Nikola Jokić is a finalist to win a third consecutive NBA MVP award, with Joel Embiid and Giannis Antetokounmpo the players who can stop him.
The top three vote-getters for the league’s individual awards were announced Friday, and the marquee category featured familiar names.
Jokić repeated as MVP last year, with Embiid runner-up and Antetokounmpo third. The Denver Nuggets center could now become the first player to win three consecutive MVP awards since Hall of Famer Larry Bird from 1984-86.
Antetokounmpo has also won back-to-back MVP awards, in 2019 and 2020, along with an NBA Finals MVP when the Milwaukee Bucks clinched the 2021 title. Embiid, the Philadelphia 76ers center who won his second consecutive scoring title, has never won.
The winners will be announced starting next week.
The finalists of the other categories:
Coach of the year
Mike Brown, Sacramento; Mark Daigneault, Oklahoma City; Joe Mazzulla, Boston.
New of the year
Paolo Banchero, Orlando; Walker Kessler, Utah; Jalen Williams, Oklahoma City
Most Improved Player
Jalen Brunson, New York; Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City; Lauri Markkanen, Utah.
Defensive Player of the Year
Jaren Jackson Jr., Memphis; Brook Lopez, Milwaukee; Evan Mobley, Cleveland.
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