Stephen Curry didn’t win MVP. Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic won the most-coveted player-specific hardware the league can offer, and Sixers’ Joel Embiid came in second. Yes, that’s correct — Curry didn’t rank first or second in the final MVP voting.
For the first time in his career, Curry was a finalist for the award without actually winning it. Given how he played down the stretch of the regular season, it’s discouraging that he couldn’t have come away with his third MVP.
The Golden State Warriors weren’t able to surprise Stephen Curry with his third MVP despite the star claiming his second scoring title this past season.
Jokic won the award, and it’s truly quite difficult to build a case against him.
He’s the first center to win the award since Shaquille O’Neal. For Jokic, his Nuggets finished third in the Western Conference, and he ended the season averaging 26.4 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 8.3 assists per game.
Shooting 57 percent from the field while playing in all 72 games as well, Jokic ruled the NBA, but he certainly wasn’t the explosive highlight reel that Curry had proven to be.
While that doesn’t justify potentially giving Curry the award, it does give a glimpse as to why Draymond Green thought Curry should’ve received more love. Curry ended the year as one of just two players to average over 30 points per game.
He was the only one in the league to notch 32 per game. It wasn’t just his scoring, but how he did it.
When the Warriors needed him down the stretch, he delivered, averaging 37 points per game over the Dubs’ last 24. It could’ve been even more impressive had the Warriors not blown out a handful of opponents.
Curry’s 5.3 triples per game were also awing. On top of that, he averaged 5.5 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game.
It was just an incredibly impressive run from Curry. Curry turned a 15-win team into a playoff-caliber side. While they didn’t get in the playoffs, they did finish with the No. 8, losing back-to-back games in the play-in tournament.
Curry transforming the Dubs into a playoff-caliber team is as impressive as Jokic helping lead the Nuggets to a top-three seed.
That said, the committee married the best of both worlds as Embiid has the impact on both ends of the court and his team had the best record in the East. Jokic’s team had a bit worse record yet his offensive numbers were more impressive.
Curry’s scoring was easily the best of the group, but he didn’t manage to have the record on his side which may have ultimately cost him the trophy.