Joel Embiid is truly phenomenal. The man nicknamed “The Process” ended last season winning his first of (hopefully) many MVP Awards. After finishing as the runner-up the previous two seasons, it was seen as a big moment for the big fella and for the fans.
Despite some fans trying to discredit the award, Joel Embiid was dominant the entire year and finally earned the hardware that he deserved. Leading the entire league in points per game at 35.0 on an excellent 54.0% from the field while regularly dominating every other center matchup on defense, Embiid had his best season last year. That being said, this year is looking like it could blow last year’s campaign out of the water.
Joel Embiid takes his game to another level
One of the biggest knocks to Joel’s game has been his playmaking. Historically, Joel has never averaged over 4.2 assists per game. This year, without James Harden, he’s bumped that total up to 6 assists a night, 3rd in the NBA for a center behind 2 time MVP Nikola Jokic and Sacramento Kings star Domantas Sabonis. Embiid knew that with Harden likely to be gone early on in the season, he needed to become a better passer, and he has clearly done so.
On the season, Joel Embiid has started in 25 of the Sixers games. He has taken yet another leap forward, especially as a scorer, averaging 35.0 points per game (a career-high) on 54.0% from the field. Add in 11.7 rebounds, 2.0 blocks, 1.2 steals, and 6.0 assists per game (another career high), and it’s no wonder why Joel is the front-runner to win MVP yet again. The man has literally scored more points than he has minutes played, something that only Wilt Chamberlain had previously done. He has gone from one of the greats of his era to potentially cementing himself as one of the greatest of all time.
Joel Embiid has been on fire for the entire month of December. He is casually averaging 40.2 points and 12.6 rebounds on 60.6% from the field. He has elevated not only himself but the entire team during that stretch as well, leading the Sixers to an 8-1 record during that time. Yes, this is a weaker part of the schedule, but Joel Embiid was still dominating even earlier in the year as well against the Bucks and the Celtics.
There have only been two games where Joel has scored less than 26 points all year long. The last time he scored less than 30 points was on November 15th. Most recently, Embiid scored an astounding 51 points against the number 1 ranked defense in the league, the Minnesota Timberwolves. Not too bad for a guy feasting on bad teams.
This is a common theme for Joel Embiid. He’s a player who consistently finds new ways to get better every single year and finds new ways to dominate his opposition. From his midrange to his leadership to his playmaking, Joel stays committed to becoming a better basketball player for Philadelphia in his pursuit of a championship. A lot of fans in the NBA hate on Joel and it’s a shame. Great players and generational talents only come around so often, and people should remember to sit back and enjoy greatness while they can.
AP Photo/Chris Szagola