Joel Embiid finished with 40 points and 10 rebounds in Philadelphia’s 119-108 victory over the Bulls on Sunday — his seventh 40-plus game to put the Sixers within 1.5 games of the 1-seed Heat.
Last night made it clear that Embiid has become this season’s most unstoppable player — and deserves to be the odds-on favorite for MVP (+200*).
In an era where the center was supposedly on its way out, Embiid — along with the Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic, last season’s MVP — is proving it could still be the most important position.
- Embiid leads the league in scoring (career-high 29.3 points per game), free throws made (9.0), free throws attempted (11.1), and usage (36.9), and is second in efficiency (31.96) and ninth in rebounding (10.9).
- He is the first player in league history to average 50 points, 15 rebounds, and five assists per 48 minutes in a calendar month (January).
- Embiid is scoring from everywhere: the restricted area (73.1%), inside the paint (41.7%), from mid-range (43.2), and from three (36.4%).
The 76ers made the oft-injured Embiid the face of the franchise in August, inking the 27-year-old to a four-year, $196 million supermax contract extension.
The four-time All-Star has not only stayed healthy while carrying a team missing Ben Simmons, but he’s looking to seal a little history.
The last time a center won consecutive MVPs: Tim Duncan in 2002-03.