It’s the year of the big man in the basketball world. Joel Embiid is right in the thick of this season’s NBA MVP race.
Right now, it’s a one-two punch at the top of the MVP board. Embiid has some work to do to try and jump Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic, who many believe is the current favorite to take home the prestigious hardware.
Regardless, if the season were to end today, Embiid is confident he’d win the award. He admitted as much in an interview with NBA insider Shams Charania.
“There’s no doubt (I’m MVP),” Embiid said. “…I’ve been dominant all season. I’m not going to stop.”
While Embiid would love to be recognized as this season’s Most Valuable Player, he went on to tell Charania his main focus is winning a championship.
Take a look at his full interview below.
76ers star Joel Embiid sits down with @Stadium: “There’s no doubt (I’m MVP). I’ve been dominant all season. I’m not going to stop.” On motivation from feeling disrespected and frustrated last season, Shaq’s criticism “opened my eyes to actually realize that I can be that guy.” pic.twitter.com/Ud3O2APOkV
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 22, 2021
The Joel Embiid-Nikola Jokic debate is just about as close as it gets. Each has been dominant all-season long. Let’s look at the numbers.
Embiid has the edge in both average points and rebounds per game (30.1 points and 11.3 rebounds for Embiid compared to 26.4 points and 11.0 rebounds for Jokic). Jokic, of course, has a massive edge in assists per game (8.7 assists for Jokic compared to Embiid’s 3.2). Embiid has the advantage on the defensive end, but only slightly.
There’s no doubt the Sixers’ big man has been the more dominant scorer this season. But Jokic’s all-around efforts and balance attack might give him the edge in the end.