Race for MVP | Joel Embiid, the missing “statement game”?

Basket USA has been serving you for over a decade Top 5 Candidates for the “Most Valuable Player” trophy (MVP)”. It’s impossible not to mention this heavyweight duel between them this week Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiidin a clear second, on Saturday evening, where the last two polls have become number one and number two, respectively.

Team pivot with 47 points, 18 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks Sixers in fact he made his colleague common nuggets, mostly face to face. In detail, with Nikola Jokic defending him (about 10 minutes), Joel Embiid scored 30 points (on 13/22 shooting, including 2/4 from 3-point range), while Nikola Jokic scored just 4 points (1/3). in shots) when Joel Embiid takes him on defense (about 6 minutes)…

Offensively, as well as defensively, he is unbearable, so Joel Embiid allowed himself a lot as a bonus. clutch “To snatch the victory from Nikola Jokic’s nose and beard at the end of the game. Typically, this is the type of capital performance that will weigh heavily on voters’ minds at the end of the season as they choose the best player for the 2022/23 financial year.

Finally, and if the “eternal dolphin” Philadelphia there was no need for such a benefit, better known by the name ” statement game (or reference match), finally getting out of the boss’s imposing shadow Denverwho would have thought he was on his way to a third consecutive MVP title?

According to the best performances of the 21st century?

After all, it’s not the first time since the turn of the 21st century that a player has had a loud and memorable performance in the race for MVP and then made his way to the trophy.

No one has forgotten this evening in April 2017, when Russell Westbrook (50 points, 16 rebounds, 10 assists) moved to Colorado to confirm his 42nd triple-double of the season (a new NBA record) and crucify Denver for the 3rd time. point shot. For this evening in February 2016, when Stephen Curry (46 points) brought OKC to its knees, “ game winner The overtime legend is in the midst of a record season for Golden State (73-9).

It’s hard not to remember that evening in March 2014 when Kevin Durant (51 points, 12 rebounds, 7 assists) led the Thunder to a miraculous victory: back to back, in double overtime, despite an injury to Russell Westbrook and scoring the winning basket in Toronto. A wild performance like this one at Madison Square Garden in February 2009 that LeBron James (52 points, 9 rebounds, 11 assists) adored and cemented the record for the first of four MVP titles.

or can be referred to mano-a-mano Kobe Bryant (29 points, 10 rebounds, 8 assists), ahead of Chris Paul in April 2008, won LeBron James’ twelfth card (37 points, 7 rebounds, 12 assists and an unforgettable dunk on Jason Terry) at TD Garden in March. 2013 or Giannis Antetokounmpo’s (45 points, 13 rebounds, 6 assists, 5 blocks) dominance over the Sixers in April 2019.

Finally, before that, Shaquille O’Neal’s devastating birthday against the Clippers in March 2000 (61 points, 23 rebounds), Tim Duncan’s double-double against Dirk Nowitzki in March (32 points, 14 rebounds, 5 assists) then April (33 points, 16 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals, 3 blocks) in 2002 or James Harden’s historic triple-double against the Magic in January 2018 (60 points, 10 rebounds, 11 assists, 4 steals) .

Revenge for two months…

A lot of plays that fueled or ended up fueling these various MVP candidacies yesterday and today.

This weekend, Nikola Jokic could have lost more than a matchup against Joel Embiid if the two players had continued their pace through the end of the season and if Denver and Philadelphia had continued to hang in the balance. , nothing says that the Serbs will be in favor of the voters and narratives compared to the Cameroonian, as in 2021 and 2022.

On the one hand, this fatigue may have developed given his form, after which he won two trophies. On the other hand, considering the masterpiece offered by “JoJo” during the direct confrontation. But the good news for the “Joker” is that he will have the opportunity to take revenge on his “best enemy” at the end of March, during the second duel between the Nuggets and the Sixers.

Meanwhile, Nikola Jokic, firmly in his place as the leader of the Western Conference, remains ahead of Jayson Tatum in our MVP 2023 race anyway. However, watch out for Joel Embiid, who is coming back strong, as is Giannis Antetokounmpo, while Luka Doncic rounds out this Top 5 with an international emphasis.


1 – Nikola Jokic (Nuggets)
Assessment: 34 wins, 16 losses – 1st in the West.
Matches: 43 out of a possible 50 are controversial.
Statistics: 25.1 pts, 10.9 reb, 9.9 pds, 1.4 int, 0.6 ctr and 3.5 pdb in 34 minutes.
Percentages: 63% on field goals, 39% on 3-pointers and 82% on field goals.

2 – Jayson Tatum (Celtics)
Assessment: 36 wins, 15 losses – 1st in the East.
Matches: 48 out of a possible 51 are controversial.
Statistics: 31.1 pts, 8.7 reb, 4.4 ft, 1.1 int, 0.8 ctr and 2.9 ft in 38 min.
Percentages: 47% on field goals, 35% on 3-pointers and 87% on field goals.

3 – Joel Embiid (Six)
Assessment: 32 wins, 17 losses – 3rd in the East.
Matches: 37 out of a possible 49 are controversial.
Statistics: 33.6 pts, 10.0 reb, 4.2 pds, 1.1 int, 1.7 ctr and 3.7 pdb in 35 minutes.
Percentages: 53% shooting, 36% 3-p and 85% shooting.

4 – Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks)
Assessment: 33 wins, 17 losses – 2nd in the East.
Matches: 39 out of a possible 50 argued.
Statistics: 31.7 pts, 12.0 reb, 5.3 pds, 0.8 int, 0.8 ctr and 4.1 pdb in 33 minutes.
Percentages: 53% on field goals, 27% on 3-pointers and 64% on field goals.

5 – Luka Doncic (Mavericks)
Assessment: 27 wins, 25 losses – 6th in the West.
Matches: 43 out of a possible 52 are controversial.
Statistics: 33.4 pts, 8.9 reb, 8.3 pds, 1.5 int, 0.5 ctr and 3.6 pdb in 37 minutes.
Percentages: 50% on field goals, 36% on 3-pointers and 73% on field goals.

Notes : Kevin Durant (Nets), Ja Morant (Grizzlies), Domantas Sabonis (Kings), Stephen Curry (Warriors), Julius Randle (Knicks)…

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