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Rob’s Rolling MVP Guest List – April 4 (Final Results)

Updated: Apr 27, 2022

Bad Men, Bad Takes – Season 1

The final week or so of the season is finally upon us, and while teams jostle for Playoff seeding and tie-breakers, our attention turns to the races for the various awards the Association hands out every year.

Throughout the season, I have, once a month, given my updated MVP Guest List. Today is the final MVP Guest List and I will declare my 2012/2022 MVP.

Unlike previous lists, the guest list for The Table is in order from 4th place to my MVP winner. I have also completed the guest list down to the players who are at the bar from 5th place down to 10th place.

Before we get to the winner and various placings, a reminder of the rules I’ve played by all season, as well as a reminder of who was at the table and at the bar last month.


  1. My rolling MVP calculations take the form of a table at a restaurant. That table has four seats. That’s it. No adding seats, no joining tables together, no sharing a seat with your teammate. Just four. These are the truest of candidates.

  2. Those players who deserve recognition and are in the wider conversation are in the restaurant, but are waiting at the bar for a seat at the table to become available. The bar can have a maximum of six people waiting for a seat at the table at any one time. These are the players who were unlucky to miss out on the table, but with some good luck, may find themselves there soon.

  3. Factors taken into account are statistics, difficulty of schedule, level of teammate support, games played, team record and numerous others, including the eye test and subjective opinion.

  4. Myself, and the rest of team will make our final MVP picks later in the season prior to the award being announced.

  5. Players will come and go from the table, as well as the bar, as the season goes on. If you disagree with the guest list I outline, let me know on Twitter (@BMBTPodcast) or send an email to!

March 1st Guest List:

The Table:

  1. Chris Paul – Phoenix Suns

  2. Nikola Jokic – Denver Nuggets

  3. Ja Morant – Memphis Grizzlies

  4. Joel Embiid – Philadelphia 76ers

The Bar:

  1. Steph Curry – Golden State Warriors

  2. Giannis Antetokounmpo – Milwaukee Bucks

  3. DeMar DeRozan – Chicago Bulls

  4. Luka Doncic – Dallas Mavericks

  5. Kevin Durant – Brooklyn Nets

  6. Rudy Gobert – Utah Jazz

Without further ado, my final MVP Guest List, in order:


10. Kevin Durant – 29.5ppg, 7.2rpg, 6.1apg, 0.9spg, 0.9bpg, 37.2% 3FG, W/L 40-38.

Durant was in strong contention early in the season, but when he missed a stretch of time from the middle of January until the start of March, his candidacy was likely done. The team’s record also contributed to torpedoing his chances, coming in as the lowest of any candidate’s team on this list.

Nonetheless, Durant has been excellent when on the floor and has dealt with Kyrie’s on-again, off-again appearances due to vaccine mandates, as well as James Harden’s discontent and at one stage played an entire game with reserve players and Covid-19 top-up players.

A great season individually, but the appearances and weight of wins just isn’t there for Durant to be any higher.

9. Steph Curry – 25.5ppg, 5.2rpg, 6.3apg, 1.3spg, 0.4bpg, 38.0% 3FG, W/L 49-29.

I’ve seen Steph fall out of contention of many of the expert’s lists for MVP for more fancied candidates who have been excelling more recently, but Curry slides in at 9th on my list because of his brilliant early season play.

He featured at the table in both December and February on the back of strong showings the months prior, but ultimately fell away as the Warriors success faded during the latter stages of the season.

While still arguably the hardest match-up in the league and one of the most dynamic players the association has to offer, Curry’s shooting slump in January halted his momentum as a genuine candidate and the team has limped to the Post-Season.

8.  Jayson Tatum – 27.0ppg, 8.1rpg, 4.3apg, 0.9spg, 0.6bpg, 35.4% 3FG, W/L 49-30.

This is the first time all season Tatum has appeared at the table or at the bar, and it comes on the back of he and Jaylen Brown leading the Celtics out of irrelevancy after the All-Star break and unbelievably claiming the 1st seed in the East.

Tatum has been particularly brilliant in the last 6 weeks and the Celtics’ success is proof of this, however this success has been short lived.

The Celtics looked like an unorganised basket case for the first four months of the season and because of this I can’t put Tatum any higher for an award which is for a full season.

