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

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.

However 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 offers an thought of ​​the teeming quantity of unimaginable expertise across the league — to not point out the issue in correctly ordering all these nightly virtuoso performances.

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

“Do I really feel like I am one of many faces of the league? Sure,” Antetokounmpo stated. “LeBron [James] is [the face of the league]. He is nonetheless taking part in. steph [Curry] simply gained a championship. [Kevin Durant’s] silently hooping. [Joel] Embiid’s killing. [Nikola] Jokic [is the] again to again MVP. Luke [Doncic] magic. There’s lots of people on the market.”

One in all them lastly stepped into the highest 10 of the Kia Race to the MVP Ladder in dramatic trend after beginning off Week 4 of the NBA season because the Japanese Convention Participant of the Week. Embiid makes his debut on this version at No. 6, on the heels of a pair of downright monstrous performances.

Final 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 profession excessive 59 factors Sunday evening in a 105-98 win in opposition to the Utah Jazz. The 28-year-old tackled on 11 rebounds, eight assists and 7 blocked photographs on this season’s most blatant show of two-way dominance.

Take an all-access have a look at Joel Embiid’s record-setting 59-point evening vs. Utah.

The large man even scored 26 of the Sixers’ 27 factors within the closing body on the best way to changing into the primary NBA participant to register at the very least 50 factors, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, and 5 blocks in an outing since 1973-74 (when blocks turned an official NBA statistic).

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

The world definitely took discover.

Fortunately 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 90-88win in Philadelphia as Embiid completed with 15 factors (on 6-for-21 capturing) whereas Antetokounmpo almost notched a triple-double (21 factors, 13 rebounds, eight assists). Total, the Bucks have gained eight of their final 9 video games in opposition to 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 Metropolis’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander creeps into the combo at seventh as a result of he continues to stuff the stat sheet. In the meantime, curry clinging to no. 10 after delivering a heroic efficiency Wednesday evening 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

Final 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 Convention. Though 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 capturing share is 60.4% — which pales compared to Curry’s 70.1%, per colleague John Schuhmann.

2.Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics

Final week’s rating: No. 3

Season stats: 31.1 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 4.1 apg

The primary quarter of Boston’s 126-101 win in opposition to Atlanta supplied 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 begin that recreation. However he discovered methods to contribute in different areas, dishing six first-quarter assists (tying for essentially the most dimes he is produced in any quarter of his profession) and logging a steal, too, because the Celtics seized a 30-18 lead. The three-ball did not drop for Tatum many of the evening, 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

Final 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 home windows in opposition to 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). However he may use assist from the supporting forged, as Jrue Vacation (sprained proper ankle) has missed 4 consecutive video games however might be accessible Friday in Philadelphia. Khris Middleton, Joe Connaughton, and Joe Ingles nonetheless have but to make their season debuts.

4. Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets

Final 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 high 5 for the primary time since we began rating the gamers for this listing. Jokic entered the NBA’s Well being and Security 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 total, they’re third within the West. Jokic is not placing up monster scoring numbers, however his fingerprints have undoubtedly been throughout this crew’s wins.

5. Sure Morant, Memphis Grizzlies

Final week’s rating: No. 5

Season stats: 29.3 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 6.8 apg

Morant’s time within the high 5 appears fleeting, because 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 undoubtedly been placing in work blessing us with just a few eye-popping highlights throughout Tuesday’s loss in New Orleans on each offense different defence. 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 Subsequent 5:

6.Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers (Final week’s rating: not ranked)
7. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Final week’s rating: not ranked)
8. Devin Booker (Final week’s rating: No. 6)
9. Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers (Final week’s rating: No. 4)
10. Stephen Curry (Final 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 Path Blazers; Trae Younger, Atlanta Hawks.

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Michael C. Wright is a senior author for You’ll be able to e-mail him right herediscover his archive right here and comply with him on Twitter.

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