Pat Bev weighs in on Joel Embiid vs. Nikola Jokic debate
Over the past two years, Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic have been neck-and-neck in the MVP race. Despite the Sixers star constantly taking his game to new heights, he’s finished second in voting in back-to-back seasons.
After falling short in 2021, it felt like Embiid was going to get over the hump last season. He posted career-highs in points (30.6) and assists (4.6) and was the first center since Shaq in 2000 to take home the scoring title. On top of this, he had the narrative of carrying his team while Ben Simmons distanced himself while waiting to be traded. Even with these factors, it still wasn’t enough to beat out Jokic.
Following an offseason full of guest appearances on ESPN’s First Take, LA Lakers guard Patrick Beverley has entered the world of podcasting. During a recent episode, he weighed on the great debate of the NBA’s top-two big men. While he didn’t want to take anything away from what Jokic has done, he feels Embiid is the most dominant force in the league right now.
“Monster. No discredit to Jokic, zero; he’s in a league of his own obviously. But Joel, you got to send the whole thing at him, everything,” said Beverley.
Can this be the year Joel Embiid finally secures the MVP award?
Looking back through history, there is a small group of players who won three-straight MVP awards. Voter fatigue is often mentioned in cases like this, opening the door for someone to dethrone Jokic this upcoming season.
Since he’s finished second twice now, Embiid is sure to be a name that first comes to mind when it’s time to cast votes this year. If he can maintain his level of production, he should be an easy frontrunner.
Another thing Embiid should have going for him is team success. The Sixers bolstered their supporting cast this summer and are now one of the league’s deepest teams. With an abundance of talent surrounding Embiid and James Harden, Philly should easily secure a top spot in the Eastern Conference.
Embiid will still have tough competition like Giannis and Luka in his way, but everything is lining up for him to finally secure the award that has eluded him for years now.
Mandatory Credit: Forbes