The production Joel Embiid has provided the Philadelphia 76ers so far this season has been highly impressive. He’s been one of the NBA’s most impactful players and is a serious contender for the MVP award. It takes iconic performances in order to get it done. However, he has his sights set on the Defensive Player of the Year honor.
In order to win Defensive Player of the Year, Joel Embiid understands a great way to make a case for himself is to worsen the case for other contenders like Rudy Gobert.
By dropping 40 points, 19 rebounds, and 3 assists against the Utah Jazz, Joel Embiid made it clear that Rudy Gobert is no different than other big men in the league in the sense that nobody can stop him.
“Going up against him, one of my goals is to also be Defensive Player of the Year,” Embiid said, via Ky Carlin of Sixers Wire. “When you go against those types of guys, he’s a great player, he does a lot for his team that doesn’t show up in the stat sheet, but when you go against those guys, it brings something else in my game. I want to dominate on the offensive end, but mainly the defensive end. That’s the goal I set for myself at the beginning of the year.”
One of the top ways for a player to build a compelling case for any league-award is to have ‘signature’ performances that stick in the minds of voters. It’s especially effective when it’s on national television. Embiid’s outing against the Utah Jazz checks all of those boxes.
Joel Embiid will have ample opportunity to continue to build his case for both the MVP and Defensive Player of the Year honors after the NBA All-Star Break. With the Philadelphia 76ers sitting atop the Eastern Conference standings, it’s easy to make a compelling argument on his behalf.