NBA Power Rankings: Each Teams MVP of the Season So Far

Previous Power Rankings:  PreseasonWeek 1Week 2Week 3, Week 4

With last week’s Power Rankings, we looked at the biggest disappointment of every team so far. With this week, we decided to look on the positive side, and showcase every team’s MVP to start the season. Although most are household names already, there will be some surprise players who have balled out for their respective teams.

  1. Los Angeles Lakers

Record: 13-4

Previous Ranking: 1 (Same)

Team MVP: LeBron James

This shouldn’t come as a surprise for anyone, as LeBron James has been the best player in the league for a while now. With that in mind, he obviously has been his team’s MVP and this year it is no different. Even though his numbers are down from last year, he is still leading the team in points per game (23.9) and assists per game (7.5) in only 32 minutes of playing time. The 32 minutes per game is the lowest amount of minutes played by LeBron in his career, yet he is still able to dominate at will.

  1. Los Angeles Clippers

Record: 12-4

Previous Ranking: 2 (Same)

Team MVP: Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi is once again putting up all NBA numbers while leading the Clippers. Kawhi, known for his scoring and defense, is doing both of those at an elite level. Leonard is averaging a little over 25 PPG, while also getting 2 steals per game as well. The most impressive thing about Leonard is his improved passing. The weakest part of his game was his playmaking ability, but he has come out and led the Clippers in assists so far, with 5.6 per game. 

  1. Milwaukee Bucks

Record: 9-6

Previous Ranking: 3 (Same)

Team MVP: Giannis Antetokounmpo

The reigning two-time MVP has continued to be the leader of the Bucks this season. He leads the team in points and rebounds with 27 points per game and 10 rebounds per game, while also getting a steal and block a game. He has been able to be a strong defender, while helping create open shots for his teammates by drawing a lot of attention when he drives to the rim. His lack of a jump shot has prevented him from becoming a closer down the stretch, and the team has had to rely on Khris Middleton to fill that role instead.

  1. Philadelphia 76ers

Record: 12-5

Previous Ranking: 6 (Up 2)

Team MVP: Joel Embiid

After an insane bubble run by Nikola Jokic, it seemed like he was the clear cut best center in the league. Embiid however, has reignited the debate on who the best center is, by putting up MVP numbers to start this season. He’s putting up 28 points per game and 12 rebounds, along with a block and a steal on good efficiency. Against the Celtics this week, he had a 42 point game, followed by a 38 point game in back to back wins. If Embiid can continue these performances, he could be looking at becoming the league MVP as well.

  1. Utah Jazz

Record: 12-4

Previous Ranking: 12 (Up 7)

Team MVP: Donovan Mitchell

Mitchell is the clear cut number one option on the Jazz, and has been on a tear on their eight game winning streak. Mitchell has scored over 25 points in six of his last eight games and is looking like an All Star while doing so. He is leading the Jazz in scoring with 24.3 points per game, on 44% shooting and 41% from the three. The Jazz will have to rely on Mitchell to continue to score at a high rate to keep this winning streak going.

  1. Boston Celtics

Record: 8-6

Previous Ranking: 5 (Down 1)

Team MVP: Jayson Tatum

After constant debate about who is the better player between Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, what we saw from the Celtics this week shows that it is clearly Tatum. Tatum has missed the last four games due to the NBA’s Health and Safety Protocols, and the Celtics now find themselves mired in a three game losing streak, including a 30 point blowout loss at home to the Knicks. Tatum is the team’s best shot creator and takes a lot of defensive attention off of other players when he is in the game. Fortunately for the Celtics, Tatum is expected to return soon, which should help them get out of this slump.

  1. Phoenix Suns

Record: 8-7

Previous Ranking: 4 (Down 3)

Team MVP: Chris Paul

This was a tough one to decide, as both Chris Paul and Devin Booker could fit this spot. Ultimately, Chris Paul gets the team MVP for several reasons. Paul leads the team in assists per game, as he gets everyone involved with his playmaking ability. He has also been a solid defender, getting about a steal per game this season. The main reason has to be his leadership though. As it has often been said about Paul, his impact goes far beyond the stat sheet, and he has helped lead this team to a solid start.

