Who Were The Most Valuable Players in the 2024 NBA?

Who Were The Most Valuable Players in the 2024 NBA

The end of the 2023-24 NBA regular season registered a tenth consecutive qualification for the playoffs by the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference, which is the longest streak in the competition. Boston’s record of 64-18 was vastly superior to the New York Knicks in second while over in the Western, Oklahoma City Thunder pipped the Denver Nuggets despite the same win percentage. Thunder won its final five contests and prevailed as the No. 1 seed on tiebreakers.

The Celtics delivered their third regular Division title in a row and are favourite for the Championship in the NBA odds, but one compelling story in terms of an individual comes from the current holders , the Nuggets. 

Nikola Jokic 

When Denver beat Miami Heat 94-89 in game 5 of the finals last season to claim their first-ever title in franchise history, one man stood out: Nikola Jokic. The Serbian ended that game with 28 points, 16 rebounds and four assists. He is man on a repeat mission and does it better than most.

The 29-year-old center has continued in the same vein this campaign with some outstanding plays to claim the MVP award for the second consecutive season. In June last year, the world’s unofficial best player recorded the first 30-20-10 triple-double in NBA history, but in 2024 his consistency was unmatchable. He was the only player to rank in the top 10 in points, assists and rebounds. It was his third MVP in the last four seasons with 80 per cent of the 99 votes. Although humbly accepting the award and suggesting that others could have won it, the Nuggets posted a plus-11.8 net efficiency when Jokic was on the court but a minus-8.6 when he wasn’t present.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

A name for the future – and the present – is Oklahoma City’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander who finished as runner-up. The Thunder star has stepped up to the plate this season in extremis. Part of the Big Three in the team alongside Chet Holmgren and Jalen Williams, Gilgeous-Alexander has improved markedly this term.

His ability to take responsibility when the game is drifting away was proved in the Western Conference semi-finals with a 34-pointer after the Mavericks had stolen a 14-point lead early in the second half. Even when the Mavs blew a 24-point lead against Phoenix Sun earlier in the campaign, the Canadian stayed calm to deliver his ninth 30-point game in a row to take back control.

“Basketball is a game of runs, so it’s ups and downs, you just got to try to turn the tide and you only do that by taking possession by possession,” said the Toronto-born player who’s really moving towards the MVP engine room for the next few seasons.

He was also the leader in steals for much of the season and is top of the ranks in free throws made and drives. Gilgeous-Alexander’s  ability to accelerate and then apply the brakes is incredible to watch. His stats and stature are going in the right direction.

Luka Doncic

The bronze position went to Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks. The Slovenian led the NBA with 33.9 points per game and was ranked second in assists per game. Doncic certainly stormed to the finish line in the regular season and currently carries more 30-point triple-doubles than four active players, two of whom are active legends in LeBron James and Jokic.

There was a school of thought that suggested Doncic deserved the MVP award as he elevated a team not expected to reach the playoffs to over 50 wins. The former rookie of the year worked hard on his physical conditioning for this season and the rewards, if not in individual trophies, have been outstanding on the court.

He has displayed a more resilient streak in an injury-ravaged team and to perform under the pump in the 16-2 run that Dallas enjoyed to make it into the play-offs was a real sign of leadership and taking responsibility. He broke Mark Aguirre’s four-decade record for most points in a season in Mavs history just for good measure. That was helped by the incredible 73 points he scored against Atlanta in January, becoming just the tenth NBA player to achieve such a feat.

Ultimately, the proficiency of Jokic always shines through. He many not be the league leader in criteria that counts, but he ranks in the upper echelons of all the stuff that makes a player a superb all-rounder. He’s not the fastest and he doesn’t jump the highest but he has the vision that makes the world’s best stand head and shoulders above the rest.

“He sees plays before they happen,” LeBron James said of Jokic in 2023. That’s a talent that cannot be evaluated in just points, rebounds and assists.