The article Steph, now a Finals MVP, remains No. 5 in ESPN’s player rankings first appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea. Luka Doni and Nikola Joki may not be able to defeat Steph Curry in the 2022 NBA playoffs, but they are ahead of him in ESPN’s latest NBArank, a list of the league’s top 100 players entering the upcoming season. Curry, who just won his fourth NBA title and was named Finals MVP, is ranked fifth on the list, the same position he held last season. The top five on the NBArank list were released on Friday, with Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid ranking fourth, Doni ranking third, Joki ranking second, and Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo ranking first. Why wasn’t Curry promoted despite his stellar performance last season? Curry is in the same situation he was in at the start of last season, according to ESPN’s Kendra Andrews. “Curry did not have a bad season, averaging 25.5 points per game on 43.7% shooting (he was an early MVP candidate), but an ankle injury kept him off the court for the final month of the regular season. In his absence, his teammates stepped up and kept the Warriors afloat, securing the No. 3 seed in the West. Perhaps this, along with the rise of the MVP contenders listed below, is why he’s in the same spot in our rankings.” Curry averaged 25.5 points per game last season after leading the NBA in scoring during the 2020-21 season (32.0 points per game). And, despite setting the record for the most career 3-pointers in league history, he shot 38 percent from deep, the lowest of his career except for 2019-20, when he played only five games. Curry, 34, also appeared in only 64 games due to a foot injury suffered near the end of the regular season. While he is still in his prime, his age was most likely a factor, as the four players ahead of him are all under the age of 29. Joki won his second regular-season MVP award, and the Denver Nuggets were without Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. during their first-round NBA playoff series, which the Warriors won in five games. Similarly, Doni and the Mavericks were defeated in the Western Conference finals by the Warriors in five games. However, the Slovenian star is 11 years younger than Curry, which most likely influenced how the rankings turned out. RELATED: Kerr establishes Curry’s expectations for the 2022-23 season While fans may be disappointed by the rankings, Curry is unlikely to be bothered. Even if he sees the list, he has the hardware that Doni, Joki, and Embiid want, and that is what matters most. If Curry feels slighted by his ranking at No. 5, he will use it as motivation this season as he seeks his fifth NBA title. Download and subscribe to the Dubs Talk Podcast.