After a very disappointing end to last season, it looks Philadelphia’s star big-man Joel Embiid is a man on a mission.
A season ago, the 76ers looked like a team that could go all the way and win it all with their line up of Embiid, an all-around all-star point guard in Ben Simmons, a young two-way player in Josh Richardson, a veteran three-level scorer in Tobias Harris and a veteran well-experienced leader in Al Horford. The year before, they even had the services of 2020 NBA Finalist Jimmy Butler.
But as we all know that didn’t wasn’t as they got swept in the playoffs by Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics and lost in Game 7 to a miraculous Kawhi Leonard buzzer-beater.
Although Embiid played great in that series, he was mediocre by his high standards for the most of the 2019-20 season. It actually got so bad that legendary big-man and four-man like Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley had to step in and challenge him to be great.
However, it seems that 26-year-old big-man is done with games and is looking to dominate.
After averaging 23.0 points, 11.6 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.3 blocks while shooting 47.7% from the field a season ago, Embiid’s come out like a beast this season averaging 26.6 points, 12.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.6 blocks on 54.4% shooting.
He’s been the man on the Philly team that is currently tied with Milwaukee for the second seed with an 8-4 record.
The seven-foot-tall Cameroonian already has two big performances this season.
First, Embiid erupted for 38 points, eight rebounds, five assists, three steals and three blocks to overcome the 60-point outburst of Bradley Beal and take out Washington 141-136.
Then, against Miami, he blew up for 45 points along with 16 rebounds, four assists and a career-high five steals on 16-23 shooting at the field to win the game in Overtime, 137-134.
Embiid has been no question, looking like a potential MVP candidate this season.
And with Philadelphia looking like a well-rounded team, it could be possible the this is the season where we see Philly, led by Embiid reaching the Eastern Conference Finals. However, it’s going to be a tough road considering that they have to contend with Milwaukee, Miami, Boston, and a Brooklyn team that just loaded up on firepower with James Harden.
The Sixers face the Heat next at 8:00 AM Manila time on Friday, January 15.
Do you think Embiid will win the MVP this season? Sound off in the comment section!