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Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid, Stephen Curry named 2021 NBA MVP finalists

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic is heavily favored to win 2021 NBA MVP honors over a couple of worthy fellow finalists in Joel Embiid and Stephen Curry.

The finalists for the NBA’s MVP award for the 2020-21 season were revealed on Thursday to be Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid and Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry.

Marc Stein of The New York Times reported the big news on the worthy trio of finalists up for the NBA’s most coveted individual award:

According to DraftKings, Jokic is the prohibitive NBA MVP favorite, listed at -10000 odds to win. Curry and Embiid are both listed at +3000, but of course, the odds will change soon now that the three finalists have been unveiled.

Jokic is a deserving winner of the accolade. He does play the same position as Embiid, at least on paper, but is often more of a point guard than the shot-making phenom Curry is.

Because of that versatility, and the fact that the Nuggets have continued to thrive even after losing Jamal Murray to a torn ACL, Jokic is the obvious MVP choice. He played in all 72 games, posting averages of 26.4 points, 10.8 rebounds, 8.3 assists and 1.3 steals. His shooting splits were an outstanding 56.6/38.8/86.8.

Injuries have often plagued Embiid, and he missed 21 more contests this season, but did elevate his game to another level. He put up 28.5 points a night on 51.3/37.7/85.9 shooting splits, with 10.8 boards, 2.6 assists, 1.4 blocks and one steal on average.

Curry is a two-time NBA MVP whose scoring brilliance and range knows no bounds. He just won the scoring title with a 32-point average, and set per-game single-season highs for shots from the field, from 3-point range and from the free throw line. Most impressively, Curry connected on 42.1% of his treys, and hoisted 12.7 shots beyond the arc per night.

Related: NBA MVP Race 2021-22 – Nikola Jokic, Stephen Curry early favorites