Nikola Jokic, Steph Curry, Joel Embiid are NBA MVP finalists

The three finalists for the NBA MVP award this season are Nikola Jokic, Steph Curry and Joel Embiid.

The MVP candidates were announced on Thursday.

Jokic had a banner season for the Denver Nuggets, averaging 26.4 points, 10.8 rebounds and 8.3 assists. He also shot 56.6 percent from the field this season. Jokic tied his career high with 47 points on Jan. 31. And then on Feb. 6, he broke the record, scoring 50 points against the Sacramento Kings.

In forcing his way into the NBA MVP conversation, Curry had a spectacular season for the Golden State Warriors. He averaged a career-high 32 points, 5.5 rebounds and 5.8 assists.

Support for Steph Curry

The future Hall of Famer and two-time MVP, who’s now 33 years old, could be poised to receive the prestigious award again.

Curry is the oldest NBA scoring champion since Chicago Bulls great Michael Jordan in 1997-98. MJ was 34 when he finished No. 1 with 28.7 ppg.

LeBron James thinks Curry deserves the NBA MVP award.

“Everybody counted him out this year,” James said, speaking of Curry, according to USA Today. “Everybody saying, ‘Now that Klay (Thompson) is hurt, can Steph lead a team on his own? What is he going to do? Can he carry a team on his own? Can he carry a team into the postseason?”

King James added: “Can he keep the team afloat?’ He’s done that and more.”

In other words, the Warriors had no shot at reaching the play-in round without Curry.

“If Steph is not on Golden State’s team, then what are we looking at?” James told USA Today. “We get caught up in the records sometimes and who has the best record as opposed to who had the best season that year. Steph has had, in my opinion, the best season all year.”

Big season for Embiid

And how did Embiid perform for the Philadelphia 76ers? His gaudy statistics: 28.5 points, 10.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.4 blocks. With Embiid producing NBA MVP-like numbers this season, the Sixers earned the No. 1 playoff seed in the Eastern Conference.

NBA MVP facts

If Jokic or Embiid wins the MVP award this season, it will be the first time a center receives the accolade since Shaquille O’Neal in 2000.

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