NBA's MVP for 2021: Fun facts and why you need to bet on them
The NBA MVP 2021 has always been the most prestigious award for individual players. The 2021-22 NBA season has early standouts so far which would make out the landscape of how the MVP ladder would look like by the end of every season.
Seasons like LeBron James’ 2013 MVP run and Jordan’s NBA MVP campaign for a whole stretch during the 90s were some of the most memorable NBA years. The MVP of the league is considered the best player during the season, and the amazing part about it is that everything is taken into account when judging who it is.
2021 is no different as a few players have already run their campaigns and showed why they are fit to become the MVPs. Just like the MVP of the NBA 2021, this season’s MVP can be anyone who has done spectacularly so far in the year.
While the best rookies NBA 2021 can be MVPs, it’s also unlikely for them to win an NBA MVP award since they are too young to be considered. Here are the talking points of how an MVP is chosen and who the early candidates are so far into the season.
How the league chooses an MVP
The way the MVP is chosen is that a group of organisation heads, executives, and notable analysts and journalists get to pick who the best player is by the end of the season. The NBA MVP odds are so dynamic that it’s hard to choose which player should be awarded.
The award will only cover the plays and stats that ensued during the regular season of the NBA. The award used to be given by the end of the regular season and an MVP is crowned during the first few games of the second round. Now, the MVP awardee will be announced by the end of the regular season and postseason entirely.
There are different factors that people look for when choosing an MVP, and this is by no means the official mandate of the NBA or any equivalent to it:
• The overall stats
Players who have impressive stats will be given the MVP of their respective seasons. The usual stat judges of the MVP race look at are the points scored per game, rebounds and assists.
However, some would allude to the regular season record of their respective teams as a qualifier to one’s MVP season. Most MVPs are winners of their conferences in terms of team standings where the win records go for as high as 60.
Regardless, the numbers matter when picking the MVP and it’s going to factor into the voting a lot, especially when there aren't a lot of criteria to go around.
Sometimes, the narrative of a particular MVP season is what will factor the winner of the award. For instance, the 2017 season witnessed Russell Westbrook average a triple double which landed him the award despite being the 6th seed of his conference.
Another would be Derrick Rose who did not have the same numbers as his contemporaries like LeBron James and Kevin Durant. However, because he was an emerging star and would become the youngest player to ever win the MVP trophy, then the award went to him.
Sometimes, an incredible season is dwarfed by the narrative of the player who is also doing spectacularly, and the media will look at that rather than the stat sheets that most prudent judges would look into instead.
The NBA MVP odds 2022 may look different depending on how the story changes by next year, and it’s only going to make it harder for fans to speculate who the real most valuable player is this season.
• The eye-test
The eye test simply becomes a metric and how you see a player flourish is what determines the MVP. While it’s not the most accurate metric, when you see the likes of Shaquille O’Neal who clearly dominated during his time or Kobe Bryant’s 81 point game, the MVP award tends to gravitate towards flashy players.
• MVP voters getting bored of the same player winning every year
Sometimes, a player is too dominant and wins the MVP award for multiple seasons consecutively. This causes the votings to shift to the next best player to add a bit of flavour to the roster of MVPs winning the trophy.
Sadly, the NBA MVP award is simply a popularity contest where players must not fall victim to disinterested fans who want another MVP to be crowned. A famous example of this was when Jordan wasn’t given the MVP award and had to go to Charles Barkley and Karl Malone because he already won the previous two MVPs.
While the NBA is fair at times, especially with its rules and regulations for free agency, the MVP award has always been shrouded with doubts and questions as to how the award is given.
Who are the best picks for the NBA MVP?
There are so many players who have surged to become one of the emerging stars in the league, and a few familiar names who have returned to the conversation of being the best players in the world.
The NBA MVP betting odds 2021 in the past season changed drastically by season’s end since there have been notable standouts so far during the first few games of the season. Around 30 games into the season, there are quite a few players who have shown dominance.
In the 2021-22 season, the likes of LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Steph Curry are still dominating the league and they have been the best players for a long time. The NBA MVP may be players you are expecting to win it, and these names may be familiar to you if you’ve been tuning in on the NBA since the past decade.
Last year, the Warriors were a sub-par team that almost didn’t reach the top 8 seed but were lucky enough to have a play-in tournament and prove to the conference that they are still a formidable team due to Curry.
They got beat by LeBron’s Lakers in the first play-in tournament game which forced them to go head-to-head against the Memphis Grizzlies. Many believed that they would win the matchup, but after an overtime comeback by Ja Morant and Memphis, the Warriors were out of the playoff picture.
Curry that season was incredible, but he never got the MVP he deserved because he was out of the playoff picture. This year, the story is quite different. The Warriors are the number one seed of the Western Conference with an outstanding 21-5 record to start, and they are on pace to win at least 66 wins.
Just like his previous MVP seasons, he too had a lot of three pointers made which places him within the top five of all-time three pointers made. He has time and time again beat his own records from the three-point line and is not looking to slow down anytime soon.
