Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

Is Joel Embiid Out of the Race for MVP?

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) looks on in the first half against the Indiana Pacers at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

Joel Embiid was the NBA Most Valuable Player in 2022-23, and up until this season, he has remained one of the top contenders for the award. However, doubt has arisen in the past few days due to his recent injury.

The Philadelphia 76ers also received a stern penalty of $75,000 for it. They failed to include Embiid on their injury report in an “accurate and timely manner” before their Saturday game against the Denver Nuggets.

Is Joel Embiid Out of the Race for MVP?

What Has Embiid Achieved So Far?

Embiid set foot on a basketball court when he was 15. 14 years down the line, he has crossed off several goals on his bucket list. One of which is becoming the first NBA player in history to record 50 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, and five blocks in a game.

Embiid also became the first Philadelphia player since Allen Iverson in the 2000-01 season to secure the Kia NBA MVP Award. He is relatively well documented to be some ruler once he steps inside the court. He has been a standout player for Philadelphia ever since he was selected as the third overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.

Some of Embiid’s achievements are:

  • NBA All-Rookie Team
  • NBA All-Defensive Team x3
  • All-NBA Team x5
  • NBA Scoring Champion x2
  • NBA All-Star x6
  • Player of the Month x6
  • Rookie of the Month x3
  • Player of the Week x12 times

Does Embiid Still Have a Shot at Reclaiming the MVP?

The NBA has altered the eligibility requirements for several major awards, including MVP. Players must now participate in at least 65 games (with exceptions for season-ending injuries) and play at least 20 minutes per game for it to count towards consideration. The new collective bargaining agreement change is already affecting the 2023-24 NBA season, and players are racing to gain an edge.

Philadelphia decided to sit him out on Monday against the Portland Trail Blazers but expected him to be ready for Tuesday’s game against the Golden State Warriors.

Embiid missed Thursday’s game against the Utah Jazz due to a left knee injury against the Warriors. He scored 14 points, grabbed seven rebounds, dished out two assists, and recorded two steals before limping off to the locker room with four minutes remaining. His performance was unsteady and erratic, with a poor shooting percentage of 27.8%.

But things got worse. He got caught up with Warriors’ forward Jonathan Kuminga in the fourth quarter and suffered another apparent injury as Kuminga fell onto his leg.

It’s Not Yet Too Late, but the Race Is Tight

It’s a no-brainer that Embiid has been dominating the court and is one of the frontrunners for this award, given his impact as the reigning MVP. However, he has already sat out 12 games this season. This has thrown into question his chances of qualifying for a consecutive MVP award.

If he wants to maintain eligibility for the MVP title, he can’t sit out for more than five games in Philadelphia’s remaining 36 games. However, Embiid will likely be off the court for multiple weeks, making him ineligible for a repeat bid. He was diagnosed with a meniscus injury, and a timeline will be provided after this weekend.

Other top contenders in the MVP race include Nikola Jokic, Luka Doncic, Jayson Tatum, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.


More Posts