”

Embiid on the other hand averaged 30.6 points per game during the regular season and won his first NBA scoring title. Unlike the Nuggets, the 76ers are also still in the thick of the NBA playoffs, though the MVP is a regular-season award.

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid reacts after a dunk during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets, Monday, Jan. 3, 2022, in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid reacts after a dunk during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets, Monday, Jan. 3, 2022, in Philadelphia.
(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

NUGGETS’ NIKOLA JOKIC SET TO JOIN NBA LEGENDS WITH BACK-TO-BACK MVP AWARDS

Social media weighed in on the MVP debate, with many believing that Embiid should have won. 

While many, especially those in Philadelphia, believe that Embiid should have won, Jokic’s stats during the regular season made a great case for him winning back-to-back MVP awards. 

Jokic led the Nuggets in scoring, rebounding, assists, steals and blocked shots last season. He was practically a one-man show, as he commanded the team to a 48-34 record and sixth-place finish in the west. The team lost in the first round to the Golden State Warriors. 

Jokic led the NBA in traditional stat categories like total rebounds (1,019), while also leading in advanced stats. He led in player efficiency rating (PER) with 32.8. Jokic led in Box Plus/Minus (13.7), Offensive Box Plus/Minus (9.2), Defensive Box Plus/Minus (4.5) and Value Over Replacement Player (9.8).

Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors hugs Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets after Game Five of the Western Conference First Round NBA Playoffs at Chase Center on April 27, 2022 in San Francisco, California.

Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors hugs Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets after Game Five of the Western Conference First Round NBA Playoffs at Chase Center on April 27, 2022 in San Francisco, California.
(Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The analytical categories attempt to estimate just how much a player contributes to their team during each possession.

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With those stats and Jokic’s importance to his team in mind, others on social media felt the Nuggets star deserved to win his second MVP award.

Jokic is set to join the list of previous back-to-back MVP award winners that includes Antetokounmpo, Stephen Curry, LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Steve Nash, Tim Duncan, Magic Johnson, Moses Malone and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. 

Both James and Abdul-Jabbar completed the feat twice. 

Fox News’ Ryan Gaydos contributed to this report

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