2021 NBA MVP Race Rankings

With less than two weeks left in the 2021 NBA season, it’s time to delegate MVP honors. Here are my rankings updated as frequently as I can. The games will go on, players will play, some will compete to the very end. Let’s get to the 2021 NBA MVP Race Rankings!

2021 NBA MVP Race Rankings

2020-2021 season (as of 5/11/21)

  • 26.4 PPG
  • 10.8 RPG
  • 8.5 APG
  • 56.6 % FG
Week of 5/10/21 (This week: #1 | Last week #1)

The Joker had a pretty average week compared to his regular-season averages. Last week’s four games brought us 29.3 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 7.5 assists. The twist here is that the Nuggets cooled off after their 9-1 streak and looking good despite losing Jamal Murray. If we really wanted to be petty here the Nuggets schedule was a tad bit tougher last week. They lost to the Lakers, Jazz, and Nets. Now that isn’t solely on Jokic’s shoulders as MAYBE Jamal Murray is a little bit important? That’s all just a question but nothing here says that Jokic has a significant decline this week. He’s still my front-runner pick for MVP but I’m slowly creating an idea that if this race is so close let’s enjoy it until the end of the season. The Nuggets are most likely seeding in the top four at this rate and no higher than the 3rd seed in the Western Conference at this rate.

Last week’s input

Denver has all right to be excited about heading into the playoffs. Well, let me take that back because losing Jamal Murray to a season-ending injury isn’t fun. However, I believe that the Denver Nuggets could be just as competitive without Murray. It is Nikola Jokic and his play right now that is responsible for the Nuggets’ success. You remove him from this team and it’s highly difficult to see the Nuggets winning anything over 50 games this season.

Jokic moves up to the number one spot. The Nuggets are 9-1 in their last 10 games and on a five-game win streak before facing the Lakers on Monday night, May 3rd, 2021. The key focus here is that WITHOUT Jamal Murray the Nuggets are still 9-1. Based on the law of averages and the rest of the games, Jokic is flirting with history. He could top Wilt Chamberlain’s record for most assist per game by a center in a single season. Denver is only three games behind Phoenix and Utah for the West’s top spot. You have to think if the Nuggets keep it up could Joker lock in his MVP if the Nuggets finish at the 1st seed? 


2020-2021 season (as of 5/11/21)

  • 29.2 PPG
  • 10.7 RPG
  • 2.9 APG
  • 51.6 % FG
Week of 5/10/21 (Last week: #2 | This week: #2)

The biggest factor here is that the 76ers are also winners of 8 straight games. The 76ers are winning against inferior teams without question. Out of their four remaining games of the season, they face Orlando twice, Miami, and Indiana. Safe to stay the 76ers COULD march their way into the playoffs with a double-digit win streak. They’ve increased their 1st seed lead by 3 games as of 5/11/21. This is all too close to be good true. Who will have the biggest campaign to win MVP? That’s the biggest question to sway the voters. The good news is Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets aren’t creeping up for the NBA’s best record and time is running out. Maybe we flip a coin and say best team record out of Denver and Philadelphia decides the MVP award this year?

Last week’s input

The 76ers are struggling to stay as the number one team in the Eastern Conference. That’s not the fault entirely of Joel Embiid’s however. The Bucks helped cooled off the Nets this past weekend by defeating Brooklyn. Now we have to determine because Ben Simmons can be considered Defensive Player of the Year do we penalize Embiid’s MVP bid? I’m a fan of the Embiid MVP campaign this year but Jokic is just proving that even down his running mate Jamal Murray he’s still worthy enough to keep the team afloat.

In a year where the MVP race is so close, I think we have to truly evaluate what are the key factors each of these candidates brings to the table? There are pros and cons to each situation and Embiid’s looks favorable more than anyone else besides Jokic’s. We’re ignoring that Embiid also could lead the 76ers to the best record in the Eastern Conference and quite possibly the best record in the NBA. All to be determined but at this rate, Embiid or Joker are the clear-cut top 2 favorites.



2020-2021 season (as of 5/11/21)

  • 16.2 PPG
  • 4.2 RPG
  • 8.9 APG
  • 49.2 % FG
Week of 5/10/21 (Last week: #3 | This week: #3)

He stays put in the 3rd spot for sure. I can’t see anyone else moving this far up instantly although someone in Milwaukee makes me wonder a tad bit if I should have added him here this week. However, CP3 stays put as the Suns are finding their way to potentially the best record in the league. If we want to reward winning this is the best pick for third place. It pains me to say this over the rest of the field though. CP3 is still the key factor of Phoenix jumping ahead of the rest of the Western Conference except Utah. With the field so close and all great arguments for the MVP contenders, we have to nitpick something. If Giannis gave us a late push and the Bucks surged to the top then, we have a grueling debate of who could be in the third spot this week. However, that’s not the case as the Bucks are probably at best the 2nd seed with four games remaining in the season.

Last week’s input

Chris Paul is 35 years old and somehow has made his way to the MVP conversation in a season where arguably the above-mentioned could win or hell even CP3. That’s the beauty of this season that Paul is included in the conversation. Now is he the absolute BEST player on the team? Devin Booker says HELLO! This is the issue with the MVP voting. There are no true criteria or “rule book”. Stephen A. Smith has made a campaign in the national media to consider Paul as the MVP. Many others will follow along to generate some Paul hype.

Furthermore, Paul gets the third spot because in comparison to Jokic and Embiid he’s a huge key but not the main presence on the floor like either of them. The Suns are leading the Western Conference as I write this and I have to consider CP3 in the top 3. It is hard to believe the Suns would be this successful without him as well. Also, if you’re curious, is he making Booker THAT much better? You decide for yourself but Booker seems to be settling in the normal start of a peak for someone with star potential at his age, in my opinion.


2021 NBA MVP Race Rankings Honorable Mentions

Giannis Antetokounmpo
This guy is surely growing up. Almost to the point where I want to see him in the Eastern Conference Finals against Kevin Durant and the Nets. For a second I thought the Bucks and Giannis would flop in last week’s Tuesday night match-up. He follows up a 49 point night with 36 points and 12 rebounds to beat the Nets for the second time in a row. Ok, so the Nets without James Harden isn’t much to brag about but the regular season flex gives confidence to the upcoming Greek Freak. Add in Harden and this series will come down to Offense vs Defense. Who wins that one? I might pick the Bucks shhh…

Damian Lillard
I want to respect the Trailblazers and Dame Dolla is a likable guy. However, when it comes to battling in the Western Conference they are just pretenders to me. HOWEVER, a huge win against the Lakers last Friday helped them stay above murky waters of the Play-in Tournament. Lillard’s 38 points, 7 assists, and shooting 67-percent helped the Blazers sit a little more comfortably at the 6th see in the Western Conference. Thus, keeping the Lakers on their toes and possibly having to play extra games to even get in the playoffs!

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