37. "To the Jokic skeptics, let's contextualize: " In response to In response to 0
Jokic just had a better true shooting percentage than Dirk ever did. Think about that for a second. And it wasn't that close either.
Dirk's MVP season, he put up a true shooting percentage of 60.5%, an offensive win share of 11.8 (led the NBA), and an offensive BPM of 7.2 (led the NBA). Jokic had a true shooting percentage of 64.7% (!) while shooting over an additional 3 per game (!!), he had offensive win share of 12.2 (led the NBA), and an offensive BPM of 9.2 (led the NBA). And just to be clear, I'm not saying Jokic is better than Dirk or can do everything Dirk did... but this regular season, he shot at a superior efficiency to the best shooting big man in NBA history.
Then add to that that Jokic is the best passing pure big man... maybe ever? Most of the best passing bigs of all time did their damage nearly entirely from the paint. Jokic has elite passing from the paint, from the high post, from outside the key, on fast breaks... dude is a top ten passer in the NBA today, which is *bonkers* for a center.
So this season, Jokic basically answered the question "what if prime Dirk Nowitzki also had Lebron's passing?" Which sounds like hyperbole... unless you checked the stats or watched him play.
They also went 18-7 without Murray at the end. They won 65.2% of their games total... and they won 72% of their games down the stretch without their best wing scorer and playmaker. THEY LOST JAMAL MURRAY AND SOMEHOW THEIR RECORD GOT BETTER.
Steph would 100% be my second place vote. What he did this year was incredible. I get that it's weird that a guy who's been MVP had maybe his best individual season to date this year but then doesn't win MVP again. He also has great narrative appeal, and he has the flashier, sexier moments. Jokic is only sexy to the efficiency crowd, his highlights so rarely get retweeted. Curry is sexy to everyone, because he's one of the most fun, appealing, and fucking delightful players to ever step on the basketball court.
... but the numbers don't lie. The stats don't lie. The eyes don't lie. Jokic played the entire season at an elite level, put up prime Dirk level shooting and elite passing for an entire season, lost his primary wing weapon for a third of the season, but still continued running the offense masterfully and carrying his team to the 3 seed in the fucking West.
I just don't know how you argue against that with anything other than "yeah, but I like Steph more and the story is sexy." Which is fair, I reckon, since MVP doesn't have a clear set of requirements... but yeah, it's gonna be Jokic. And probably in a landslide.