Jayson Tatum’s play since the All-Star break has been MVP worthy, but the Celtics struggles for the first half of the season see him finish just 8th. Credit: Forbes

7. Luka Doncic – 27.8ppg, 9.1rpg, 8.5apg, 1.2spg, 0.5bpg, 34.7% 3FG, W/L 49-30.

A little like Tatum, Doncic had a slow start to the season, but moves by the franchise around the deadline have helped unlock him and the team’s true potential.

After an indifferent start to the season, Doncic has played his way into form and has had a longer stretch of great performances than Tatum has – alas his place in the position ahead of Tatum in my final rankings.

Doncic remains the undisputed leader of the Mavericks and has made strides in his mental approach to the game and control of his temper and frustration towards referees at times, but his team’s poor start to the season costs him and he ends up 7th.

6. DeMar DeRozan – 27.5ppg, 5.3rpg, 5.0apg, 0.9spg, 0.3bpg, 34.1% 3FG, W/L 45-33.

DeMar was legitimately an MVP Candidate at one stage this season.

His form after returning from three games off just before Christmas was scintillating, setting the league alight and helping the Bulls to reel off nine straight victories and nailing back-to-back game winners on either side of the New Year. In early February, he again set the league alight and helped the Bulls reel off a winning streak, racking up seven wins in a ten game stretch while averaging 37ppg.

The last couple of months however have seen the Bulls’ fortunes change and the team has only managed four wins from their last thirteen outings, and DeRozan’s play has dropped back to his season averages.

It’s been a remarkable season for DeRozan individually, but as the team limped into the post-season, his MVP chances disappeared.

DeMar DeRozan was a revelation for the Bulls after joining them in free-agency, and while a genuine MVP candidate for the majority of the season, the Bulls recent struggles have cost him a higher finish. Credit: Chicago Tribune

5. Ja Morant – 27.6ppg, 5.7rpg, 6.7apg, 1.2spg, 0.4bpg, 34.0% 3FG, W/L 55-23.

I’ll happily admit, I love Ja Morant. I had him sitting at the table several times across the course of the season, including my first list on November 1st as well as my most recent list on March 1st, and for good reason. He’s been phenomenal all season.

MVP winners often have a storyline attached to them. Something feel good or simply a narrative that helps justify why that player stood out above all of the rest for that particular season – Morant has that. He’s the undisputed leader and best player on an upstart team of youngsters who many, myself included, thought were going to take a back-step after jumping ahead of their timeline last season. Instead, the Grizzlies has propelled themselves to the second seed in the Western Conference against all odds.

The biggest downfall for Morant, however, is the amount of time he’s spent on the inactive list this season, and how successful his team has been when he isn’t actually on the court. During an eleven game stretch in November and December, the team went 10-2 without him. More recently, the team had no issues dealing with his absence as they powered towards the Playoffs.

Arguably, Morant is the first of the candidates on this list who genuinely deserve to be a true MVP candidate because of their consistent performances throughout the entire season, October through until now. He misses a top-four finish based only on his absences and his team’s success without him.


4. Giannis Antetokounmpo – 29.7ppg, 11.6rpg, 5.8apg, 1.0spg, 1.4bpg, 30.0% 3FG, W/L 48-30.

The first of the candidates to finish the season at the table, Giannis is a victim of his own success in so many ways. He’s been stellar all season and has dealt with his fair share of adversity as well given Jrue Holiday and Brook Lopez went down on opening night, no more than an hour after the team received their Championship rings.

Holiday would return shortly after, but the team was without Lopez until the middle of last month and this forced Giannis to play a heavier load of minutes at centre across the season as the Bucks were short on big men. Antetokounmpo continues to dominate regardless of the position he actually plays on the court however, with the curse on his MVP candidacy simply voter fatigue and fans becoming immune to the freakish feats of athleticism he displays game in and game out.

Given the Bucks’ record and the fact Holiday, Middleton and Lopez have all missed strings of games throughout the season, it’s easy to make a case for Giannis, which is why he finishes fourth. Unfortunately, there just isn’t room for him in the top 3 though as the following candidates have also had exemplary season’s.

3. Joel Embiid – 29.8ppg, 11.3rpg, 4.3apg, 1.1spg, 1.5bpg, 36.2% 3FG, W/L 48-30.

I genuinely found it hard to separate Giannis and Embiid for this final list. Not only are their stats almost identical in so many areas, but their team records are exactly the same at the time of writing (April 4th) and either team could end up finishing as the first or fourth seed in the Eastern Conference.

I’ve decided to give Embiid the edge and slot him into third place though due to the fact he was missing arguably the team’s second best player in Ben Simmons all season and is now trying to help Harden assimilate into an offense he has never played in – one that revolves around a big in the paint.

