Throughout the entire 2020-2021 NBA season, Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid has been touted as one of the best in the game. Although it was difficult for people outside of Philly to consider the Sixers center an MVP candidate early on, it's even more difficult at this point to say he's not a frontrunner for the notable honor.
For the most part, Embiid's been pretty healthy this season. While he's dealt with his fair share of minor setbacks such as back tightness, ankle soreness, and knee swelling, the Sixers' big man hasn't missed consecutive games this season.
And so far, he's appeared in 30 of Philly's 36 games. Throughout his first stretch of games before the All-Star break, Embiid has averaged a career-high of 30 points in 33 minutes-per-game. To achieve that number, he's shooting more efficiently than ever all over the floor as he's drained 52-percent of his field goals while knocking down 41-percent of his three-pointers.
In addition to scoring, Embiid is also collecting his career-average of 11 rebounds-per-game while also looking like a notable Defensive Player of the Year candidate. To say Embiid's been doing it all would be an understatement.
On both sides, he's a dominant force, and his contributions have put his team in a position to be considered as the top team in the Eastern Conference at the All-Star break. With one-half of the 2020-2021 NBA season in the books, Yahoo Sports Insider Chris Haynes considers the NBA MVP award Embiid's to lose at this point.
"The Philadelphia 76ers’ big man is averaging career-highs in points (30.2), field goal percentage (52.1) and 3-point percentage (41.6) while leading his team to the best record in the Eastern Conference to close out the first half of the season. The 7-footer is dominating both ends of the floor so efficiently and doing it with guard-like moves. Right now, this is Embiid’s award to lose."
Throughout the last month or so, Embiid and Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James have been the top two debated on this discussion. While James certainly remains in the conversation, he's fallen off a bit over the last couple of weeks.
Meanwhile, Embiid has done nothing but improve his stock over the last eight games. While averaging just under 35 minutes on the court, Embiid has put up 31 points-per-game, 13 rebounds-per-game, and even shot 45-percent from beyond-the-arc. During that stretch, the Sixers went 6-2.
While others around the league, such as LeBron James and Nikola Jokic, certainly deserve to be in the conversation, it's hard to disagree with Haynes on the topic. MVP is Joel Embiid's award to lose at this point.