How did Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets become the prohibitive favorite to win the N.B.A. Most Valuable Player Award?
At the end of last season, he was by consensus a great player, but he still finished a distant ninth in the M.V.P. voting, behind the runaway winner, Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, and the runner-up, LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers.
But with two weeks left in this regular season, N.B.A. silversmiths have practically started engraving his name on the Maurice Podoloff Trophy.