Joel Embiid talked MVP, missing Jokic matchup, and how nothing else matters besides a championship after last night’s win against the Mavericks
The Philadelphia 76ers returned home last night and snapped a three-game skid, beating the Dallas Mavericks 116-108 at The Well, marking their 50th win of the 2022-23 regular season.
Joel Embiid led the Sixers in scoring with 25 points on 8-of-17 shooting from the floor. He added nine rebounds, three assists, a steal, and one signature block against Luka Doncic to seal the victory.
James Harden also returned to the floor for the Sixers, scoring 15 points on a dismal 4-of-14 shooting from the floor to go along with 12 assist, four rebounds, and three steals.
Tyrese Maxey scored 22 points of 6-of-13 shooting from the floor, connecting on 4-of-9 from beyond the arc.
Joel Embiid on NBA MVP Voting
Do you think it’s fair if your MVP chances are hurt by missing the Denver game?
I don’t care. Like I said, it’s all about the playoffs. If one game is going to hurt anybody’s chances, then I guess everybody should be out of it. We all have bad games, guys miss matchups, that’s not the first time. And it’s not really a matchup about me and Nikola, he’s a great player, amazing player, like I always say. Back-to-back MVPs, he’s one of the best players in the league and I’m a huge fan. Not playing against him was a huge bummer.
But there’s a bigger goal in sight. That’s to make sure we’re healthy for the playoffs. I got nothing to prove. That last matchup, we won and I had whatever I had. And to go out there and say I’m scared after what I did the last time is stupid.
Like I said, I don’t care if I win or not. I’m just focused on trying to win a championship and whatever happens, happens. If I win, great, and If I don’t win anything, I don’t care.
Embiid clearly does not give a shit about the NBA MVP Award and honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Health is of the upmost importance entering the 2022-23 playoffs and for a team that hasn’t been healthy at all over the past four playoff appearances, that’s exactly what the mindset should be.
While Embiid tells everyone he doesn’t care, ESPN released it’s final NBA MVP Straw Poll of the season this morning and has the Sixers’ center sitting in first place, just two points ahead of two-time reigning MVP Nikola Jokic.
Embiid has managed to edge Jokic in total points, 790 to 788.
This award was unsurprisingly Nikola Jokic’s to lose. He was on cruise control and basically cemented into winning his third-straight MVP Award, something Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlain, and Bill Russell have done.
The Philadelphia 76ers cruised through a rough March schedule and won eight straight games in the NBA’s hardest post-All-Star schedule, while Denver lost four straight games and five out of six at the beginning of March.
That stretch started to change the narrative of who would be crowned the league’s most valuable player at the end of the regular season.
Joel Embiid leads the league in scoring at 33.2 points per game for the second straight season to go along with 10.2 rebounds and 4.2 assist per game. The Sixers should easily lock up the Number 3 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs, with only six games remaining on the schedule.
Look, to be honest, the poll is too close for my liking but maybe we have just been burned too many times in the past to trust these NBA Beat Writers to do the correct thing by crowning Embiid the NBA MVP.
If the straw poll is any indication, which it typically is, then Embiid is set to take home the league’s most coveted NBA regular season award for the first time since Allen Iverson did it in a Sixers uniform 20+ years ago.