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Week 8 NBA MVP Ladder: The Beasts of The East

This week has made this MVP race the closest it has been all year. Three Eastern Conference stalwarts are fighting back and forth for the top spot, and each can take it at any given moment. My Week 8 MVP Ladder: :

The Next 5 (In no order): Ja Morant, Zion Williamson, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Anthony Davis, Donovan Mitchell

5. Nikola Jokic

Season Stats: 23.8 PPG, 10.1 RPG, 9.1 APG, 62.0 FG%, 16-10 Record

Imagine averaging a near triple-double and being fifth in the MVP rankings. That's how tough the competition is this year. Jokic is having a great season, one of his best. His efficiency is amongst the best in the league, and he has been scoring at a higher volume recently. The Joker missed a big chance to make an MVP statement when he faced off against Luka and the Mavs last Tuesday. He put up just 19 points in a loss. The Nuggets face the Wizards, Hornets, and Lakers this week, look for Jokic to get hot.

4. Luka Doncic

Season Stats: 32.9 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 8.8 APG, 50.1 FG%, 13-13 Record

Luka's numbers have never waivered throughout the early portion of the season, and they don't look like they will. The Mavericks are using Luka at an alarming rate, one that makes you wonder how he will have anything left if this team even makes the playoffs. He is putting up an efficient 33 points per game, a number that is hard to ignore. However, Luka leads the league in shot attempts and dribbles, which leads you to wonder who else could put these numbers up with a higher usage rate. Regardless, Luka is having an incredible season and is very much in this MVP race.

3. Joel Embiid

Season Stats: 33.4 PPG, 9.8 RPG, 4.8 APG, 53.5 FG%, 14-12 Record

Joel Embiid just had the best week of the season. The 76ers big man averaged 45(!) PPG, 10.3 RPG, and 3.7 APG in three games this week. A couple times a year Embiid makes it look like he's playing 2k, and this was one of them. He has kept Philly afloat as James Harden has made his return to the lineup, and Philadelphia looks primed to vault up the East standings. Embiid now leads the league in scoring, and is doing it extremely efficiently. He has reached Giannis' level of unstoppable, and I have a weird feeling this might be his year. If he keeps putting up these number's, we will have a new number one.

2. Giannis Antetokounmpo

Season Stats: 31.1 PPG, 11.3 RPG, 5.4 APG, 54.1 FG%, 19-7 Record

Giannis had been setting the league on fire until that came to a screeching halt Sunday night in Houston. A strange performance saw Giannis put up just 16 points on 7/17 shooting against a bottom three team. In all honesty, that kept him out of my number one spot. The Greek Freak has his running mate Khris Middleton back in the lineup, and Milwaukee is nipping at Boston's heels for the number one seed in the East. Giannis has been exceptional these last few weeks, and it has largely gone unnoticed. He has a chance to make some noise this week as the Bucks will play the Warriors and Grizzlies back-to-back.

1. Jayson Tatum

Season Stats: 30.0 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 4.0 APG, 47.2 FG%, 21-6 Record

Tatum had a chance to take a big lead in the MVP race this past week, but two subpar performances against Golden State and Phoenix find him clinging to the top spot. Tatum shot under 50% in every game this week as he struggled to find a rhythm. However, we can't lose sight of the bigger picture. JT is the best player on the best team in the league, and up until this week has legitimately looked like the best player in the world. The last six games for Boston have been against Miami(2), Brooklyn, Toronto, Phoenix, and Golden State. He is more prone to these weeks than a big like Giannis or Embiid who don't rely on their mid-range or three point shot as much. I think Tatum will bounce back in a big way this week as the Celtics close out their road trip.

Stay tuned for my weekly MVP Ladder every Monday!


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