There’s been plenty of buzz surrounding who will win the Most Valuable Player award this year. Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid and Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic. Among those who believe Embiid is now the frontrunner is Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green.
On the March 14 episode of “The Draymond Green Show,” Green explained why he believes Embiid has helped his case for MVP compared to Jokic.
“Joel Embiid has been on a tear, and the Nuggets have been sliding,” Green said. “(The Nuggets) have been kind of losing a little bit as of late. Philly’s been winning a little bit as of late. Joel’s been playing great all year but also as of late. 39 here, 39 there, 37, and he’s willing his team to wins. I think that has to account for something.”
Green then added who he believes is the current MVP frontrunner.
“In my MVP race with 13 games to go or however many games these teams got, I think Joel has started to create a little separation now. Saying that, it’s still super close, so that can still change, but I think right now, when the next MVP ladder comes out, if it comes out within the next week or so and Joel continues this, Joel gotta take the no. 1 spot because I think he’s been playing that way, his team’s been winning, and then also like I said, if you look at the Nuggets, they’ve had a little slippage. They’ve lost a few games, and that matters in this tight MVP race.”
Joel Embiid Ranked No. 2 in Latest MVP Rankings
On the March 10 edition of NBA.com’s MVP rankings, Michael C. Wright ranked Embiid no. 2 behind only Jokic, explaining how Embiid factored into how the Sixers thrived on their recent road trip.
“On paper, the team’s five-game road trip to start the month looked daunting. But the Sixers handled it masterfully, finishing 4-1 with Embiid dropping 35 points or more in three of those outings,” Wright said.
Wright added how Embiid’s play factored in three crucial Sixers’ victories.
“The signature showing of the trip took place Saturday in Milwaukee, where Embiid scored 31 points to go with 10 assists and six rebounds in the team’s 133-130 comeback victory against Antetokounmpo and the Bucks… Two nights later, Embiid produced his 11th 40-point night of the season in a win over Indiana before following with a strong showing against a three-time Kia Defensive Player of the Year.”
Stephen A. Smith Believes Joel Embiid is MVP Frontrunner
On a March 13 episode of First Take, ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith explained why he believes Embiid is the current frontrunner for the MVP award ahead of Jokic. Much like Green, he believes Embiid’s play as well as Denver’s bad stretch is why he gives Embiid the edge.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I know Vegas is saying something different. I don’t want to hear anything about Jokic being a front-runner for the MVP right now, the way Denver has tailed off. Joel Embiid. Joel Embiid! I’m gonna say it one more time, Joel Embiid! I’m sorry, that man has got to be right up there if not No. 1,” Smith said.