Embiid’s stats are dominant on both sides of the ball and after the Sixers got off to a hot start in October, they cooled off during November as he missed time. That was one of the major reasons Embiid hasn’t featured at the table for the majority of his campaign, but the longer the season has continued, he’s shown his durability and the ability to carry the franchise every night.

He’s also had inconsistent help this season with Ben Simmons refusing to take the court before eventually being traded along with a handful of other players for James Harden, who Embiid and the team are now trying to find spots for on offense. Before the trade, Embiid had to deal with the growing pains of Tyrese Maxey learning to play as a true point guard and floor general, as well as answer the critics who berated the team and Coach Doc Rivers for their Playoff exit at the hands of Atlanta last season.

Embiid has answered every critic of both the franchise and him individually this season. The numbers are monstrous, the Sixers are one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference and he’s done it all without Ben Simmons and is continuing to do it while integrating a key piece mid-season. He’s been magnificent, but it’s only good enough to finish third.

Finding ways to separate Antetokounmpo and Embiid this season were difficult, but I’ve given Giannis a 4th place finish and Embiid secures third. Credit: MARCA

2. Chris Paul – 15.0ppg, 4.5rpg, 10.7apg, 1.8spg, 0.3bpg, 33.0% 3FG, W/L 62-16.

Paul was my front-runner for MVP for a large portion of the season, and only misses out on the top award in my opinion due to missing time post All-Star break with a thumb injury. A part of me still wants to give Paul the award, but ultimately I simply can’t given the near-constant availability of my overall winner.

Nonetheless, Chris Paul’s season has been sublime. Sure, he has had better statistics in a single season before, and he’s played on teams with less talent around him which helps make him shine brighter by comparison, but I’ll argue he’s never played a better season.

Paul leads the league in assists with 10.7 per game, and is second in steals at 1.8 per game, showing he controls the game on both ends and sets the tone for the entire Suns team. When it comes down to the clutch and it’s time to win the game, Paul also excels. His clutch-time numbers (games within five points with five minutes or under remaining) are insane. He’s top in the league in plus/minus during those minutes with a staggering +102 rating, and commands the offense with an enormous assist-to-turnover ratio of 5.8 dimes for every turnover.

Paul has had great teammates this season for sure, but so have many others on this list. The difference is that CP3 dictates the game on both ends of the floor in a way few others the world over have the ability to. I was very close to naming him the MVP regardless of the stretch of time he missed after the All-Star break, and he would’ve been a deserving winner if I did. Ultimately though, he falls short by the smallest of margins.

1. Nikola Jokic – 26.3 ppg, 13.5rpg, 7.9apg, 1.4spg, 0.9bpg, 30.0% 3FG, W/L 47-32.

Put simply, without his running mate in Jamal Murray the entire season, and despite losing emerging scoring wing Michael Porter Jr on November 6th to a back injury, Jokic has continued to dominate.

Further injury woes across the season to Zeke Nnaji and Vlatko Cancar, as well as key rotation pieces PJ Dozier and Austin Rivers did nothing to slow Jokic down either. Neither did a three-team trade in January which sent Bol Bol and the aforementioned Dozier out the door in exchange for Bryn Forbes.

Few players have had to put up with the lack of key teammates and role players that Jokic has throughout the season, and through it all, he’s managed to keep the Nuggets afloat and out of the play-in tournament in a tight Western Conference.

Some people will argue for other candidates on this list based on the team’s record, but the Nuggets are now up to the fifth seed with a winning percentage of 59.5%. Jokic won the award last year – with inferior individual statistics – with a winning percentage of 65.3% and we all remember how Russell Westbrook won the award in 2016-17 with a win percentage of just 57.3%.

At the end of the day, for me, Jokic’s MVP Campaign comes down to a single statement that some may argue with, but I whole-heartedly agree with: That nobody else has done more with less throughout the season.

He’s the reigning MVP who had a better statistical season than his last and dealt with arguably the more adversity than any other candidate. He’s absolutely deserving of being at the head of the table above all of his peers.

Congratulations, Nikola Jokic!

Nikola Jokic has played through more adversity with less help than anyone else this season, all while having a better individual season that his MVP winning campaign last year. He takes home his second MVP in my opinion. Credit: Colorado Springs Gazette

So, what do you think? Did I get it right? Did I mess it up? Let me know on twitter (@BMBTPodcast) or send us an email at!

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