The Nets, Lakers and Clippers are deservedly championship favorites.
But this isn’t just a three-horse race.
The Jazz and Suns – who’ve been the NBA’s best teams so far this season – absolutely have title chances. Even if they fall short of that ultimate prize in the playoffs, Utah and Phoenix deserve even more commendation for their overall success this year.
Jones also addressed his viral tweets about Stephen Curry and Bradley Beal in the MVP race. As promised, here’s some additional post-recording context. Players to finish top five of MVP voting while playing for teams that missed the playoffs:
- 1976: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Los Angeles Lakers), 1st
- 1977: Pete Maravich (New Orleans Jazz), 3rd
- 1973: Tiny Archibald (Kansas City-Omaha Kings), 3rd
- 1971: Dave Bing (Detroit Pistons), 3rd
- 2015: Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder), 4th
- 1988: Charles Barkley (Philadelphia 76ers), 4th
- 1975: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Milwaukee Bucks), 5th
- 1972: Spencer Haywood (Seattle SuperSonics), 5th
- 1968: Oscar Robertson (Cincinnati Royals), 5th
- 1961: Oscar Robertson (Cincinnati Royals), 5th
- 1959 Paul Arizin (Philadelphia Warriors), 5th
- 1957: Maurice Stokes (Rochester Royals), 5th