  1. Brooklyn Nets

Record: 10-8

Previous Ranking: 7 (Down 1)

Team MVP: Kevin Durant

Coming off of an achilles injury, Durant’s return has been absolutely incredible. He has looked just as good, if not better than he was before the injury and is a frontrunner for MVP already. He is averaging 31.2 PPG and 5.8 APG this season on insane efficiency from the field. Durant has been shooting 54% from the field and 48% from three. He is the clear cut number one option on a team with two other fantastic scorers in Kyrie Irving and James Harden.

  1. Indiana Pacers

Record: 9-6

Previous Ranking: 8 (Down 1)

Team MVP: Domantas Sabonis

The Pacers are another toss up, as either Malcolm Brogdon or Domantas Sabonis could have gotten it. Both have been phenomenal, but Sabonis has been just a little bit better. Sabonis has been a walking double-double this season, putting up 21.7 points per game along with 12.7 rebounds. His playmaking ability has also been criminally underrated, as he is the second leading assist man on the Pacers, trailing only Brogdon, with almost 6 assists per game. 

  1. Dallas Mavericks

Record: 8-8

Previous Ranking: 9 (Down 1)

Team MVP: Luka Doncic

This one should also come as no surprise, as Luka does so much for the Mavs offensively. Doncic is almost averaging a triple-double this year, with 27 points per game, 10 rebounds, and 9.5 assists. If he is able to get his assists up, Luka would be the third person ever to average a triple double for a whole season, joining Russell Westbrook and Oscar Robertson as the only two to ever do it. 

  1. Denver Nuggets

Record: 9-7

Previous Ranking: 11 (Same)

Team MVP: Nikola Jokic

Jokic is in the same boat as Luka Doncic, as he is 0.4 assists away from averaging a triple double. Offensively, Jokic does it all for the Nuggets. He is the number one scorer, as well as the number one playmaker. His playmaking ability is just incredible, as he is second in the league in assists, which is just unheard of for a center. If the Nuggets can end up with a higher seed out West, Jokic could be in consideration for league MVP.

  1. Portland Trailblazers

Record: 8-6

Previous Ranking: 10 (Down 2)

Team MVP: Damian Lillard

Lillard has been the clear cut MVP for the Blazers for several years now. He is their best scorer and playmaker, and has hit countless shots in clutch moments to help close out games. He is currently averaging 28 points per game and 6.7 assists, but expect those numbers to rise as both C.J. McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic are out with injuries for a significant amount of time. Portland will have to once again rely on Lillard to help keep the team afloat until they can get healthy again.

  1. Golden State Warriors

Record: 8-8

Previous Ranking: 13 (Same)

Team MVP: Steph Curry

The Warriors MVP is another no brainer as Curry has been so important to the team’s success. Curry is averaging 28 points per game to go along with his 6 assists on good efficiency. He generates so much defensive attention that it helps open up shots for his teammates as well. The team is at it’s best though when he takes over and scores from anywhere on the court. 

  1. Miami Heat

Record: 6-9

Previous Ranking: 14 (Same)

Team MVP: Jimmy Butler

Jimmy Butler has missed a decent amount of games to start this season, and because of that his team has struggled. The team has been missing his gritty play on both sides of the ball. In the time he has played, his numbers haven’t looked amazing, only averaging 15 points 5 assists and 5 rebounds a game. However, Butler is another player whose impact is felt in the game without it showing up in the stat sheet. The Heat should hopefully be getting their leader back soon, as he is currently out due to Health and Safety Protocols. 

