Its over, folks.

The rollercoaster ride that has been the 2022-2023 NBA MVP race was decided last night in South Philadelphia, and in Houston. All the precincts have reported.

Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic have both played fantastic seasons. Both have had fantastic moments that have separated them from all others as the two best individual players in the league. Some made arguments that Embiid not playing against Jokic in Denver last week due to calf soreness gave the defending two-time MVP the advantage.

Then last night happened.

Embiid held another master class, on a national TV stage, against a title contender in the Boston Celtics, the 2-seed in the East, amassing 52 points, 13 rebounds, six assists and two blocks, willing his team to a win over its toughest rival. Without saying a word, he made a very loud statement.

After the game, his head coach Doc Rivers, made the statement for him.

Meanwhile, about 1,500 miles away Jokic and the Nuggets took on the Houston Rockets, a team with more than three times as many losses as wins. Needing a win to clinch the top seed in the Western Conference, the Nuggets werent even a speed bump for Houston, getting outscored 38-18 in the fourth quarter in a 21-point loss.

Jokic may not have been 100 percent, as he was returning from a three-game absence with calf soreness. His minutes were limited, as were those of star teammate Jamal Murray. Maybe Joker and the rest of the Nuggets sleepwalked through the game because their playoff positioning is all but sewn up. Whatever the case, Jokic had just 14 points, turned the ball over eight times, and was a minus-21 in less than 25 minutes on the floor.

While Rivers called his superstar center the MVP, Nuggets head coach Mike Malone had another word for his players, including Jokic.

But what do I know, right? I know that recency bias is definitely a thing, and if the last thing voters see is one candidate dropping 52 on national TV against a title contender, while another candidate struggles to stay healthy sounds different when its not Embiid, doesnt it? and lays an egg against a team fighting for lottery ping pong balls rather than wins, that will tip the scales.

Still dont believe? Lets check with the oddsmakers. Here are the NBA MVP odds from PointsBet before last nights NBA slate, and this morning:

PointsBet NBA MVP odds last night:

Joel Embiid: -250

Nikola Jokic: +225

Giannis Antetokounmpo: +550

PointsBet NBA MVP odds this morning:

Embiid: -550

Antetokounmpo: +600

Jokic: +650

In boxing, when you step into the ring with the champ, you cant let it go to the judges and hope for the best. You do everything you can to knock the champ out. 

Last night, Embiid got his 10-count.

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