Hours removed from his 53-point outburst against the Charlotte Hornets, Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week. It’s the second time this season he’s earned the honor. Across three games last week, when the Sixers went 2-1, Embiid averaged 43.3 points (74 percent true shooting), 10.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists, one steal and one block.
His 53 points on Sunday marked his second game with 50 or more this year. Back on Nov. 13, he notched a career-high 59 points in a 105-98 victory over the Utah Jazz. Embiid is averaging a career-high 33.4 points on a career-high 64.2 percent true shooting in 2022-23. He hasn’t played 70 percent of the games to qualify for the league-wide leaderboards, but those 33.4 points per game would be tops in the NBA, ahead of Luka Doncic’s 32.9. If he’s still ahead after the next game, he will be eligible and snag the crown.
Zion Williamson won the award in the West, averaging 33 points and 8.3 rebounds amid a 3-0 week for the New Orleans Pelicans. Fellow All-Stars such as Jarrett Allen and DeMar DeRozan were nominees alongside Embiid. He’ll have a chance to defend this title beginning Tuesday at home against the Sacramento Kings.