Joel Embiid rises to third on the Kia MVP Ladder

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) dunks during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers got off to a slow start to the season, coming out the gate 1-4. Not only were the Sixers losing, but Embiid also was not playing well. It took some time for the team to gel offensively and defensively and define each player’s role.

With roles defined and chemistry at an all-time high, the Sixers are climbing up the Eastern Conference standings. Joel Embiid’s play has gotten better with each game and has dominated on both sides of the court for this Sixers team. His play has had him rise up the NBA’s Kia MVP ladder to third behind Boston’s Jayson Tatum and Denver’s Nikola Jokic.

“The Process” is second in the league in scoring, averaging 33.6 ppg to go along with 9.8 rpg and 4.2 apg. The Sixers have won 17 out of their last 20 games in large part to Joel Embiid’s efforts and have risen to a tie for second in the Eastern Conference with the Milwaukee Bucks.

Embiid also seems destined to play in his 6th straight All-Star game, although he may not be a starter. He has not scored less than 30 points since the calendar turned to 2023. He also scored 40 points twice so far in January and could have had a third 40-point game but scored 36 in a win against the Pistons, where he only played 24 minutes.

Joel Embiid’s dominance is finally being recognized this season, and if he continues to play this way this season and the Sixers keep winning, it will come down to him vs. Nikola Jokic for the third straight season.