Kia MVP Ladder: Luka Doncic takes over No. 1 as Top 5 jostling continues

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Joel Embiid’s monster recreation vs. Utah has vaulted him again into the Kia MVP dialog.

Undoubtedly, sipping cricket tea and munching battered and fried lamb tongue skewers can show humbling.

But the deference Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo confirmed for fellow NBA superstars in a current look on teammate Serge Ibaka’s “How Hungry Are You?” present on YouTube supplies an concept of ​​the teeming quantity of unimaginable expertise across the league — to not point out the issue in correctly ordering all these nightly virtuoso performances.

Asked by Ibaka if “you’re feeling like you’re the face of the league?” Antetokounmpo shortly modified the query.

“Do I really feel like I’m one of many faces of the league? Yes,” Antetokounmpo stated. “LeBron [James] is [the face of the league]. He’s nonetheless enjoying. Steph [Curry] simply gained a championship. [Kevin Durant’s] nonetheless hooping. [Joel] Embiid’s killing. [Nikola] Game [is the] back-to-back MVPs. Luke [Doncic] magic. There’s lots of people on the market.”

One of them lastly stepped into the highest 10 of the Kia Race to the MVP Ladder in dramatic vogue after beginning off Week 4 of the NBA season as the Eastern Conference Player of the Week. Embiid makes his debut on this version at No. 6, on the heels of a pair of downright monstrous performances.

Last season’s scoring chief, Embiid spent the weekend placing in time beyond regulation, dropping 101 factors in back-to-back victories over a span of 24 hours, together with a career-high 59 factors Sunday night time in a 105-98 win towards the Utah Jazz. The 28-year-old tacked on 11 rebounds, eight assists and 7 blocked photographs on this season’s most blatant show of two-way dominance.

Take an all-access take a look at Joel Embiid’s record-setting 59-point night time vs. Utah.

The massive man even scored 26 of the Sixers’ 27 factors within the remaining body on the way in which to turning into the primary NBA participant to register a minimum of 50 factors, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, and 5 blocks in an outing since 1973-74 (when blocks grew to become an official NBA statistic).

“I’ve seen guys rating loads of factors,” stated Philadelphia coach Doc Rivers. “I have not seen guys rating loads of factors, rebound, after which, the blocked photographs. That was spectacular. He was getting every part. I’ve by no means seen a extra dominating efficiency whenever you take a look at each offense and protection.”

The world actually took discover.

Luckily for us, we’ll catch a glimpse of two of the league’s most dominating gamers Friday, when the Sixers host Antetokounmpo and the Bucks (7:30 ET, ESPN). The final time these superstars confronted off, the Bucks opened their season with a 90-88 win in Philadelphia as Embiid completed with 15 factors (on 6-for-21 taking pictures) whereas Antetokounmpo almost notched a triple-double (21 factors, 13 rebounds , eight assists). Overall, the Bucks have gained eight of their final 9 video games towards the Sixers.

Antetokounmpo surrenders the highest spot on this week’s Kia Race to the MVP Ladder, whereas Doncic surges to No. 1 in one other shakeup of the highest 5, which provides reigning two-time MVP Nikola Jokic on the fourth spot.

Oklahoma City’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander creeps into the combo at seventh as a result of he continues to stuff the stat sheet. Meanwhile, Curry clings to No. 10 after delivering a heroic efficiency Wednesday night time in one other Golden State loss.

And now, the highest 5 within the 2022-23 Kia Race to the MVP Ladder:


1. Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks

Last week’s rating: no 2

Season stats: 34.4 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 7.8 apg

The NBA’s main scorer, Doncic is carrying the Mavericks (8-6), who’re seventh within the Western Conference. Although the 23-year-old cooled down considerably after dropping 30 factors or extra within the first 9 video games of the season, he put up 42 and 35 factors in wins over Portland and the LA Clippers, respectively, on Saturday and Tuesday earlier than sitting out. of Wednesday’s loss to the Houston Rockets. Doncic’s dominance is highlighted by a career-best effectivity as his true taking pictures proportion is 60.4% — which pales compared to Curry’s 70.1%, per colleague John Schuhmann.


2. Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics

Last week’s rating: no 3

Season stats: 31.1 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 4.1 apg

The first quarter of Boston’s 126-101 win towards Atlanta offered some proof of the maturity we’re beginning to see in Tatum’s recreation. The 24-year-old shot 1-for-7 (and 0-for-4 on 3-pointers) to start out that recreation. But he discovered methods to contribute in different areas, meting out six first-quarter assists (tying for essentially the most dimes he is produced in any quarter of his profession) and logging a steal, too, as the Celtics seized a 30-18 lead. The 3-ball did not drop for Tatum many of the night time, however he managed to hit 3 of 10 from vary as Boston captured its eighth-consecutive win.

Jayson Tatum is rolling and has a severe shot on the Kia MVP this season.


3. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks

Last week’s rating: no 1

Season stats: 29.9 ppg, 11.8 rpg, 5.5 apg

Antetokounmpo sat out two of Milwaukee’s final 4 video games and shot 6 of 18 from the sector Wednesday in a 113-98 win towards the Cleveland Cavaliers. In that recreation, he completed with 16 factors, 12 rebounds and eight assists. Antetokounmpo is averaging a career-high tying 29.9 factors per recreation and ranks second within the NBA in rebounding (11.8 rpg). But he might use assist from the supporting solid, as Jrue Holiday (sprained proper ankle) has missed 4 consecutive video games however might be obtainable Friday in Philadelphia. Khris Middleton, Pat Connaughton and Joe Ingles nonetheless have but to make their season debuts.


4. Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets

Last week’s rating: no 7

Season stats: 20.8 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 8.9 apg

Let’s hope for a speedy restoration for the Serbian as a result of it is good to see him again within the prime 5 for the primary time since we began rating the gamers for this checklist. Jokic entered the NBA’s Health and Safety protocols on Tuesday and sat out of Wednesday’s loss to the visiting New York Knicks. With Jokic on the ground, the Nuggets had gained 5 of six going into Wednesday and general, they’re third within the West. Jokic is not placing up monster scoring numbers, however his fingerprints have positively been all over this crew’s wins.


5. Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies

Last week’s rating: no 5

Season stats: 29.3 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 6.8 apg

Morant’s time within the prime 5 appears fleeting, as the Grizzlies have dropped two straight since backcourt mate Desmond Bane suffered a Grade 2 sprain of his proper massive toe and can miss the following 2-3 weeks. Morant has positively been placing in work blessing us with a couple of eye-popping highlights throughout Tuesday’s loss in New Orleans on each offense and protection. In that recreation, Morant scored 36 factors — his seventh 30-point recreation this season — whereas the opposite 4 starters mixed for simply 37 factors.

Ja Morant placed on a present within the Grizzlies’ loss to the Pelicans.


The Next Five:

6. Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers (Last week’s rating: not ranked)
7. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Last week’s rating: not ranked)
8. Devin Booker (Last week’s rating: No. 6)
9. Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers (Last week’s rating: No. 4)
10. Stephen Curry (Last week’s rating: No. 10)

And 5 extra (listed alphabetically): Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics; Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets; De’Aaron Fox, Sacramento Kings; Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers; Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks.

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Michael C. Wright is a senior author for NBA.com. You can e-mail him right herediscover his archive right here and observe him on (*5*)Twitter.

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