The Philadelphia 76ers won yet another game that they would have lost last year, all thanks to a dominating performance by Joel Embiid.

Embiid led the way for the Sixers win, scoring a game-high 42 points, 10 rebounds, and only one turnover in 33 minutes, as the Sixers erased a six-point deficit in the fourth quarter to defeat the Boston Celtics 117-109.

The 26-year-old Superstar now has two 40+ points, 10+ rebounds performances in his last three games, while he continues to throw his name into the early season MVP discussion. The only players with multiple 40-point games early on in the season are Joel Embiid and Bradley Beal. In the 12 games Embiid has played this season, he has lead the Sixers to a 10-2 record while averaging 27.2 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 1.4 steals and blocks each early on in the season.

 

With LeBron James, Nikola Jokic, Luka Doncic, and Kevin Durant in the discussion, Embiid is in stiff competition with these superstars. Still, Joel Embiid has the early advantage over all of them. While Doncic and Jokic are statistically superior to Embiid, the team record plays a huge role in choosing the MVP. With Jokic’s Nuggets and Doncic’s Mavericks each outside of the Western Conference playoff picture at 7-7, Embiid’s Sixers 10-5 record give him an edge over each of the European-born superstars.

LeBron James continues to defy father time in his 18th season, averaging 23.7 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 7.5 assists a game on the best team in the NBA. However, James has the privilege of playing with another superstar, Anthony Davis. With Ben Simmons continuing to struggle and Embiid seemingly carrying the team, Simmons’ recent struggles can actually strengthen Embiid’s MVP argument over King James.

Moving on to another former MVP, Kevin Durant has shown no rust after tearing his Achilles in the 2019 NBA Finals. KD has started his Brooklyn Nets career averaging 31.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 6 assists a game on a 9-7 Nets team. While Durant is looking his vintage self, he also has the help of former MVP James Harden and 6-time all-star Kyrie Irving. With that star-studded big three in Brooklyn, Durant’s usage on offense could see a decrease, but also having two top 15-20 players as running mates will also sting Durant’s chances.

Since Jojo has come into this season healthy and in game shape, he has been able to play higher minutes than he has in the last few years and has the stamina to be the end-of-game clutch player for the Sixers that they have been looking for. If Embiid continues to stay healthy, the Sixers may have a player win the NBA Most Valuable Player for the first time since Allen Iverson in 2001.

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