Joel Embiid has been among the most disrespected players in the NBA throughout his career, particularly in the last three seasons. Over his previous two seasons, he missed out on two MVP awards and two All-NBA first-team appearances, thanks to Nikola Jokic. This season has been no different, as the disrespect has worsened. Embiid was recently selected to the bench of the All-Star game, missing out on a starting spot to Jayson Tatum, Kevin Durant, and Giannis Antetokounmpo. Furthermore, he is the first player in NBA history to lead the league in scoring and not be named a starter for the All-Star game. The disrespect has to stop.
Embiid solidifies his MVP case
Fortunately for Embiid, he proved why he deserved much more respect in the brightest lights possible. The conversation of Embiid vs. Jokic has been one of the most talked about subjects over the last few seasons. The more popular narrative is that Jokic is the better player and the best center in the league. A large part of Jokic’s argument is his victory over Embiid and the Sixers last season. Their first matchup this season was dominated on all fronts by Embiid.
His final stat line consisting of 47 points, 18 rebounds, five assists, three steals, and two blocks, displays pure domination on both sides of the ball. The second half was all Embiid as he scored 28 points; for reference, Jokic scored 24 points all game. He was the primary factor in the Sixers’ 15-point comeback, scoring seven straight points in the fourth quarter to give the Sixers a 115-110 lead. It was evident throughout the game that the Sixers were a lost team without Embiid on the floor. The Nuggets extended their lead the most when he was on the bench, and the Sixers would cut back into it when he returned.
This game will go down as one of the biggest, if not the biggest, games in Embiid’s career thus far, as it could very well win him the MVP award. He completely outplayed the reigning two-time MVP on national television and made him look silly. The MVP award is now Embiid’s to lose.