Last night’s game between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Boston Celtics was an absolute thriller, and Joel Embiid emerged as the hero. Despite Philadelphia repeatedly making mistakes, Embiid’s incredible performance secured the win, scoring an impressive 52 points, which was half of the team’s total score of 104. This impressive feat has left many wondering if Embiid has secured his first ever regular season MVP award, and his coach Doc Rivers seems to think so.
Embiid has been having an exceptional 2023 season, leading the NBA in scoring with an average of 33.3 points per game. He also ranks 7th overall in rebounds, averaging 10.2 per game, and 6th overall in blocks per game with 1.7. While these impressive statistics are certainly noteworthy, the MVP race remains highly contested, with Milwaukee Bucks’ star Giannis Antetokounmpo and Denver Nuggets’ star Nikola Jokic also in the running.
Each player brings their own unique strengths to the table. Embiid’s scoring prowess sets him apart, while Giannis led the Bucks to the NBA’s best record, and Jokic’s impact on the game and his ability to elevate those around him is highly impressive.
However, despite the strong competition, many believe that Embiid’s performance this season makes him a strong contender for the MVP award. The fact that Jokic has won the award for the past two years makes it unlikely that he will win a third in a row, while Giannis’ slightly lower scoring average and free throw percentage may work against him.
When comparing Embiid’s performance to that of Giannis, it’s clear that Embiid has the edge in several key areas. For example, his free throw percentage of 85.9% is significantly higher than Giannis’ 64.5%, making Embiid a more reliable option from the line. Additionally, Embiid averages half a turnover less per game than Giannis, which is another important factor in the MVP race.
While the Milwaukee Bucks have the best record in the East and Giannis is a formidable opponent, Embiid’s strong performance this season and his ability to perform under pressure may just give him the edge in the MVP race. Only time will tell who will win the award, but many analysts and fans (myself included) believe that Embiid is a top contender and the most deserving of the award this year.