76ers star Joel Embiid named All-Star starter for 5th straight season
Before Joel Embiid shows the entire NBA why he’s the current best player in the world on national TV, the Sixer big man was awarded a special honor. During TNT’s pre-game show for the 76ers-Lakers game the 2022 All-Star game starters were announced, and to no surprise Joel Embiid was named as the East’s starting center.
With this ASG starter selection, Joel Embiid continues to rise within the ranks of 76ers legends. This will be Embiid’s fifth starting nod in a row, bringing him within two of Allen Iverson who was selected to seven straight All-Star games from 2000-06. There are currently only three Sixers with more starts, including Julius Erving (11), Dolph Schayes (11), and Allen Iverson (8). With his run for the record of most consecutive 30+ point games earlier on this month, safe to say Joel Embiid has a ton of 76ers records in sight.
While many NBA fans continue to stupidly debate whether Joel Embiid or Nikola Jokic are the best center in the league, there’s no denying his dominance in the East at the position. So far the only results we’ve been able to track are fan votes which account for 50-percent of the total ballots. The final returns showed Embiid far and away ahead of any other centers with 3.3 million votes. With the other 50-percent of votes coming from members of the media and players themselves, Joel Embiid likely received even more support en route to this All-Star starter selection.
Currently Joel sits at third in the league averaging 29 points a game. Embiid is also averaging 10.8 rebounds, a career-high 4.3 assists, and 1.4 blocks a game, making it clear why he’s been selected to his fifth straight All-Star game as a starter. Combine that with the utter tear Joel has been on over the past month and you’ve got yourself not only an All-Star starter, but the best player in the Association right now.
In case you missed it, Joel Embiid’s currently averaging more points (40.2) than minutes played (31.6) over his last five games. One of those games being Joel Embiid’s 50-point explosion against the Magic, tying a career high and one of the most efficient 50-point games in NBA history. Joel’s been so dominant he’s scored 30+ points in every game but one since Christmas. That stretch is 15 games long for anyone who’s counting.
Unlike the last few years, Joel Embiid is the only 76ers representative to make the All-Star game. With the pain-staking situation around Ben Simmons and his absence from his team combined with the inconsistent play of Tobias Harris, it isn’t hard to see why there is only one Sixer heading to Cleveland.
Regardless of how the stars around Embiid have failed him so far this season, it is nice to see the big man get the recognition he deserves. Without Joel Embiid’s dominance, especially over this last month, the 76ers would be far and away dead in the water. While he’s certainly played like a top center across the multiple years he’s earned ASG starter nods, this one has a different feel to it. Embiid has truly been asked to do it all, and so far has answered the call while remaining healthy.
As Joel Embiid becomes the front-runner for MVP, take a moment to appreciate his play over the course of this season. Hopefully this All-Star starting bid will bring more attention and praise to Embiid from the general NBA masses. I know Joel will certainly show why he’s the most dominant player in the league not only during the All-Star game in February but tonight on national television against the Lakers.
2022 East All-Star starters:— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 28, 2022
Mandatory Credit: Jared C. Tilton.