Joel Embiid

Joel Embiid steamrolling toward an MVP repeat

As good as he was last season, Joel Embiid is leaps and bounds better this season.

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The NBA’s reigning MVP is showing no signs of resting on his laurels.

Joel Embiid beat out Denver’s Nikola Jokic for the MVP award last season, and he has a chokehold on the race for another Michael Jordan Trophy. According to PointsBet, he is the favorite at +200 odds, beating out Jokic (+275) and Mavericks star Luka Doncic (+400) at the moment.

Once again Jokic is producing extraordinary numbers, but when Embiid’s current exploits are putting him in a category with the best players to ever play the game, it’s worth noting.

Asked about Embiid after the big man dropped 51 points and 12 rebounds in 36 minutes in a 127-113 win over the Timberwolves, Minnesota guard Anthony Edwards said, “I’ve never seen anything like it. He’s unstoppable. I don’t see how they lose a game.”

Point-a-Minute Pace

Embiid has 843 points this season, in 819 minutes played. The only player in NBA history to average better than a point per minute for an entire season (minimum 1,000 points) was Wilt Chamberlain’s 1961-62 season, where he averaged 50.4 PPG in 48.5 minutes per game. (Yes, he averaged more than 48 minutes; he played all but eight minutes that season.

30/10 Vision

Last night’s 51-point, 12-rebound performance against Minnesota was the 12th straight game for Embiid with at least 30 points and 10 rebounds. In the last 60 seasons, the only players aside from Embiid with a streak that long are Chamberlain (multiple times) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who had a 16-game streak in the 1971-72 season.

Grilling Up 40-burgers

Embiid is averaging 40.8 ppg in the eight games he has played in December. In the last half-century, the only other players to do so (minimum 8 GP) are James Harden (43.6 PPG in January 2019) and Kobe Bryant (four times).

Among the Giants

He has 12 35/10 games this season already, and 81 in his career. Only Shaquille O’Neal (115) and Karl Malone (114) have more career 35/10 games since the NBA/ABA merger beginning with the 1976-77 season.

Third Time’s the Charm

If you’ve read this far, you wouldn’t be surprised to learn Embiid leads the NBA in scoring, at 35.1 PPG. He is on his way to winning his third consecutive scoring title. The only five players with more scoring titles read like NBA royalty: George Gervin (4), Allen Iverson (4), Kevin Durant (4), Chamberlain (7), and Michael Jordan (10).

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