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Week 4 MVP Ladder: An All-Time Race

While the season is just 4 weeks old, this could be shaping up to be an all-time MVP race. The first month has given us an abundance of great individual performances. Luka, Giannis, Tatum, Mitchell, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander are all playing the best basketball of their lives. Each of the five candidates on my list is averaging over 30.0 PPG on playoff teams. An argument could be made for any of these top 5 guys to be first right now and I wouldn't push back too much. The offensive play in the NBA right now is at an all-time high, and we are lucky enough to be witnessing the greatness. Here is my week 4 NBA MVP Ladder:

Honorable Mentions: Ja Morant, Steph Curry, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

5. Joel Embiid

Season Stats: 32.3 PPG, 10.1 RPG, 4.1 APG, 53.7 FG%, 7-7 Record (4 Games Missed)

Embiid had arguably one of the best individual games in NBA history last night against the Jazz. 59 Points, 11 Rebounds, 8 Assists, and 7 Blocks is one heck of a stat line. The early part of his season has been a little uneven for Embiid, but he is clearly starting to hit his stride, and his team is following. After starting 1-4, Philly has won 6 of 9 even with Harden missing some time. Whether you like it or not, Embiid is elite at getting to the line and basically makes defenders choose between fouling him or just hoping he misses. He is a near unstoppable force in the paint. Without Harden, I wouldn't be surprised if we see some more monster games from Joel that help push his MVP agenda even more.

4. Donovan Mitchell

Season Stats: 31.6 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 6.1 APG, 51.3 FG%, 8-5 Record

Mitchell has only played twice in the last week as he is currently fighting a knee injury. Cleveland has lost 4 in a row, but regardless, Donovan is still playing at an elite level. He is showcasing his world-class scoring ability and improved efficiency which was often scrutinized in Utah. Mitchell is the only player in the league with multiple games with 8 or more threes this year. He is shooting 51.8% from the floor and 43.4% from three, both career highs by a wide margin. Whether those numbers will regress is up in the air, but for now, Mitchell looks as good as anyone in the league. The key to his MVP candidacy is keeping the Cavs towards the top of the Eastern Conference.

3. Giannis Antetokounmpo

Season Stats: 31.8 PPG, 12.2 RPG, 5.3 APG, 54.2 FG%,10-2 Record(Missed 3 games)

Giannis hasn't played since November 7th, and that's really the only thing hurting his MVP campaign. So far he has missed 25% of his teams games. When he's been active, the Greek Freak is still dominating. The Bucks look like one of the best teams in the league and still dont have a healthy Khris Middleton. Giannis is the best player in the world, and will most likely fall victim to voter fatigue. I dont really see Giannis playing himself out of the MVP conversation unless he keeps missing a lot of games.

2. Jayson Tatum

Season Stats: 32.3 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 4.1 APG, 50.0 FG%, 10-3 Record

Outside of Giannis, Tatum has a case for being the best in the world right now. He has been on a heater the last week, scoring 31+ in four straight games. He has led Boston to six wins in a row, and they look like the best team in the league despite the absence of Robert Williams. Tatum has taken his offensive game to the next level due to his increased ability to finish around the rim. He has been on a mission to start the season, and I don't see him slowing down anytime soon. As long as Boston stays toward the top of the East, Tatum is an MVP favorite.

1. Luka Doncic

Season Stats: 34.3 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 8.1 APG, 49.6 FG%, 7-5 Record

I'm not sure how anyone can look at those stats and not see the MVP frontrunner so far. Luka is doing it all for the Mavs and is having an all-time start to the season offensively. Here's a crazy stat for you: Luka Doncic has 10 first quarters with 10/5/5 since 2019. The rest of the league combined has 8. It's a pretty specific stat but goes to show how special he is. Luka is averaging 23.5 shot attempts per game but is showing improved efficiency, shooting 49.6% so far. His playmaking remains elite and Luka passes the ball as well as anyone. I think any NBA fan hopes Dallas can put a competent team around him soon to see what he can do. Luka is my MVP so far.

Stay tuned for my weekly MVP Ladder every Monday morning!


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