Top 5 Reasons Why Joel Embiid Should Win the 2022-23 NBA MVP

While talking about this year’s MVP race, I am sure that many people in the Greater Philadelphia Area would agree with Neumann University senior, Zachary King, when he said that Joel Embiid “is the MVP because he was just too dominant.”

Embiid is the center of the Philadelphia 76ers, and for the third year in a row, he is a finalist for the NBA MVP award. The last two years he has lost to Denver Nuggets center, Nikola Jokic, who is also a finalist again this year, as well as another familiar face, Bucks power forward, Giannis Antetokounmpo, who won MVP back-to-back in 2018-2019 and 2019-2020.

Despite both Jokic and Giannis having incredible seasons for the Nuggets and Bucks respectively, I feel like the award should go to the Philadelphia 76er’s big man once and for all, and here are five reasons to prove why Embiid deserves to win this year’s NBA MVP award.

  1. He was almost fully healthy throughout the season

In the era of the NBA we live in today, especially with load management, it is not common for players to play all 82 or in rare occasions, 83 games, unless you are Philly native, Villanova graduate, and rising Brooklyn Nets star shooting guard, Mikal Bridges

Throughout this season, Joel Embiid has played in sixty-six games, his second consecutive year playing over sixty. When playing, he has been unstoppable. He finished this season with his second-straight scoring title and was recognized as the Eastern Conference Player of the Month three times in the months of December, March, and April.

  1. He was a dominant force on both ends of the court

Men lie. Women Lie. The stats don’t lie. Just look at these numbers.

  • First in scoring at 33.1 points per game
  • Seventh in blocks at 1.7 blocks per game
  • First in field goals made
  • Second in free throws made
  • First in free throw percentage amongst centers at 85.7 percent

If you’re not convinced yet, then let’s look at how he capped off his remarkable season.

Over the Sixer’s last eighteen games, Joel Embiid racked up an NBA-best 33.3 points per game on an astonishing 59.5% shooting while averaging 1.9 blocked shots over that span. The star big man joined former MVP and Hall of Famer, Shaquille O’Neal (1999-00) as the only players in NBA history to put up those type of numbers for eighteen or more games in a row.

Also, in Philadelphia's playoff-clinching win over the Boston Celtics on April 4, Embiid went off for 52 points, 13 rebounds and six assists on 20-for-25 shooting from the field. He became only the third center in NBA history to record three fifty-point games in a single season, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Wilt Chamberlain.

  1. Dominated Head-to-Head Matchups

If you want to be the best, you need to beat the best, and that is exactly what Joel Embiid did. Aside from leading this 76ers squad through tough stretches without key players, James Harden and Tyrese Maxey, he was able to lead his team to the third best record in the Eastern Conference. While doing so, he was also able to outperform the other two candidates, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Nikola Jokic, in head-to-head matchups.

In the six matchups he played against them, he had a record of 3-3 and outscored his rival in all of his wins. During these games he averaged 36.8 points, 13.8 rebounds and 5.8 assists, including a stat line of 47 points, 18 rebounds, and 5 assists in his January 28th match up against Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets.

  1. The Philadelphia 76ers Were Rolling

This year’s Philadelphia 76ers squad finished the regular season with a 54-28 record, their most wins in franchise history since they had 56 during the 2000-2001 season when they made it to the NBA Finals. That was also the last time a 76er won the MVP award when Allen Iverson took home the hardware. Their star center, Joel Embiid, played a huge role of the Sixer’s success when the team started the season 12-12 and ended 42-16.

  1. It is Embiid’s Time

The last two years, Joel Embiid was in the race for the MVP award, but he ultimately lost to Nikola Jokic both times. However, this year should be his year. He tallied more points, more blocks, fewer turnovers, and even led his team to a better overall record.

Neumann University junior and diehard 76ers fan, Chipper English, said, “I believe Joel Embiid is the MVP this season because he was the most dominant player in the NBA on both sides of the floor”, and I couldn’t agree more.

 Joel Embiid played in almost all of the 76er’s games and led them to their most successful season in over two decades. He also outperformed his fellow MVP candidates in head-to-head matchups and put up impressive numbers that put him in the same conversation as all-time greats. With his talent, determination, and leadership, it is clear that Embiid is ready to take home the prestigious award and solidify his place amongst the best players of all time.

Joel Embiid 2019

Photo credit: All-Pro Reels, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons