The NBA announced this afternoon that Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic are the NBA Players of the Month for their respective conferences.
Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic named the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month for January. pic.twitter.com/3EVgRxLRY7— Derek Bodner (@DerekBodnerNBA) February 2, 2023
Joel also won the award for December, after Jayson Tatum won for November. Overall, it’s the sixth time in his career Embiid has received the honor. For the month of January, Embiid averaged 34.9 points, 10.7 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.0 steals, and 1.6 blocks, against 3.4 turnovers. He sported 54.9 FG/42.1 3PT/86.1 FT shooting splits.
As a team, the Sixers went 11-3 over the course of the month. Embiid sat out four of those games (Indiana, Chicago, Detroit, and Sacramento), with the team going 3-1 in those contests. The recent run of success had the Sixers as high as second in the East, and they currently reside in third, one half-game behind Milwaukee and just 3.0 games behind Boston.
The numbers Embiid puts up continue to be remarkable. He was the first international player to lead the league in scoring last season, and the first center to average 30 points per game in 40 years. This season, he has been even better, raising his average from 30.6 points per game to 33.5 points per game, on a career-best .642 true shooting percentage. He’s currently a tenth of a point above Luka Doncic to repeat as league scoring champion. And Joel is doing it all while serving as the team’s most important defensive player and battling through foot and shoulder issues.
Now, if we could only convince voters that the man selected as the best player in the conference for two of the three months of the seasons thus far should be starting in the All-Star Game, but I digress. Another worthy honor for Embiid. Take another moment to appreciate what you have in this man, Sixers fans. And if you want to battle it out between East and West for the overall January Player of the Month, may I present Exhibit A: