Kia MVP Ladder: Nikola Jokic and Luka Doncic both make big moves

Luka Doncic is the one NBA participant to attain 60 factors, 20 rebounds and 10 assists in a single sport.

The calendar flips to 2023 in a few days, but the impasse on the highest of the Kia Race to MVP ladder remains to be stacked up.

What’s one of the simplest ways to begin the brand new 12 months?

“The historical past of the sport is written by the gamers, and it is written once more tonight,” Dallas Mavericks coach Jason Kidd mentioned Tuesday night time after watching famous person Luka Doncic. wow world With one of the best particular person efficiency we have seen to this point this season.

Look, these guys aren’t dropping their historical past pens anytime quickly. Fireworks await in 2023. Particularly when you think about that since Christmas we have already seen 10 completely different 40-point video games. So, it is necessary to notice that irrespective of the place your favourite hopper sits now – excessive or low – on this week’s Kia race to the MVP ladder, it is nonetheless comparatively early within the sport, which implies everybody nonetheless has an opportunity. Battle to carry on to that Michael Jordan trophy as soon as it is all mentioned and achieved.

Doncic is testomony to this sense. Everyone knows the numbers from Tuesday’s 126-121 Dallas win over the New York Knicks. The Slovenian sensation achieved an unprecedented stat streak within the NBA (60 factors, 21 rebounds and 10 assists).

Luka Doncic erupted with a historic triple-double (60 factors, 21 rebounds, 10 assists) because the Mavs cruised to beat the Knicks in additional time.

However ignore the flashy numbers and simply skim what was revealed over the last 33.9 seconds of regulation and additional time to see how Doncic obtained again into the highest 5 of this week’s version of Kia Race to the MVP Ladder.

9 factors down with 33.9 factors left in regulation, the Mavericks launched into a 10-3 run and trailed by three when Doncic walked to the free throw line with 4.2 seconds left. The purpose guard hit the primary free throw to chop the deficit to 2, then intentionally fouled the subsequent. Miraculously, Doncic got here down with a unfastened ball that he missed throughout a mad scramble, rapidly turning it over once more as he fell to the bottom for a Bucket hook sport With one second left in regulation.

Doncic carried the Mavericks house from there, getting seven of the staff’s 11 factors within the additional interval.

Along with breaking Dirk Nowitzki’s franchise mark for factors in a sport, Doncic tied James Harden’s document (set January 30, 2018) for the very best triple-double in NBA historical past whereas setting a brand new profession excessive for rebounds in scoring. Seventh trio of the season.

Pondering Basketball’s Ben Taylor breaks down how Luka Doncic outplayed the Knicks protection.

Previous to Doncic’s historic and heroic night time, NBA groups owned a document of 0-13,884 over the previous 20 seasons when trailing by not less than 9 factors with 35 seconds or much less remaining.

“This child does not give up,” Kidd mentioned.

Nobody else on this record, now led by two-time MVP Nikola Jokic, has calmly held the Denver Nuggets to a tie with New Orleans for the primary time within the Western Convention. Doncic scores a third-place end within the Kia Race to MVP Ladder, whereas Boston’s Jayson Tatum strikes up a gap to second.

Kevin Durant and Giannis Antetokounmpo spherical out the highest 5.

However let’s preserve it at 100: At this level, you may current a stable MVP standing to each participant ranked within the high 5, possibly even decrease.

And now, the highest 5 locations in Kia’s 2022-23 race to MVP ladder:

1. Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets

Final week’s rating: Quantity 2

Season stats: 25.7 ppg, 10.8 rpg, 9.4 apg

Get his “Joker”. The fourth sport of 40 factors, and the second in his final three video games as Denver’s five-game successful streak ended Wednesday night time in Sacramento within the second sport of a straight set. Performed by Don Jamal Murray, Bruce Brown, Aaron Gordon and Jeff Inexperienced, the Nuggets fell behind by a 19-point lead that evaporated, main the staff to wrestle for the primary time within the season after they shot higher than 57% from the ground. . In 31 video games, Jokic has led Denver to 21 of his 22 wins, scoring 24 double-doubles and 7 triple-doubles to maintain the Nuggets tied with the New Orleans Pelicans for first place within the West after Thursday’s slate of video games.

