Comparisons are a vital part of sports. We can't set our eyes on a new talent without immediately pointing to who that player reminds us of, like the Leonardo Di Caprio meme from Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. I do it too, so I wish I had an answer for why we can't escape the jaws of a player-comp,...
Far-Fetched Friday: Luka Doncic Will Win 2022 MVP
The MVP race has come down to Giannis, Embiid, and Jokic. But I am here to tell you that you have it all wrong; Luka Doncic will win the 2022 NBA MVP.
Welcome back to Far-Fetched Friday, where every Friday we give you a bold prediction that we believe will come to fruition. This Friday we look at the MVP race.
This prediction is not about making a case against the three favorites- they would all be deserving recipients- this is more about making a case for Luka Doncic. Doncic started the year off on the wrong foot as his shape contributed to the Mavericks' disappointing 16-18 start. But since that woeful start, Doncic has turned things around, and the Mavericks now sit at 39 and 25. It gives them a 23 and 7 record since dropping to two games below .500 on December 29th.
December 29th is a fitting date because so far in the 2022 calendar year, Doncic is averaging 30 points, 10 rebounds, and 9 assists. Up from his 26-8-8 split before the new year. And the key to that turnaround has been Doncic getting back into elite shape. The evidence for that lies in his free throw percentage, which often reflects how in-shape a player is. The reason so many NBA stars can knock down free-throw after free-throw in the gym but struggle in games is that there is no fatigue in the gym, whereas, in an NBA game, poor conditioning can alter shooting mechanics. Doncic is now shooting 76% from the line, a 7 percentage point increase from his first 21 games.
With that said, Doncic has now taken an average Mavericks team to a better record (39-25) than MVP favorite Jokic and the Denver Nuggets (38-26). And yes, I know MPJ and Jamaal Murray have been out all year, but I'd argue this Mavs roster is no better than the current Nuggets roster.
So with the fact that the Mavericks have a worse roster than the Bucks, Nuggets, and 76ers, yet they have a similar record, I believe Doncic would be a deserving MVP. And with 18 games to go, Doncic has everything he needs to make a last-minute push. The Mavs will need to finish strong, and he'll need to have eye-catching performances in the four national TV games they have left on the schedule.
I predict Luka Doncic will win the MVP.
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