MVP candidate Joel Embiid now leads the NBA in Scoring

NBA: JAN 29 76ers at Lakers
January 29, 2019 – Los Angeles, California, U.S – Los Angeles Lakers’ Rajon Rondo (9) goes to basket while defended by Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid (21) during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019, in Los Angeles (Photo by Ringo Chiu/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire)

Joel Embiid just dropped a thundering 40 points on the heads of the Eastern Conference favorite Chicago Bulls to knock them to the second seed in the East. More importantly, with Joel Embiid’s twentieth 40+ point game of his career, “The Process” has passed Giannis Antetokounmpo to be the league leader in points per game thus far through the season. While Embiid would place the importance of the win against such a great team far above his own achievements, it is important to recognize just how great Joel has been this season.

Joel Embiid has been unstoppable this year, contributing seven of his twenty 40+ point games this season alone. His ability to step up in the face of Ben Simmons’ refusal to play, as not only a leader, but in a more tangible, countable way as a scorer has been a thing of beauty for a 76ers team in desperate need of both.

This season, Embiid is averaging nearly 30 points per game, sitting at 29.3 per game. He’s even surpassing his career-high from last year of 28.5 points per game. His shooting percentages are also fantastic, hitting 49.3 percent from the field, 36.0 percent from deep, and 80.7 percent from the line, all while carrying a usage percentage of 36.7, the highest in the league.

The Cameroonian has been on a scoring streak in the new year as well, averaging 33.5 points per game since January 1st on 53.0/31.0/80.6 shooting splits according to Statmuse. Embiid has scored above 30 points in 13 of his last 17 games, showcasing his remarkable ability and work ethic night in and night out for the Sixers.

To find a game where Embiid scored less than 25 points, you would have to go back to December 23rd of 2021 where he dropped 23 points in a 98-96 loss to the Atlanta Hawks, marking a 20 game streak of scoring 25 points or more. He is now one of three 7 footers to have such a 25 point streak reach 20 games, alongside Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The only Sixer to have a higher streak is Allen Iverson, who is also the only other Sixer in the team’s history to have such a streak extend to 20 or more games.

Embiid’s ability to win during this time has not gone unnoticed as he has led the Sixers to a 12-5 record in games he’s played over the new year, single-handedly raising the 76ers to the 5th seed, only 1.5 games back from the now first seeded Miami Heat. The Sixers superstar continues to bolster his MVP case as he rakes in accolade after accolade, from his two consecutive Player of the Month awards to his league highest active 25+ point streak, to All-Star Starter, Embiid has been doing it all in the name of winning. Joel Embiid, as of right now, is the best player in the league and if you don’t know that, then you haven’t been watching him enough.

(Photo by Ringo Chiu/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire

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