Joel Embiid Continuing To Be MVP Talent In Philadelphia

Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers, NBA
NBA Analysis Network

The Philadelphia 76ers are just 19-16 this NBA season and they are really struggling to be the 1-seed in the East that they were last season. Whether or not missing Ben Simmons is affecting this team, they definitely have a lot of things to sort out between now and the trade deadline. 

However, one of those things does not pertain to Joel Embiid, as the four-time All-Star big man has been playing some of the best basketball of his career recently. Since the start of December, Embiid has averaged 29.2 points, 11.2 rebounds and has shot 49.6% from the floor, but he has been even better over the course of his last six games. 

Since losing to the Brooklyn Nets on December 16, Joel Embiid has averaged 33.7 points, 10.0 rebounds, 1.7 blocks and he has shot 54.2% from the floor. He has also recorded a double-double and has scored at least 34 points in four of his last five games.

Not only is Joel Embiid looking more and more comfortable on the defensive-end of the floor, but teams still do not have a way to stop him once he gets going. Whether it is in the paint, in the mid-range area or at the free-throw line, Embiid is able to get any type of shot he wants and has been one of the most dominating players over the last month. 

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Trade Talks Involving 76ers’ Ben Simmons Gaining Momentum

The All-Star center currently ranks 4th in the league in scoring this month (min. 10 games played) and 6th in rebounding, meeting the same criteria. 

So far this season, Joel Embiid has not scored below 13 points in a game and he has scored at least 20 points in 15 of the 24 games he has played in. They may not be the best team in the Eastern Conference this season, but the Philadelphia 76ers’ big man is definitely still making his case for league-MVP. 

Finishing second in the MVP voting a season ago behind Nikola Jokic, Embiid entered this season with a chip-on-his-shoulder and he has been having an equal, if not better season than he did last year. 

Leading all centers in scoring this season, Embiid looks like he could be a starter in the All-Star game and his career-high 4.0 assists cannot go unnoticed. One of the biggest question marks surrounding Embiid’s games last season was if he could become more of a well-rounded facilitator and he has answered the call for the Sixers this season, especially with Ben Simmons no longer playing for them. 

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Trade Talks Involving 76ers’ Ben Simmons Gaining Momentum

Durability and injuries have always been a concern for Joel Embiid in his career and ultimately proved to be his downfall in terms of winning MVP last season, as he played 21 less games than that of Nikola Jokic. 

So far this season, Embiid has missed 11 games due to injuries and health protocols, but he is averaging more minutes per game than a season ago and looks fresh down the stretch run of games, something that could not be said last year. 

Perhaps the biggest thing that sticks out on Joel Embiid’s resume this season is that he currently leads the league in clutch points per game and he has scored 96 total clutch time points this season. 

Clutch time points are defined as any point scored in the last five minutes of a game when a team is leading or trailing by five points or fewer. The 76ers have won 7 games this season by 5 or fewer points and in those games, Embiid has scored 53 of his team’s total 98 points in the last five minutes of those games, including overtime as well. 

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Trade Talks Involving 76ers’ Ben Simmons Gaining Momentum

Accounting for 54% of his team’s total scoring down the stretch in these seven wins, Joel Embiid is one of the clutchest players in the league this season and the guy that the 76ers give the ball to and get out of the way down the stretch. 

With these kinds of performances and having the ability to take over a game late, Embiid is certainly someone to keep an eye on in the MVP conversation this season, even if the Philadelphia 76ers do not become much better of a team in the standings.

About Brett Siegel 1870 Articles
Brett Siegel joined NBA Analysis Network as an NBA Insider and Journalist in 2020 after previously working with Louisville Basketball and FanSided covering the NBA. He was a member of our staff until April 2022.