The MVP Ladder

January 27, 2022

By: Carlos Alvarez

Good Morning,

A busy night in The Association calls for an all-NBA edition. We take a look at the MVP race before trade deadline rumors heat up, and the Hornets pushed the boundaries of basketball with a 158-point outing. Busy bees get buckets…

Letter Rip!



Midseason MVP Ladder


Nikola Jokic Surges to the Top of the Midseason MVP Race


A busy night in the NBA brought ten games to the court, but we’re taking a break to look at the latest changes to the MVP ladder. The last three MVP awards have went to the bigs, and that trend is likely to continue. Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets has asserted himself to the top of the board. The reigning MVP could make his case for a second straight honor even though the Nuggets aren’t even top-5 in the Western Conference. DeMar DeRozan has vaulted into the top-5 in the MVP race, and he could gain steam down the stretch with the Bulls relying on him more due to injuries. Here’s our latest look at the MVP race.


Midseason MVP Ladder

1. Nikola Jokic (DEN): 26.2 ppg, 13.9 reb, 7.6 ast

2. Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL): 28.6 ppg, 11.3 reb, 6.0 ast

3. Joel Embiid (PHI): 29.0 ppg, 10.8 reb, 4.3 ast

4. Steph Curry (GSW): 25.8 ppg, 5.4 reb, 6.2 ast

5. DeMar DeRozan (CHI): 26.3 ppg, 5.0 reb, 4.8 ast


Honorable Mentions: Ja Morant (MEM), Kevin Durant (BKN), Devin Booker (PHX)


Additional Storylines

SportsNaut: NBA MVP Race: Steph Curry Slumps, Embiid Enters Conversation

B/R: NBA MVP: Do Giannis & Embiid Have Chance to Catch Nikola Jokic?

Yahoo! Sports: NBA Betting: Giannis Takes Co-Lead for MVP Odds, But Watch Out for Embiid



Highlights: Hornets Go Haywire


Hornets Paste Pacers (158-126) With Record Scoring Performance in 2nd Half


Defense, anyone? The Charlotte Hornets blew the doors of the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night with an 87-point second half and a 158-point clinic to headline a busy night in the NBA. Charlotte was 58.1 percent from the field while cashing in a franchise record 24 threes. Kelly Oubre Jr. led all scores with 39 points off the bench, including 10 threes. LaMelo Ball (29-13-10) added a triple double and six Hornets players scored in double figures. Their 158 points were a franchise record and the most in the NBA this season. A team hadn’t scored 87 points in a half since 1991. Those were some busy bees…


Watch: Hornets Shatter Scoreboard With 158 Points Against Pacers


Other NBA Highlights

Grizzlies def. Spurs (118-110)

Suns def. Jazz (105-97)

Bulls def. Raptors (111-105)

Nuggets def. Nets (124-118)

Mavericks def. Blazers (132-112)

Clippers def. Magic (111-102)

Cavaliers def. Bucks (115-99)

Heat def. Knicks (110-96)

Hawks def. Kings (121-104)


Top Performers

Devin Booker (PHX): 43 pts, 12 reb, 4 ast

Ja Morant (MEM): 41 pts, 5 reb, 8 ast

Kelly Oubre Jr. (CHA): 39 pts, 5 reb

Gary Trent Jr. (TOR): 32 pts



\"🎾\" AUS: Medvedev Rallies to Reach Semis

(2) Daniil Medvedev completed an epic two-set comeback to defeat (9) Felix Auger-Aliassime in five sets (6-7, 3-6, 7-6, 7-5, 6-4) and advance to the Australian Open semifinals.


\"🏒\" NHL: Dylan Strome Fires 1st Hat Trick

The Blackhawks ended a four-game skid by hanging eight goals on the Red Wings (8-5) behind Dylan Strome’s first career hat trick. Strome had a career-high four points in all, and Alex Debrincat added two.


\"⛳️\" PGA: Horschel Leads at Torrey Pines

Billy Horschel (-9) was the low man in Round 1 of the Farmer’s Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. Horschel carded nine birdies and no bogeys in the opening 18.


\"🏀\" NCAAM: Miami’s Half-Court Buzzer-Beater

Miami shocked Virginia Tech with Charlie Moore’s half-court buzzer-beater as time expired (78-75). The walk-off win in Blacksburg allowed Miami to stay atop the ACC standings.



\"🏈\"  Conference Championship Entrance Survey

The Ringer’s NFL writers answer the pressing questions ahead of this weekend’s conference championship games, including the matchups and players to watch in this weekend’s games. Plus, thoughts on the futures of Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady. (The Ringer)


\"🏀\"  The 2-Year Anniversary of Kobe Bryant’s Death

It was two years ago when a helicopter crash killed nine people, including Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna. On Wednesday, the sports world paid tribute, sharing a variety of messages to honor the NBA Hall of Famer and his daughter. (Sports Illustrated)


\"🏒\"  NHL Buyers & Sellers at the Trade Deadline

The NHL\’s March 21 trade deadline is two months away, but speculation is already brewing over which players could be on the move. Notables like Jakob Chychrun, Marc-Andre Fleury and John Klingberg have surfaced in the rumor mill. (Bleacher Report)



Australian Open Semifinals

(1) A. Barty vs. M. Keys (3:30 am ET)

(7) I. Swiatek vs. (27) D. Collins (4:45 am ET)

(6) R. Nadal vs. (7) M. Berrettini (TBD)

(2) D. Medvedev vs. (4) S. Tsitsipas (TBD)


CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying

USMNT vs. El Salvador (7:00 pm ET)



Lakers at 76ers (7:30 pm ET)



#1 S. Carolina vs. #24 Ole Miss (6:00 pm ET)


PGA Tour

Farmer’s Insurance Open (3:00 — 7:00 pm ET)



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