It’s deja vu all over again. Word to Yogi Berra. Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid is second in an MVP race behind Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic.
In Michael C. Wright’s MVP Ladder on NBA.com this week, Embiid trails just Jokic for the top spot after leapfrogging Boston Celtics wing Jayson Tatum on Wright’s rankings. Tatum is third, while Giannis Antetokounmpo (fourth) and Luka Doncic (fifth) round out the top five.
“With Embiid at the center of it all, Philadelphia is must-watch TV, especially for NBA Rivals Week,” Wright wrote. “The Sixers dropped the Brooklyn Nets, 137-133, on Wednesday for their sixth consecutive win in the first clash between former teammates Embiid and Ben Simmons.”
Embiid and the Sixers have won six consecutive games and 19 of their past 23. The big fella is tallying a career-high and league-leading 33.4 points per game on 64.1 percent this season. He’s also averaging 9.8 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 1.7 blocks and 1.1 steals.
The superstar centers, Embiid and Jokic, will go toe-to-toe inside Wells Fargo Center on Saturday at 3 p.m. That one should surely be a delight, with both MVP candidates and title hopefuls playing quite well. The Denver Nuggets are 34-15, first in the West and have won 17 of their past 21 games. Jokic is averaging 25.1 points (69.9 percent true shooting), 11.0 rebounds, 9.9 assists and 1.4 steals.