The 2022 NBA MVP race is hotter than ever, suffering a variety of changes every week. We have more candidates for the coveted award and not only four favorites to take it home.
What looked like a race between Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant has turned into a royal rumble with other names like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Nikola Jokic, DeMar DeRozan, and even Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James giving the former Golden State Warriors teammates a run for their money.
As every week, Michael C. Wright of NBA.com gives us an update on the MVP race, and this one, we’ve seen several changes. Giannis Antetokounmpo still leads the pack after stealing the top from Kevin Durant last week. However, we saw more changes in the top 10.
The most interesting thing about this updated ranking is that Stephen Curry fell from the 3rd position to the 5th, being surpassed by Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid, the winner and runner-up of the award last season.
For the Steph superfans, please know that his fall to fifth in this week’s Kia Race to the MVP Ladder doesn’t automatically knock him out of the running for the award. He’s very much in the mix. The problem is Curry is fighting through a significant slump (by his standards), not to mention a bruised quadriceps that knocked him out of Thursday’s loss at New Orleans. Over his last two outings, Curry has averaged 11.5 points on 19.5% shooting, including just 11% from 3-point range. Before the loss at Dallas on Wednesday, the last time Curry finished consecutive games with only one made 3-pointer was on Dec. 6 and Dec. 8 of 2014.
Outside the top 5, Wright also made some changes to the five remainder positions, including players that could climb positions this week if he keeps enchanting fans with his performances.
The Next Five
6. DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls (Last week: No. 8
7. LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers (Last week: Unranked
8. Chris Paul, Phoenix Suns (Last week: No. 6
9. Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz (Last week: No. 5
10. Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies (Last week: Unranked)
DeMar DeRozan, LeBron James, and Ja Morant are having sweet moments right now. Each of them has earned MVP buzz recently, and they’re fairly included on this list. Morant’s Memphis Grizzlies are 4th in the West, and if he keeps playing at a high level, we could see him assaulting the top 5 soon.
DeRozan has shown he’s not washed and can lead the Bulls even without Zach LaVine and Lonzo Ball by his side. LeBron James’ Los Angeles Lakers keep struggling to find consistency, but The King has played a major role in their 6th seed in the West, avoiding the play-in tournament if the regular season finished today.
We have 10 talented players on this list. It wouldn’t be crazy if we see more changes on the top 5 next week. Giannis Antetokounmpo will have two big duels against Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry in the next seven days. He can confirm he’s the best player in the league right now or gives that title to one of his closest pursuers.
This race has gotten a lot more interesting in recent weeks, and we just have to enjoy it and expect that the best player gets the prize once the season is over.