The Warriors are blessed with youth and great talent as Golden State continues to punish teams that slack off on the defensive side. In fact, they even have a defensive player of the year NBA 2021 in Draymond Green.
While these are all happening, they are still missing the services of both Klay Thompson and Jame Wiseman. These two players are paramount in both the Warriors’ offence and defence and will greatly improve the roster once both come back.
Kevin Durant for the last three years had one of the worst seasons in terms of teammates and injuries. While the seven footer is still an elite player and an offensive talent who can score anywhere on the court, Durant has had a lot of great teammates. Unfortunately, they either miss games for personal reasons (Kyrie Irving), or have injuries affecting his star contemporaries like James Harden.
The Nets after the Kyrie situation are forced to put Patty Mills, an acquisition they successfully had in the off-season from the Spurs, to the starting lineup. While their record is still favourable in the Eastern Conference–being the number one seed in, the Nets’ offence is simply not the same without Irving.
To make matters worse, Harden is struggling shooting the ball because of his overreliance on the free throw line.
The new NBA rule was implemented that relinquished the frequency of calling fouls that are apparent in intention to draw calls– a tactic most offensive players use to get to the free throw line and generate shots. Harden has since struggled to produce his usual offensive production only scoring a measly 20.8 points per game despite scoring over 30 points in Houston.
On the brighter side, Durant has been incredibly efficient and amazing in the field which explains their somewhat good record in the Eastern Conference. Currently ranking the number one seed, the Nets are still in the playoff picture despite their big holes to fill this season.
This, however, doesn’t take away from Durant who is still an incredible player and he deserves the recognition of becoming an NBA MVP.
Some NBA fans were surprised when the answer to their question ‘who is the MVP of the NBA 2021’ came out differently. Nikola Jokic was awarded the MVP of the past season. If you look at the advanced analytics, he is on pace to have one of the greatest seasons ever in the history of the game.
If you’re wondering who has the best record in the NBA 2021, the Nuggets are unfortunately not the answer as the Suns are having a spectacular season so far.
Part of Denver’s struggles is the fact that most of Jokic’s teammates are injured like Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. While the Nuggets are keeping things afloat in the Western Conference, Jokic is having one of the most impressive seasons stat-wise.
The numbers may look like your casual MVP stats when compared to other players, but his 25.1 ppg, 14.1 rpg, and 6.1 apg on an incredible 66.3% shooting should tell you that he is beasting this season.
Only very few players achieved 25 or more points shooting 65% and above. Players like Shaq and Wilt Chamberlain are the only members of this stat club, and even then, they didn’t average 5+ assists.
Jokic is literally doing everything for Denver, and he is doing so in a fashion that nobody else in the history of the league has done. Even the best of them had not come close to Jokic’s offensive numbers this season so far.
How often do the favourites win the award?
There’s always that one or two players who go head-to-head when vying for the MVP award. Bettors should know that the MVP award is simply a popularity contest in the NBA, and most of the time, the favourites almost always win it.
For instance, Derrick Rose’s MVP season in 2011 was regarded as some of the best in recent memory despite LeBron James in the same season averaging more stats across the board.
There have been outliers, however, like the time Steve Nash won the MVP award. The Phoenix Suns were the number 1 seed during the 2005-06 season and Nash got the MVP trophy, but Kobe Bryant averaged more points and rebounds during the same season.
There is clear volatility in the MVP race, but in history, the favourites from the early parts of the season usually wins the award in most cases.
Who has won the most NBA MVP titles in the league’s history?
When it comes to the MVP winners throughout the course of history, the theory that the award is merely a popularity contest still stands. As much as it may come to a surprise, only a few regular season MVPs won the Finals and were crowned the Finals MVPs as well.
Arguably, the Finals MVP is more valuable than the regular season MVP, and players like LeBron James and Michael Jordan are among the few players who have achieved such feats in the same season.
The eye test and season narratives factor in more than the statlines, but these aren’t usually the case either. MVP seasons aren’t created equally, and there are notable players who’ve missed out on the MVP trophies despite having spectacular seasons:
• 1961-62 Wilt Chamberlain (Winner: Bill Russell)
• 1972-73 Dave Cowens (Winner: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar)
• 2005-06 Kobe Bryant (Winner: Steve Nash)
• 2010-11 LeBron James (Winner: Derrick Rose)
• 2015-16 LeBron James (Winner: Stephen Curry)
To some players, the deserving of the MVP may have fallen short due to narrative-driven seasons. Perhaps some would come short of winning due to bad regular season overall standing.
However, the league must pay attention to stat lines besides the rookie of the year NBA 2021, regular season MVP, or Sixth Man of the Year awards. Instead, they should look at who really is the most valuable player in the league who pushed their team to the next level.
So there you have it, these are the NBA MVP favorites who are most likely to win the award this season. As the regular season wanes, only one will be crowned the most valuable player in the 2021-22 season, and whoever wins it deserves every piece of accolade coming his way.
Words: Vonn Consul