NBA Minutes: Five MVP Candidates to Keep an Eye Out For

Tatum averages 30.2 points (a career high), 7.6 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.2 blocks.

The 2022-23 season has been exciting, and in over a month, there have been some spectacular performances. Players are showing out and putting up MVP caliber numbers. And as time goes on, the MVP race could get intense. Here are five early MVP candidates.

1.) Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks

Luka Donic remains one of the most exciting young players in the league. He currently leads the league in scoring with 33.5 points per game, and as always, he is doing a bit of everything.

Doncic recently had two triple-doubles, including a 42-point one against the Portland Trail Blazers. He is starting the season off hot, as he dropped 30 points or more in the first nine games of the season. And despite cooling off a bit, Doncic and the Mavericks are still playing well.

The Mavericks are the ninth seed of the West with a record of 9-7. This shows how competitive the Western Conference can be. But if Doncic continues to play at a high level, the Mavericks are in good shape.

2.) Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks

Giannis Antetokounmpo is no stranger to the MVP award. He won back-to-back MVPs in 2019 and 2020, and despite Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic winning in 2021 and 2022, Antetokounmpo was in the running.

Antetokounmpo averages 30.1 points, 11.6 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 1.1 blocks. The Bucks started the season off with a nine-game winning streak, and Antetokounmpo played a big role in that. However, the Bucks are dealing with injuries and have cooled off a bit. But with a healthy team, Antetokounmpo and company could do well. And in the end, we could see Antetokounmpo with another MVP.

3.) Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics

Jayson Tatum is on a mission. After losing to the Golden State Warriors in the 2022 NBA Finals, Tatum and the Celtics are out to prove they are (true) contenders.

Tatum averages 30.2 points (a career high), 7.6 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.2 blocks. His performance this season has helped the Celtics dethrone the Bucks as the first seed of the East.

Tatum is playing well and at this rate, he is bound to have an MVP worthy season.

4.) Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers

Joel Embiid has yet to win an MVP award, but every year he gets close. And this year will be no different.

Embiid averages 32.2 points, 10.1 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.8 blocks. He recently had a big performance in a win over the Utah Jazz. He finished the game with 59 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists and seven blocks.

The Sixers are eighth in the East despite a slow start to their season. Embiid is playing excellent and with two key Sixers players out (in James Harden and Tyrese Maxey), Embiid will take it to another level.

5.) Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cleveland Cavaliers are off to a solid start. They are third in the East with a record of 10-6. Donovan Mitchell is a big part of their success, as he averages 29.8 points, 6.0 assists and 1.5 steals. 

Mitchell made history as he was the first player in Cavs history to score 30 points or more in his first three league games. In other words, this is a feat not even LeBron James or Kyrie Irving accomplished during their stints with the Cavs. 

The Cavaliers look like a potential contender, and with Mitchell leading the way, he is bound to get some MVP nods. 

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