Home Sports NBA MVP Ladder 2021: LeBron James leads the race for NBA MVP 2020-21, Check out top 5

NBA MVP Ladder 2021: LeBron James leads the race for NBA MVP 2020-21, Check out top 5

NBA MVP Ladder 2021: LeBron James leads the race for NBA MVP 2020-21, Check out top 5

LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 18: Joel Embiid #21 of Team Stephen boxes out against LeBron James #23 of Team LeBron during the NBA All-Star Game as a part of 2018 NBA All-Star Weekend at STAPLES Center on February 18, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBA MVP Ladder 2021: The Lakers star, LeBron James is ranked No. 1 in the ranking of the 2020-21 Kia MVP candidates. Check out the top 5 below.

Nikola Jokic dryly doused us with jokes ahead of Thursday’s showdown against LeBron James, only to catch a serious reminder of why the Los Angeles Lakers star remains atop this week’s Kia Race to the MVP Ladder.

Guys, he’s the best player in the league,” Jokic said of James on Wednesday. “He’s a guy who [has been] doing this for a long time and affects the game in every possible way.

James provided plenty of evidence in the Lakers’ 113-93 win over the Nuggets by reeling off his second triple-double (27 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists) of the season — not to mention the 96th of his NBA career — while also sliding past Wilt Chamberlain for third place all-time in career field goals made (12,691), as Los Angeles captured its 11th victory in 14 games.

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The Top 5 this week in the 2020-21 Kia Race to the MVP Ladder:

1. LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers

Season stats: 25.0 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 7.5 apg

At 36 in Year 18, the King continues to show no signs of slowing down, as he’s now notched at least 15 points, five rebounds and five assists in all 23 games to start the season.

That breaks his own league record set in 2011-12 for the most such games to start a season.

We can debate whether James deserved more than the four Kia MVPs already in his trophy case (he did), but if he keeps this up, it’s going to be tough to deny this man MVP No. 5.

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2. Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers

Season stats: 29.1 ppg, 11.1 rpg, 1.3 bpg, 1.2 spg

With Ben Simmons out due to left calf tightness against the short-handed Blazers on Thursday, Embiid dropped 31 points in the first half, including 25 of his team’s 29 points in the second quarter on 8-of-11 shooting, on the way to a 37-point night.

Before the setback against Portland, the 76ers were 11-0 when Embiid scored 25 or more. But they’re winless (0-3) without Simmons on the floor.

Embiid has racked up 34 or more in six of his last seven outings. As a result, Philadelphia had won seven of eight before running into Portland.

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3. Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets

Season stats: 26.8 ppg, 11.8 rpg, 8.6 apg, 1.7 spg

Rough night against the Lakers, as Jokic shot 6 of 16. But the big man has produced a double-double in all 21 games, which is the longest such streak to start a season since Bill Walton put on a double-double clinic for 34 straight games to start the 1976-77 season for Portland.

Jokic is just the fourth player in NBA history to put up 500-plus points and register 200-plus rebounds to go with 150 or more assists through his first 20 games of a season, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

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4. Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets

Season stats: 30.8 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 5.2 apg

Durant is averaging 32.3 ppg over Brooklyn’s last 10 games as it prepares to host the Toronto Raptors tonight at the Barclays Center (7:30 ET, ESPN). So, it’s no surprise Durant came out No. 1 in early returns from NBA All-Star voting.

The Nets own a record of 4-1 whenever Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving play in the same game, and you can bet the trio’s chemistry will continue to build into something nightmarish for opponents once the postseason hits.

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5. Kawhi Leonard, LA Clippers

Season stats: 26.2 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 5.3 apg, 1.9 spg

Durant called Leonard a “savant” and “Hall of Fame player,” on Tuesday after the Nets edged the Clippers. But it seems we don’t hear much mention of the Clippers’ star in the MVP conversation.

He’s the winningest player in the regular season in league history (408-135) going into tonight’s game against the Boston Celtics.

He has scored 31 or more in four of his last seven games, knocking down 50% or better from the field in five consecutive outings.

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