Following Denver’s four-game sweep of the Lakers on Monday, the NBA (via Twitter) designated center Nikola Jokic the Most Valuable Player of the Western Conference Finals.
Jokic won the award with the support of all nine media members that participated in the voting process.
The choice was not unexpected given that Jokic extended his legendary postseason run in four straight triumphs over the Lakers, recording triple-doubles in three of those games and averaging 27.8 points per game, 14.5 rebounds per game, and 11.8 assists per game on.506/.471/.778 shooting.
In 15 playoff games, including 12 Nuggets victories, Jokic has averaged 29.9 PPG, 13.3 RPG, and 10.3 APG while shooting.538/.474/.784 overall.
Jokić received all nine votes from a media panel covering the Western Conference Finals.
— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) May 23, 2023
Jokic joins Warriors guard Stephen Curry, who received the award in 2022, as the second player to receive the Magic Johnson Trophy as the MVP of the Western Finals. During the 2022 postseason, the NBA unveiled the honor alongside the Larry Bird Trophy for the MVP of the Eastern Finals.
Jokic defended the Sixers center, whose club was eliminated in the second round, after he was questioned following Denver’s victory about winning the Western Finals MVP award after coming in second behind Joel Embiid in the regular season MVP voting. Jokic claimed that Embiid had a fantastic year and earned MVP recognition, as reported by Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN, and that those who think otherwise are “mean.”