Joel Embiid named Eastern Conference Player of the Week for Week 9

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Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid argues with an official during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Charlotte Hornets in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)

For the second time this season, Philadelphia 76ers’ big man and reigning MVP Joel Embiid has been named the NBA’s Eastern Conference Player of the Week.

This marks the 13th time in Embiid’s career he’s been honored as such, with only Allen Iverson holding more Player of the Week distinctions in franchise history.

The nod is well deserved. Embiid averaged a whopping 40.7 points, 12.0 rebounds, and 6.0 assists per game last week between December 18-24, the period the award covers. He put up a season-high 51 points against the Minnesota Timberwolves, who hold the league’s highest-rated defense. And despite the upset loss to the Chicago Bulls, Embiid blasted 40 points and 14 rebounds for his sixth double-double of the season – the most in the NBA. 

Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid, right, goes up for a dunk against Chicago Bulls’ Coby White during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Dec. 18, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

In all three games last week, Embiid put up at least 30 points and 10 rebounds, extending his 30-10 streak to 13 games. That’s the longest-running streak since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s 16-game 30-10 streak in the 1971-1972 season. 

What Joel Embiid is doing right now is unprecedented in the NBA. He’s on track for a historic three-peat as the NBA scoring champ, breaking records held by the NBA’s greatest big men like Abdul-Jabbar and Wilt Chamberlain. His stats this year are somehow even better this season than they were last year – despite playing fewer minutes per game – making him an obvious favorite to nab a second straight MVP award. And while Tyrese Maxey has been phenomenal in his own right, Embiid is doing all of this while not having the reigning assists leader by his side, putting an additional passing load on his shoulders.

Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid, center, goes up for a shot against Minnesota Timberwolves’ Rudy Gobert, right, and Karl-Anthony Towns during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Sixers fans know just how incredible the league’s reigning MVP is, but this week has been a new level for him. Embiid will miss the Sixers’ upcoming game against the Orlando Magic, but hopefully, his ankle injury is nothing serious, and he can continue this historic year.