Nikola Jokic celebrates Christmas with a win over Phoenix and one other big stat streak: 41 factors, 15 assists and 15 rebounds.

2. Jason Tatum, Boston Celtics

Final week’s rating: Quantity 3

Season stats: 31.0 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 4.0 apg

Boston received 4-3 of their ultimate seven-game house run, which included 4 straight wins capped by Tatum and Jaylen Brown every scoring 29 factors in Thursday’s victory over the Los Angeles Clippers. Tatum’s profession best-of-six-game profession ending with 30 or extra factors ended Thursday, however the 24-year-old managed to go Antoine Walker for the second-most three-pointers in Boston franchise historical past (940). Tatum The final six matches He was a sight to behold, as he performed a key position in protecting the Celtics on the high of the Jap Convention standings. Boston is off to a four-game highway journey beginning Sunday in Denver.

3. Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks

Final week’s rating: T7

Season stats: 33.7 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 8.9 apg

Doncic dropped 50 and 60 factors respectively in two of his earlier three performances earlier than main the league. Eighth triple double (35 factors, 12 rebounds and 13 assists) in Thursday’s 129-114 win over the Houston Rockets, which gave Dallas its fifth straight win. Over this span, Doncic averaged 40.4 factors per sport (on 58% taking pictures) together with 11.8 rebounds and 10.4 assists per sport. For a lot of the season, the Mavericks hovered round . 500, which undercut Doncic’s different numbers considerably. However the staff is now 20-16 and fifth within the Western Convention largely on the energy of Doncic’s constant dominance. The principle concern is whether or not Doncic can sustain with the manufacturing.

Luka Doncic follows his historic 60-point triple-double by scoring 35 triple-double factors in 34 minutes.

4. Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets

Final week’s rating: No. 4

Season stats: 29.9 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 5.4 apg

Durant ought to sneak into the highest three quickly. He helped the most popular NBA staff win its tenth straight Wednesday, which works down because the league’s longest successful streak at any level this season. This newest win got here attributable to Durant and Kyrie Irving accumulating 54 factors in a victory over the Atlanta Hawks. Durant staggered off a 26 double-double factors, dropping 16 rebounds (his highest complete since December 2016). Did we point out that Durant additionally contributed to a pair of blocks? Sure, No. 7 is tied for seventh within the NBA in complete blocks (52). So, it is secure to say that he will get it achieved on each ends of the ground as captain of a staff that has received 14 of the final 15 competitions.

Kevin Durant completed with 26 factors to guide Brooklyn to its tenth consecutive win.

5. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks

Final week’s rating: No. 1

Season stats: 31.7 ppg, 11.6 rpg, 5.2 apg

Antetokounmpo had his second 40-20-5 efficiency on Wednesday, tying a season-high in factors (45) whereas scoring a season-high in rebounds (22). The efficiency was the 28-year-old’s sixth 40-point lead of the season. But it surely seems like Milwaukee is heading within the fallacious route, after shedding 4 in a row, together with Wednesday’s 119-113 defeat by the struggling Chicago Bulls. It needs to be famous that Antetokounmpo performed that sport – which the Bucks led by as many as 15 factors within the fourth quarter – with out Jrue Vacation (non-Covid sickness) and Khris Middleton (left knee ache). Having misplaced 42 or extra factors in three of their final 5 video games, Antetokounmpo possible will not keep within the high 5 for lengthy – offered Milwaukee will get again to its successful methods.

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored a season-high 45 factors and grabbed 1 level with 20 rebounds in an additional time loss to Chicago.

The next 5:

6. Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers (Final week’s rating: T-7)
7. Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans (Final week’s rating: No. 6)
8. Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies (Final week’s rating: No. 5)
9. Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics (Final week’s rating: Unranked)
10. Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers (Final week’s rating: No. 9)

And 5 extra (in alphabetical order): Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns; Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors; Shay Gilgos Alexander, Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder; Julius Randle, New York Knicks; Domantas Sabonis, Sacramento Kings.

* * *
Michael C. Wright is a senior author for You possibly can e-mail him right hereDiscover his archive right here and comply with him Twitter.

The views on this web page don’t essentially mirror the views of the NBA, its golf equipment or Warner Bros. Discovery Sports activities.

Leave a Comment