NUGGETS

Out of nowhere, Nuggets star Nikola Jokic no longer the NBA MVP favorite

Mar 16, 2023, 2:24 PM

What happened to the Nuggets?

Sure, it’s only been four games, but they’ve suffered some ugly losses over the last eight days. They have no business losing to the Bulls or the Spurs, dropped a tight one to the Nets and came out absurdly flat against the Raptors on Tuesday night.

And while Denver stills holds a comfortable lead for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, the oddsmakers appear to be holding the slump against superstar Nikola Jokic. For the first time in a couple of months, Jokic is no longer the favorite to win NBA MVP. The award would be his third straight.

That’s 76ers center Joel Embiid who’s overtaken Jokic in the odds. It’s not by a big margin, but it’s notable. Philadelphia has won six games in a row as they climb up the Eastern Conference standings and try to catch Boston for the No. 2 seed.

But it’s not like Denver’s losing streak has exactly been Jokic’s fault. He’s still averaging a triple-double on the season and has two in his last three games. He went for a ridiculous 37/11/11 against San Antonio and 35/20/11 against Brooklyn. Those are absurd numbers.

Is it fair for Jokic to get punished because Michael Malone and the rest of the team have had a rough few games? I don’t think so, but start to lose, and people will ignore his great play. Voters may look for any excuse to not give him the award a third time in a row.

Maybe this is all the fault of Kendrick Perkins? After all, he started it.

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