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 start out 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 evening after watching celebrity Luka Doncic. wow world With the most effective 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 totally different 40-point video games. So, it is essential to notice that regardless 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 recreation, which implies everybody nonetheless has an opportunity. Struggle to carry on to that Michael Jordan trophy as soon as it is all mentioned and performed.
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).
However ignore the flashy numbers and simply skim what was revealed over the last 33.9 seconds of regulation and time beyond regulation 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, shortly turning it over once more as he fell to the bottom for a Bucket hook recreation With one second left in regulation.
Doncic carried the Mavericks residence from there, getting seven of the group’s 11 factors within the additional interval.
Along with breaking Dirk Nowitzki’s franchise mark for factors in a recreation, Doncic tied James Harden’s document (set January 30, 2018) for the best triple-double in NBA historical past whereas setting a brand new profession excessive for rebounds in scoring. Seventh trio of the season.
Previous to Doncic’s historic and heroic evening, NBA groups owned a document of 0-13,884 over the previous 20 seasons when trailing by a minimum of 9 factors with 35 seconds or much less remaining.
“This child does not give up,” Kidd mentioned.
Nobody else on this checklist, 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 hold it at 100: At this level, you possibly can current a stable MVP standing to each participant ranked within the prime 5, perhaps 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 recreation of 40 factors, and the second in his final three video games as Denver’s five-game successful streak ended Wednesday evening in Sacramento within the second recreation 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 group to battle for the primary time within the season once 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.
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 remaining seven-game residence 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 move 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 retaining the Celtics on the prime of the Japanese Convention standings. Boston is off to a four-game highway journey beginning Sunday in Denver.
3. Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks
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 recreation (on 58% capturing) together with 11.8 rebounds and 10.4 assists per recreation. For a lot of the season, the Mavericks hovered round . 500, which undercut Doncic’s different numbers considerably. However the group is now 20-16 and fifth within the Western Convention largely on the power of Doncic’s constant dominance. The primary concern is whether or not Doncic can sustain with the manufacturing.
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 well liked NBA group 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 as a consequence of Durant and Kyrie Irving gathering 54 factors in a victory over the Atlanta Hawks. Durant staggered off a 26 double-double factors, dropping 16 rebounds (his highest whole 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 whole blocks (52). So, it is protected to say that he will get it performed on each ends of the ground as captain of a group that has received 14 of the final 15 competitions.
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. However Milwaukee seems to be heading within the flawed route, after dropping 4 straight, together with Wednesday’s 119-113 defeat by the struggling Chicago Bulls. It must be famous that Antetokounmpo performed that recreation – which the Bucks led by as many as 15 factors within the fourth quarter – with out Jrue Vacation (non-Covid illness) and Khris Middleton (left knee ache). Having misplaced 42 or extra factors in three of their final 5 video games, Antetokounmpo seemingly will not keep within the prime 5 for lengthy – offered Milwaukee will get again to its successful methods.
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.
The views on this web page don’t essentially mirror the views of the NBA, its golf equipment, or Warner Bros. Discovery Sports activities.