The 2022 NBA All-Star starters have been announced, and as we all expected Joel Embiid has officially made the cut.
Embiid has now made the All-Star game for five straight years, and joins DeMar DeRozan, Trae Young, Giannis Antetokounmpo and captain Kevin Durant as a starter for the Eastern Conference.
Over in the Western Conference, Steph Curry, Ja Morant, LeBron James and Nikola Jokic have been named as deserving starters along with, surprisingly, Andrew Wiggins.
Embiid could not be more deserving of being named an All-Star starter again. After being the MVP runner-up last season, the big fella has managed to take his game to yet another level this year with a range of improvements. His defense has mostly been sharper, his court vision and passing in a larger playmaking role has been better than ever, he’s thriving by handling the ball more in transition, and even his screening is more solid than before. Put everything together, and he’s even better than last year’s MVP-level form.
It’s easy to run out of words to describe Embiid’s play at this point, but sheer dominance just about sums it up. In 27 games since returning from having COVID-19 on Nov. 27, he’s averaged 31.6 points, 11.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists to only 2.9 turnovers, one steal, and 1.4 blocks with 51.5/37.5/82.9 shooting splits for a 62.6 true shooting percentage.
When you just focus on his scoring surge since Christmas, he’s been even better at a whopping 34.7 points per game with a 66 true shooting percentage.
And not that anyone needed more convincing that he should be an All-Star starter (or MVP candidate) at this point, but his scoring over the last four games has been absolutely incredible. Historically incredible.
Joel Embiid has scored 170 points in just over 128 minutes in his last 4 games, good for 1.32 points per minute.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 26, 2022
The only player with a higher points per minute over a 4-game span since minutes became official in 1951-52 is Wilt Chamberlain (min. 50 minutes). pic.twitter.com/WMbUYmzzgo
This four-game stretch, starting with his absurd 50-point outburst in just 27 minutes against Orlando on Jan. 19, is just the latest statement Embiid has made as he continues to dominate everyone in front of him.
It’s safe to say Embiid has earned this All-Star honor with ease. The only question moving forward this season is whether he can establish and maintain a spot at the front of the MVP race.
And with the remarkable form Embiid’s been displaying for a couple of months now, you can’t put anything past him.