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Morant makes his move in the NBA MVP race

With Ja Morant elevating his status to genuine NBA MVP candidate, the BetDeluxe team goes through who can win the coveted award at this point of the season.

The race for the NBA MVP has taken a heap of twist and turns this season. 

The big men dominated the top of the market, but with plenty still to play out, the BetDeluxe team has gone through the genuine contenders for the award as we attempt to seperate the wheat from the chafe.  


Ja Morant

It is hard to find any player in the NBA who is in better form than Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant.

The 22-year-old has taken the league by storm and his numbers represent that of an All-Star. 

26.4 points per game, 6.8 assists per game and six rebounds per game has him listed as one the best players in the league at the moment. 

Since the turn of the year, he has only amped his game. 

In the month of January 2022, Morant averaged 29.1 points and 7.1 assists per game. 

He has led the Grizzlies to what is almost a guaranteed spot in the playoffs and they are looking like a bonafide NBA championship team. 


Joel Embiid

The current favourite to win the award and it is rightfully so.

Joel Embiid has been crazy good in 2021/22. 

The Philadelphia 76ers centre is currently managing a double double. 

A season average of just over 29 points per game and 10 rebounds per game is what has ensured the 76ers have remained up the top of the Eastern Conference for another season. 

Embiid has been managed well this year with injuries, which plagued his 2020/21 season, not being too big of an issue this time around. 

His presence on the floor, especially inside the paint and around the boards, is what provides the 76ers with a competitive advantage over most teams. 

As it stands, this is arguably a career-best season for Embiid. 

He has never scored at a higher rate than he currently is and the same goes for his assists. 

Amazing what happens when you get your body right and have a fair crack at it. 


Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis has had another stellar season to date so far. 

The Greek Freak might not exactly be reaching the enormous numbers he put up to win the 2019/20 MVP award, but he is certainly trending close enough to them to be considered a huge contender. 

He is another one of the big men of the NBA that has avoided any niggling or serious injuries, which has meant we have seen the best of him on a consistent basis. 

Giannis’ stats still stack up as amongst the best in the league. 

28.9 points per game to go with 10.9 rebounds, six assists and just over a block per match is nothing to scoff at. 

He is, again, the main reason the Bucks are on track to defend their NBA championship win in 2020/21. 

Get the feeling he is building towards a big back half of the season and, with fitness and consistency of gameplay on his side, he could be set to explode. 


Nikola Jokic

Without him, the Denver Nuggets would be lost.

Nikola Jokic has produced another impeccable season with Denver as they look towards a big tilt at the playoffs. 

The reigning NBA MVP of 2020/21 was named the NBA Player of the Month in January alongside fellow MVP competitor and big man Joel Embiid.  

He is trending to what could be another career-best season if he keeps up his current form. 

Jokic is rebounding at a rate he is never been at in his career. 

His 13.8 rebounds per game is the highest he has ever gone at and he is averaging 25.9 points per game, which is only just slightly inferior to the 26.4 points he averaged last season. 

In fact, his per 36 minutes numbers from a scoring perspective have actually never been higher in the regular season. 

He is going at 28.3 points per 36 minutes, which is good enough for sixth in the NBA. 

There is no doubting his importance to the Nuggets’ tilt at playoffs and the championship. 


Stephen Curry

After starting the season like a shot out of a gun, Stephen Curry has simmered down to numbers akin to that of a human. 

Curry went bonkers in the early part of the season and managed to bring his recording-breaking three-point shot against the New York Knicks. 

Now sitting as the number-one three-point player to ever grace the NBA court, Curry has a championship to worry about. 

He is still scoring at a rate good enough to have him as the ninth-ranked player in the league for points scored per game, but he seems under the odds at $5 to win the MVP. 

The scary thing for the competition, though, is his ability to flick the switch whenever he wants. 

With so much reliance on him, he might just be holding back from going full throttle at this stage in the season given the Warriors have bigger fish to fry come the back end. 

Keep a watchful eye on him, but would not recommend backing him at the current quote. 

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