On the March 31 episode of, “The Dan Patrick Show,” Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard explained why Joel Embiid is his pick for this season’s Most Valuable Player award.
“I picked Joel Embiid because he’s – I feel like he’s been dominant all season long. His team is winning, I feel like he could’ve won it the last two years,” Lillard said. “I just think because, to me, he’s been the most dominant player. He’s been carrying his team.”
Lillard then explained why he believes Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic shouldn’t win the award, especially in light of how the Philadelphia 76ers star has played this season.
“You can’t continue to give it to a guy who’s won it twice in a row. Especially when you have a guy like this, that’s performing at the same level or maybe even higher. He also didn’t get it in one of the last two times he was at that level. I just think that’s not how it should work.”
Lillard also explained why he believes that Embiid has the edge over Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo.
“With Giannis, as great as he is, he won those back-to-back MVPS, and that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be able to win it again, but, when you look at the depth of their team, like they’re just so deep, you know they’re going to win a lot of games, You got guys like Jrue Holiday, Khris Middleton, Brook Lopez, Joe Ingles, Bobby Portis. They’re so deep, they’re going to win games, and that doesn’t take the credit away from how great Giannis is, but I just feel like the team success factor is going to be played in, so you also have to consider with just how good that team actually is.”
Draymond Green Believes Joel Embiid is MVP
Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green listed Embiid and Antetokounmpo as his top two MVP candidates on his podcast “The Draymond Green Show,” on March 21.
“Joel Embiid and Giannis Antetokounmpo is who I believe the MVP race has come down to,” Green said. “[Nikola Jokić], incredible year, as of late, he’s slipped and those guys have continued to ascend. As of late, the Denver Nuggets have slipped and those two teams have ascended. Both players are absolutely amazing. Giannis the other day had a perfect triple-double which was great.”
Green then explained why he gives a slight edge to Embiid.
“Right now in the MVP race, I think it’s Joel,” Green said. “I think it’s Joel’s award to lose. I think the way he loses that award is his team starts losing. Joel’s going to put up Joel numbers, Joel going to do what Joel has been doing. It’s Joel’s award to lose.”
Nikola Jokic Praises Joel Embiid
Even though he didn’t get to face Embiid when the Nuggets faced off against the Sixers, Jokic praised Embiid as a player during his postgame press conference on March 27.
“I think he’s a great player,” Jokic said. “I think he’s gonna be remembered as one of the most dominant players in the league. The guy’s a beast and he’s so talented. He can affect in many ways on the floor. He can post up. He can face up; he can shoot threes. He can defend really well. He can, in some situations, guard one through five. So he’s really, I think he’s a really, really good player.”