Joel Embiid’s phenomenal season in Philly has been overshadowed by Ben Simmons’ bullshit.

Joel Embiid’s phenomenal season in Philly has been overshadowed by Ben Simmons’ bullshit.
Picture: Getty Pictures

There was nothing misplaced in Joel Embiid’s 50 factors in 27 minutes towards the Orlando Magic on Wednesday evening as a result of it’s unattainable to speak in regards to the 76ers with out mentioning you already know who. Each dialog about Philly begins and stops with, “Think about if Ben Simmons…” Think about in the event that they traded him right here, or if he was taking part in there, or if he hadn’t handed up that dunk towards Atlanta, and on and on.

Even when Embiid goes for a 50 piece, you continue to can’t overlook irrespective of the standard of spotlight.

There’s no forgetting, and there’s no dropping monitor of the Simmons drama. The MVP odds post Kevin Durant injury have Embiid in fourth (+1000) behind Steph Curry (+160), Giannis Antetokounmpo (+280), and Nikola Jokic (+800) regardless of him placing up not less than 30 in 13 of his previous 15 video games, together with final evening’s 50 spot and a 41 level efficiency towards Boston.

They’re 11-4 over that stretch, and Embiid had led the crew in scoring all of these video games. He’s averaging 28, 10, and 4 on 49-37-82 taking pictures splits for the yr, per basketball-reference.com. He’s posted 17 double-doubles and a triple double within the 33 video games he’s performed, and the crew is 23-10 when he’s on the courtroom.

The one case towards him being on the forefront of the statistical MVP race, in addition to the narrative MVP race, is that he’s missed 11 video games, most of them as a consequence of a battle with COVID. (The hypothetical possibilities of the injury-prone Embiid being one of many handful of NBA gamers who needed to “battle” Rona needed to be cynically good.) These absences gained’t matter if he stays wholesome (a giant if), as a result of the three Vegas front-runners forward of him have solely performed 38, 38, and 40 contests respectively.

Nonetheless, it’s type of unusual that we haven’t heard extra chatter about him profitable the MVP, as a result of he’s having the particular type of season everybody salivated for out of Curry. Golden State is slumping, and the opposite two guys within the operating every gained the award the previous season or two. The one motive the headlines haven’t gone the way in which of Russell Westbrook’s MVP yr is as a result of Simmons hasn’t “deserted” the crew but. Whether or not you suppose he stop on the crew or he’s in the precise after the crew tried to commerce him, him nonetheless being there overshadows Embiid going ham.

Now the undisputed focus of the crew on the ground, Embiid’s alternatives to blow minds have solely elevated. It’ll by no means be regular to see a 7-foot, 280-pound heart do that.

I’m this man 17 occasions a recreation with Embiid.

Image for article titled Joel Embiid is the MVP in our hearts and on the charts

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Philly trustworthy ought to be basking in MVP and title contender segments, not trudging waist-deep by means of a slog of “High 5 Simmons vacation spot” items. I perceive Daryl Morey needs to justify dealing with the Simmons state of affairs like an entitled ass-clown and get a Damian Lillard-esque haul, however Embiid is taking part in like the very best man on a championship crew, they usually would possibly solely be a CJ McCollum-type participant away from a title this season.

The sharps give the 76ers the eighth-best odds to take residence the Larry O’Brien Trophy (+2000), per ActionNetwork.com, which might be a fairly correct reflection of actuality given the standings — and in the event you flip the Bulls (+2200) and Lakers (+1400) as a result of Vegas has to juice LA as a consequence of their standing as widespread betting favorites.

If I had ensures that Simmons can be moved by the deadline, I’d take a flyer on Philly. Morey has been on the opposite facet of fleecings earlier than, so you already know he’s not going to take a considerable L in any deal, however he’s nonetheless going to need to take an L.

The media has been speaking about every little thing however the on-court product in Philadelphia for thus lengthy that we’re numb to any piece in regards to the crew. It’s a horrible search for the group as they’re in jeopardy of not maximizing their window whereas Embiid is maximizing his skills.

It’s additionally dangerous for the NBA to have one in every of its most enjoyable gamers sit out a season — despite the fact that he’s wholesome — when it might barely get by means of a traditional yr, not to mention a COVID-plagued one, with all of its stars intact.

I’m not saying Adam Silver ought to step in and demand the state of affairs be resolved, however the league needs to be desperately hoping for a decision, as a result of in a season that may most likely be outlined by losses, it’d be good to keep away from an… avoidable one.

If Embiid had been to lose out on his likelihood at a hoop — and an MVP — as a consequence of entrance workplace ineptitude, we will toss no matter ebook finally will get penned about The Course of into the Greek Tragedy part on the library.


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