  1. Atlanta Hawks

Record: 8-7

Previous Ranking: 18 (Up 3)

Team MVP: Trae Young

After a scorching hot start to the season Trae Young cooled off dramatically. The team that started off so hot found themselves losing games to inferior opponents constantly and made people wonder if they were just a fluke early in the season. Trae Young, however has finally started to turn things around this past week, and with that the team has started winning again. Young has put up back to back great scoring performances, dropping 38 points and 43 points in wins over the Pistons and Timberwolves respectively. If Young can remain consistent, the Hawks should be a playoff team.

  1. Memphis Grizzlies

Record: 7-6

Previous Ranking: 25 (Up 9)

Team MVP: Ja Morant

With Morant finally back from injury the team will be getting a much needed offensive boost. When Morant was injured, the team was inconsistent on the offensive side of the ball. Now that their number one scorer is back they should be able to fix some of those inconsistencies. Morant will provide around 20 points and 7 assists each night, along with taking some of the defensive attention off of guys like Dillon Brooks and Kyle Anderson. Ja will have to play like an All Star if the Grizzlies look to make the playoffs again.

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers

Record: 8-7

Previous Ranking: 22 (Up 5)

Team MVP: Colin Sexton

Colin Sexton has taken a huge leap from last season. His scoring has jumped up from 20 PPG to 26 PPG and he has become far more efficient from the field. Sexton had arguably his two best games of the season this week against the Nets. Sexton would erupt for 42 points in his first matchup against the Nets, scoring 15 of his 42 in the second overtime period. He would follow that up with a 25 point 9 assist performance to beat the star studded trio in Brooklyn for the second time in a row.

  1. San Antonio Spurs

Record: 8-8

Previous Ranking: 15 (Down 3)

Team MVP: DeMar DeRozan 

The aging All Star has helped lead the Spurs into playoff contention. DeRozan is averaging 20.9 points and 6.7 assists per game on decent efficiency. Although DeRozan is the leader of the team, he has gotten a lot of help from young players, such as Dejounte Murray and Keldon Johnson. His leadership will be key to help continue the development of these younger players. 

  1. Toronto Raptors

Record: 6-9

Previous Ranking: 19 (Same)

Team MVP: Kyle Lowry

Going into the offseason, it seemed that Pascal Siakam was up next for the Raptors, and poised to be the next star of the team. Unfortunately, Siakam hasn’t made that jump which has left Lowry to become the leader of the team. Lowry doesn’t have the flashiest numbers, but it is clear how much of an impact he has on the team. Scoring about 18 points along with 7 assists per game, Lowry is still the heart and soul of the Raptors this season.

  1. New York Knicks

Record: 8-9

Previous Ranking: 23 (Up 3)

Team MVP: Julius Randle

Thanks to Julius Randle, the Knicks have some hype surrounding them. Randle leads the Knicks in points, rebounds, and assists and has made himself an All Star candidate this year. Randle is averaging 22.6 points, 11.6 rebounds, and 6.2 assists per game and is a triple double threat most nights. If Randle can continue to play at this level, the Knicks will have a chance to make the playoffs.

  1. Orlando Magic

Record: 7-9

Previous Ranking: 17 (Down 4)

Team MVP: Nikola Vucevic

Vucevic has continued to somehow go under the radar. One of the most underrated players in the league, Nikola is a constant double-double threat, averaging 23 points and 11 rebounds for Orlando. He leads the team in points, rebounds, and steals and has continued to be the best player on this team. Vucevic will help keep a mediocre Magic team in the playoff race.

  1. Charlotte Hornets

Record: 6-9

Previous Ranking: 20 (Down 2)

Team MVP: Gordon Hayward

Many questioned the signing of Hayward in the offseason, as it seemed like he was past his prime and no longer a first option. Hayward has proved his doubters wrong, and is leading the team in scoring by a wide margin. Hayward is scoring around 23 points per game, while also being a solid playmaker. His leadership will be key to help some younger players like LaMelo Ball, Miles Bridges, and PJ Washington to develop.

  1. Houston Rockets

Record: 6-9

Previous Ranking: 16 (Down 7)

Team MVP: Christian Wood

Probably the most surprising team MVP has to be Christian Wood for the Rockets. The signing of Wood this offseason went under the radar for most, however Wood has come out and looked like a star. He is leading the team in points and rebounds with 23.5 and 10.8 respectively. Amid one of the most drama filled and inconsistent teams this season, Wood has been one of the only consistent players for the squad. 

  1. New Orleans Pelicans

Record: 5-10

Previous Ranking: 21 (Down 3)

Team MVP: Zion Williamson

Although this may be an unpopular decision, the Pelicans team MVP is Zion Williamson. Although there may be an argument for Brandon Ingram, Zion has taken over that spot for the Pelicans. He leads the team in points per game and has such a strong presence on the court. His driving ability draws many people to defend the paint, opening up some shots for others. Zion also scores the ball as efficient as anyone in the league, shooting 58% from the field. 

  1. Chicago Bulls

Record: 7-9

Previous Ranking: 27 (Up 2)

Team MVP: Zach LaVine

LaVine has always been a scorer at heart, but that has never been on display more than this season. Through 16 games, LaVine is averaging the most points in his career, coming in at nearly 27 a game, while also posting the highest field goal percentage of his career at 50%. LaVine is also posting career highs in rebounds, assists, and blocks per game, and has taken control of the Bulls offensive attack. The Bulls have rarely been blown out this season, and if LaVine can keep his performance, there’s a good chance they stay in most games.

  1. Oklahoma City Thunder

Record: 6-8

Previous Ranking: 24 (Down 2)

Team MVP: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

The reigns of the Thunder were handed to Gilgeous-Alexander this offseason, and he has responded by putting up his best numbers yet. SGA’s role in the offense has certainly been more involved, as his points per game and assists per game are easily the highest they’ve been throughout his young career. Gilgeous-Alexander is also currently shooting 51% from the field, which displays his efficiency. When Gilgeous-Alexander get’s rolling, he can single-handedly keep the Thunder in games.

  1. Sacramento Kings

Record: 6-10

Previous Ranking: 26 (Down 1)

Team MVP: De’Aaron Fox

Fox has begun to assert himself more as the leader of the Kings squad, and it has shown in his play. Fox has had some huge games this season, recently putting up 43 points against the Pelicans, and is a large part for the small amount of success the Kings have had this season. Fox is currently averaging about 21 points per game, to go with 6 assists, and will look to continue to build on his successful start to the season.

  1. Washington Wizards

Record: 3-8

Previous Ranking: 28 (Same)

Team MVP: Bradley Beal

The Wizards haven’t played a game in almost 2 weeks now, but when they’ve been on the court, Beal has been the clear star of the team. While not much has gone right for the Wizards this season, Beal’s performances have been enough to keep the Wizards in pretty much every contest. Beal is leading the league with 35 points per game, while shooting at nearly a 50% clip. With Beal no longer having to share shots with John Wall, he has shown what he is truly capable of, and has asserted himself as one of the best guards in the league, despite playing on a bottom of the barrel team.

  1. Minnesota Timberwolves

Record: 4-11

Previous Ranking: 29 (Same)

Team MVP: Karl-Anthony Towns

The fact that Towns if the Timberwolves MVP despite only playing four games should tell you the story of this team. Despite that, when Towns is on the court, he’s been his usual self, averaging a double-double with 22 points and 12 rebounds per game. Part of the Timberwolves struggles have been due to his inability to stay on the court this season, as he obviously makes the team better. If he can find his way back and continue to play at this level, the Timberwolves may be able to sneak away with a few more wins.

  1. Detroit Pistons

Record: 3-13

Previous Ranking: 30 (Same)

Team MVP: Jerami Grant

One of the only bright spots for the Pistons has been Jerami Grant. In the offseason, Grant bet on himself and signed a deal with the Pistons looking for a bigger role. It has paid off for him, as he is looking like the early frontrunner for the Most Improved Player Award. He is averaging 24.3 points per game, more than double what he scored last year, while also providing great defense on the other end. The Pistons have found a great building block in Grant and should try to build a team around him in the future.  

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