For the second consecutive season, the Philadelphia 76ers’ big man, Joel Embiid, is being discussed for Player of the Year. Despite another strong campaign in 2022, the All-Star center remains among the tightest MVP races in recent history.
After losing to Nikola Jokic last year, Embiid has found all the stops this time around. Coming to the end of a year of his career, he has once again taken his game to the next level. On the way to building an armored MVP resume, Embiid has also carved his name into the history books.
With Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo sitting out the regular-season finale, Embiid has secured the NBA scoring title. He became the first international player to lead the league in scoring and the first center to do so since Shaquille O’Neal in 2000. It’s worth noting that Shaq took home the MVP award. that year.
While there are many players who deserve an MVP, very few get the all-round case that Embiid has after the year he has.
When dissecting Embiid’s case for MVP, the first thing to consider are the numbers. This season, he’s racked up career-high points in points (30.6), assists (4.2) and steals (1.1) per game while bringing in nearly 12 rebounds and saves. Break two shots per night. Embiid is also very effective at shooting balls, scoring a range of .499 / .371 / .814.
Dating back to last season, Embiid has established itself as the most dominant force in the NBA. While his outstanding score jumps off the page, his efficiency with his time is what should be outstanding. During this season, Embiid posted one of the minutes per game in history for a player scoring at least 30 points a night.
Embiid did it all for the Sixers every night and at both ends of the deck. From a raw numbers perspective, he definitely belongs in the lead for the award.
As we all know, moving averages and indicators are not enough when it comes to winning the MVP title. It is easy to see that the most important factor in a player’s case is their narrative. In that department, Embiid outperformed the competition.
Dating back to last summer, the Ben Simmons story is one of the biggest in professional basketball. While before there wasn’t. 1 pick was made in the hope of being redeemed, a dark cloud formed over the rest of the team.
A public stalemate between player and organization at this level would derail most dressing rooms, but not the Sixers. Part of what keeps the group together is Embiid’s leadership. No matter how bad things got, Embiid remained professional and kept the team afloat with his dominant playstyle.
Nikola Jokic also had to compete without the services of his best teammates, but Embiid’s situation was much different. In addition to not having an All-Star teammate, he must regularly answer questions regarding holdings and watch his team on the headlines every day.
To endure the mental fatigue of that month-long challenge while keeping your team competitive is an incredible feat. Combine this story with Embiid’s superior production and there’s no reason he shouldn’t be the favorites to win the MVP this season.
https://heavy.com/sports/philadelphia-76ers/joel-embiid-mvp-nba-history/ Joel Embiid Pads MVP Case by Making History