It’s time to admit that Ja Morant is one of the top MVP candidates


We’re past the NBA all-star break, so it’s time to narrow down the MVP candidates. With the Nuggets being in sixth place, that would eliminate Nikola Jokic. The one seed in the Eastern Conference is the Miami Heat, and they do not have a player near the level of the clear-cut, top-three MVP candidates.

There is a very transparent lead in the MVP race. Right now, it is between Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, Joel Embiid of the Philidelphia 76ers, and the front runner, Ja Morant of the Memphis Grizzles. Yes, I said Ja is in the lead to get MVP.

First off, when we talk about the most valuable player in the league, we have to think about which player is making the most beneficial impact to their team. As of now, the Grizzlies have a record of 44-22 and hold the second seed in the Western Conference. In the Eastern Conference, however, the Grizzlies would be first.

For the case of the 76ers and Bucks, they rank at 2nd and 3rd, but they have a worse record than the new era grit and grind Grizzles. In conference play, the Grizzlies have won 29 of 43 games while the 76ers have a record of 25-18, while the Bucks sit at 24-17. While the 76ers and Bucks could move into first place in their conference, the Western Conference is much tougher, as it contains teams like the Phoneix Suns, the Golden State Warriors, the Dallas Mavericks, and both teams from LA, which are very dangerous when they are healthy.

Next, you have to bring up how stats play a role in this MVP race. Clearly, Embiid can take it because of his stats; however, Ja has very similar stats. On the flip side, Giannis and Embiid have a clear size advantage. Embiid leads the way in shooting with 29.7 points per game which beats out Ja’s 27.6 and Giannis’s 29.2. Yet, Giannis’ three-point shooting brings him down because he only hits 29.6% from outside the arc and is much more efficient on the inside, shooting a complete field goal percentage of 54.4%. Ja shoots 49.4% with a three-point clip of 34.3%.

With the rest of their stats, Embiid leads the rebound category with 11.3 to Ja’s 5.8, but Embiid is a true center while Ja plays the point. Ja leads the category of assist with nearly seven assists per game, with Giannis being a close second with 6 per game. Ja leads everyone here with 1.2 steals per game while Embiid averages 1.1 and Giannis averages 1 per game. In total blocks per game, Ja lacks a little bit, only blocking .4 blocks per game.

In the last five games, we have seen Morant explode all across the NBA realm as he is in complete takeover mode. Since February 26th, Ja Morant has been averaging 36.6 points per game, 5 assists per game, and .8 steals per game. Not to say Embiid hasn’t been on a tear lately since he is averaging 30.2 points per game and 11.8 rebounds over his last five games, but this comes after the 76 received James Harden in the Ben Simmons for Harden trade, which has left teams to guards the perimeter more since the 76ers just gained a top-five three-point shooter in the NBA.

Several different factors can make up an MVP, but Morant’s stats and his impact on his team only a year after his leg injury and another leg injury this season before the All-Star break. So, it is time to discuss who should be MVP, and I better hear Ja Morant on everyone’s list.