According to the NBA, Joel Embiid has won his third Eastern Conference Player of the Week of this season. Philadelphia is on a five game winning streak, and Embiid has been absolutely ridiculous as of late; even for his own lofty standards.
Over the last four games they played, Embiid dropped 38.5 points, 6.8 boards, 2.8 blocks, and 1.5 steals, as the Sixers swept the Pacers, Timberwolves, Blazers, and Wizards. Dude shot 62 percent from the floor and 50 percent from three, lol.
Against Minnesota and Washington, he didn’t even have to continue demolishing, otherwise he could have really put up some bigger numbers. But Doc Rivers and co. will happily take the old-school load management, resting their top gun down the stretch. All in all, an MVP caliber week for Joel, and one that could have been even bigger had the games been tighter.
Joel won this award back in November, and December too. This is actually the tenth time he’s accomplished the feat in his career, second only to Allen Iverson, who has won it 20 times. Halfway there, Joel!
The 45-22 Sixers trail the 2nd place Boston Celtics by 1.5 games, and the first placed Milwaukee Bucks by three games. They have the fourth best record in the entire NBA, sitting just half a game behind the Denver Nuggets (first place in the very mild by contrast Western Conference).
The mildest West of all time?— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) March 13, 2023
The numbers that tell you it's the NBA's most mediocre West we've seen this century?
All covered here along with much more from around the league in my latest Monday Musings: https://t.co/nSDem3VHo3
Out West, it’s Sacramento Kings big man Domantas Sabonis, who wins Player of the Week. Sabonis’ team went 3-0, as the Portland native dropped 20 points, 10.7 boards, and 8.3 assists, nearly averaging a triple-double in wins over the Pelicans, Knicks, and Suns. Sacramento (shockingly) has the 6th best record overall, and holds 2nd place out West.
Sixer fans will be Kings fans for Monday night, as De’Aaron Fox and Sabonis host Giannis and the Bucks at 10 P.M. EST. Any closer Philadelphia can get to one of those top two seeds could dramatically enhance their odds of getting to their first NBA Finals since 2001.
According to some popular sports books, Joel Embiid is making a real race out of this MVP contest, as odds makers seem to think this one is wide open, despite the latest straw poll favoring two-time MVP Nikola Jokic.
Vegas senses some voters coming around to Embiid for MVP, the gap is narrowing fairly quickly here pic.twitter.com/Q0CLBOyv4v— DaveEarly (@DavidEarly) March 13, 2023
But another notch on Joel’s belt. The Sixers’ sensational center now leads the NBA in points per game with a career best 33.4 points. He won the scoring title a year ago, becoming the first center to do so since Shaquille O’Neal. Embiid’s silky smooth jumper has been straight butter recently, and James Harden, leading the league in assists, has helped him get to his spots in crunch time situations over and over this season.
We’ve seen this on numerous occasions this season, Harden make the read to clear out and let JoJo work.
The Sixers are next at Cleveland where they’ll take on a difficult match up in Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland’s Cavaliers. But the way Joel is playing, it should be an epic battle. The Sixers have won four of their last five road games.
As Kate Scott would say, for your MVP consideration...