NBA awards finalists: Scoring binge puts Stephen Curry alongside Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid in MVP race

·1-min read

With the regular season in the books, the NBA announced the finalists for its individual awards on Thursday.

To nobody's surprise, Stephen Curry joined long-term favorite Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid as an MVP finalist thanks to his furious scoring binge that lifted the Golden State Warriors to the NBA's play-in tournament. 

Despite Curry's historic scoring surge, Jokic remains the overwhelming betting favorite to secure his first MVP. Meanwhile, reigning back-to-back MVP and 2020 Defensive Player of the Year Giannis Antetokounmpo isn't a finalist for either award.

Will betting favorites prevail?

The MGM betting favorites for all the awards made the cut, including Julius Randle for Most Improved Player, Rudy Gobert for Defensive Player of the Year and LaMelo Ball for Rookie of the Year. 

The awards were voted on by NBA media. Winners will be announced throughout the playoffs. 

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, May 5, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Nikola Jokic is the overwhelming favorite to secure the Nuggets' first league MVP award. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

MVP finalists

Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets

Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors

Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers

Rookie of the Year finalists

LaMelo Ball, Charlotte Hornets

Anthony Edwards, Minnesota Timberwolves

Tyrese Haliburton, Sacramento Kings

Sixth Man of the Year finalists

Jordan Clarkson, Utah Jazz

Joe Ingles, Utah Jazz

Derrick Rose, New York Knicks

Defensive Player of the Year finalists

Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz

Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors

Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers

Coach of the Year finalists

Monty Williams, Phoenix Suns

Tom Thibodeau, New York Knicks

Quin Snyder, Utah Jazz

Most Improved Player finalists

Julius Randle, New York Knicks

Michael Porter Jr., Denver Nuggets

Jerami Grant, Detroit Pistons

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