‘Clearly MVP:’ Sixers Stars Gush About Joel Embiid

Celtics Clowned for Inability to Contain Joel Embiid

Getty Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Philadelphia 76ers have championship aspirations — and their best player has positioned himself to earn the league’s biggest individual award.

All-Star center Joel Embiid scored 36 points and grabbed 13 rebounds on Friday versus the Los Angeles Clippers in another dominating performance. He got to the free-throw line 18 times (16-of-18 from the charity stripe) while fighting through double teams all night. The Sixers are now 20-2 when Embiid gets to the line at least 10 times. He’s strengthening his case for MVP more and more every day.

“I don’t think teams really know what to do when guarding him,” Sixers guard Ben Simmons said. “I think he’s clearly the MVP this season. He’s been so dominant. I don’t how to stop him.”

Embiid is averaging 11.8 trips to the line every game, plus 30 points and 11.1 rebounds per game in 38 contests this season. Some nay-sayers claim the 7-footer hasn’t played enough games to win the league’s most coveted award. Don’t put Sixers head coach Doc Rivers in that classroom.

“If I was voting, it would be Joel and then probably the kid in Denver,” Rivers said referring to Nuggets star Nikola Jokic. “Everything he’s done that I had seen on film, he’s better at it.”

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Embiid Winning MVP in Court of Public of Opinion

It’s not just Embiid’s teammates that are jumping on the MVP train. Legendary college basketball coach Rick Pitino took to Twitter to give the Sixers’ big man a resounding vote of confidence after Friday’s game, saying “no doubt about it” in regards to his MVP candidacy.

“But when it comes to the MVP stuff, I feel like I’m still right there,” Embiid said earlier this week. “When I’m on the floor, I feel like I played the best all season. You know, just doing my thing, just dominating with the help of my teammates and coaches putting me in the right position to succeed.”

Despite missing a dozen games due to a knee bruise, Embiid is ascending up the KIA Ladder rankings for MVP on The Association’s official website. He’s listed at No. 3, right behind Jokic and Portland’s Damian Lillard.

“I think overall Joel is well deserved,” teammate Furkan Korkmaz said. “He’s deserving to be All-Star, but to say MVP, I think that’s a big point for him, that’s a big point for us. I think we should feel lucky to have him. We should appreciate him and I think he’s the best right now in the league.”

Embiid’s 36-point performance on Friday put him in rare air as he became the first Sixers player to score 35 or more points in three straight games since Allen Iverson in 2006. MVP. MVP. MVP.

Sixers Get Time to Rest, Finally

It’s been a whirlwind second half since the All-Star break, one filled with long road trips and a slew of back-to-backs for the Sixers. Finally they get some much-needed rest. The team is off until Monday (April 19) when they host the Golden State Warriors at Wells Fargo Center.

Philadelphia has played five games in eight days, in addition to coming off a four-game road trip where they went 3-1. The Sixers have gone 7-2 in the month of April and hold the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, but fatigue is always a factor.

“I thought they played really hard and I thought there were a lot of mistakes from both teams,” Rivers said after Friday’s 106-103 win. “A little bit of that was fatigue. You can see that. The harder and more tired you get, the brain is the first thing to cut off, and you can see that a little bit tonight.”


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