Donovan Mitchell believes this year’s MVP race is between 2 players

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Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The 2022-23 NBA regular season is nearing its final stretch of games, and that means that the MVP race is heating up. In the opinion of Cleveland Cavaliers star guard Donovan Mitchell, the race has been narrowed down to star big men Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic.

“I think Joel needs to be highly regarded as well,” Mitchell said. “I think he gets highly disrespected. He’s a guy that consistently, every night puts on for his group. Even in the past year with the whole Ben [Simmons] situation not knowing who is going to be on the floor, he continued to carry his team. … If I had to choose, it would be between Jokic and Joel.”

Mitchell also said that he considers players like Jayson Tatum, Luka Doncic and himself to be in the MVP conversation, but he clearly believes that Jokic and Embiid are a step ahead.

It’s no mystery why he thinks that. Embiid and Jokic have been two of the most dominant players in the league both this season and in previous seasons.

Last season, Jokic beat out Embiid for the award. It was Jokic’s second consecutive MVP award.

This season, Jokic is trying to join an incredibly small group of players who have managed to win three straight MVPs. The only other players to do it are Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell and Larry Bird.

It’s astounding to think that a Serbian national who entered the league as the No. 41 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft could be on the verge of rewriting NBA history. However, considering the way he’s played so far this season, it seems quite likely that Jokic is going to do just that.

Jokic is averaging 24.8 points, 11.7 rebounds and 10.0 assists per game this season. He’s hitting 63.3 percent of his field goals and 39.8 percent of his 3-point shots. The Denver Nuggets have been a dominant force in the Western Conference this season and currently own a 5.5-game lead for the No. 1 spot.

As for Embiid, he’s having a monster year as well, putting up a league-leading 33.1 points per game along with 10.4 boards, 4.1 assists, 1.6 blocks and 1.1 steals per game. The Philadelphia 76ers currently own a 2.5-game lead for the No. 3 seed in the East. They’re four games back from the conference-leading Boston Celtics.

With just under six weeks left to go before the regular season comes to an end, it will be interesting to see which player makes the strongest case to take home the coveted award.

As for Mitchell and the Cavs, they’re sitting comfortably at the No. 4 and got a much-needed win over the Toronto Raptors on Sunday. They’ll take the floor next in a Wednesday matchup against the Celtics.

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Jonathan is a freelance writer, filmmaker, and passionate fan of the NBA. In the past Jonathan has covered politics, entertainment, travel, and more. He is a proud contributor of Cavaliers Nation.