The 2022 NBA playoffs had their fair share of blowouts but also featured a healthy dose of outstanding performances by world-class players such as Luka Dončić, Ja Morant, and Jimmy Butler to name a few. It has always been hard to choose the playoff MVPs, but this season the choice seems to be even harder, especially with the absence of LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard.
The Bill Russell and Larry O’Brien trophies will be handed out in a couple of weeks and here are the most likely candidates to earn them:
Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
The three-time champion, Stephen Curry, may be past his peak in terms of efficiency from the three-point line and volume, but the way he controls games has never been so good. While he hasn’t tallied 35+ points in a single postseason game, his consistency throughout the playoffs has been nothing but admirable. Winning his fourth ring will surely make him a top candidate for the MVPs.
Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics
Jayson Tatum has scored 25+ points in 12 of the 18 playoff games he has played. His 46 points against the Milwaukee Bucks saved his team’s season while his impressive performances against Miami only confirmed his astounding growth, which makes him the scariest individual scorer in the NBA. If he manages to keep the tempo during the finals, the 24-year-old small forward may end up winning both his first ring and the MVPs.
Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat
According to numerous pundits, journalists, and basketball aficionados, the Miami Heat’s star player deserves the number one spot regardless of the fact that his team failed to reach the finals. Jimmy Butler turned in a stellar performance during the 2022 NBA playoffs and almost had his outmatched squad win the Eastern Conference finals against the Boston Celtics.
Luka Dončić, Dallas Mavericks
The Slovenian point guard/small forward helped his team reach the Western Conference finals after putting on a phenomenal performance against the Phoenix Suns, especially in Game 7. The 23-year-old averaged 31.7 points per game during the playoffs and while the Mavericks got decimated by the Warriors, Dončić’s leadership and ability to be decisive in key moments shouldn’t be underlooked when choosing the 2022 NBA playoff MVPs.
Other Notable Candidates for the MVPs
Besides these four players, other NBA stars who are considered for the MVPs are Klay Thomson from the Warriors, Jaylen Brown from the Celtics, Ja Morant from the Grizzlies, and last year’s winner Giannis Antetokounmpo from the Bucks. But no matter who wins the awards, they will have earned them fair and square.
Ben Simmons Kicked out of Practice and Suspended for the Season Opener
The Philadelphia 76ers have officially suspended Ben Simmons, one of their star players. This means that the team will be a key player short during their season opener on Wednesday night. The 76ers will be playing New Orleans, and it’s a big game simply because the sport is officially back.
Ben Simmons Wants Out
Ben Simmons was holding out during training camp, and it came just in time for him to demand an offseason trade. After practicing with the 76ers on Sunday and Monday, he had practice scheduled and also a talk with the media. Doc Rivers, who is the coach for the 76ers, decided to kick him out of practice after Simmons refused to participate where required.
Doc Rivers believed that Simmons was more of a distraction than a team player during practice. He also stated that he didn’t think Ben Simmons wanted to be part of what the rest of the team was doing.
After being drafted as a first-round pick into the NBA back in 2016, Ben Simmons hasn’t left his original team of the 76ers. Now, he wants to be free from his contract.
Simmons Seems Uninterested
Before Monday’s practice, Simmons was seen simply lingering around in the huddle, while dribbling, and more. According to Doc Rivers, Simmons was lingering outside of the huddle and dribbling the basketball in an uninterested-looking way during practice. At that same practice, Simmons didn’t practice with the first team. Other sources reveal that Ben Simmons has not engaged much with the team since he came back to the 76ers after his holdout.
Fellow players have commented on Simmons’ actions lately, like Joel Embiid who said he’s not going to babysit Simmons and doesn’t care about him since Simmons does whatever he wants. Ben Simmons still has $147 million left on his contract with Philadelphia but is interested in a trade.