Joel Embiid Should be Considered an MVP Candidate

by Glenn Kaplan
by Glenn Kaplan

It is only January and talks of who should win MVP for the 2018-2019 NBA season is already heating up. A lot of people think it should either go Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks or James Harden of the Houston Rockets. I understand what they are saying, but what about Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers?

Embiid is averaging 27 PPG, 13.3 RPG, 3.4 APG, 2 BPG, and 0.5 SPG so far this season. He is averaging more PPG, RPG, and BPG than Giannis Antetokounmpo does. Antetokounmpo is averaging 26.4 PPG, 12.6 RPG, 6.1 APG, 1.5 BPG, and 1.4 SPG so far this season. James Harden is averaging 34.8 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 8 APG, 0.6 BPG, and 2.1 SPG so far this season.

Joel Embiid has 37 double-doubles, Antetokounmpo has 30 double-doubles, and Harden has 16 double-doubles, but he also has a few triple-doubles.

James Harden didn't have a great start to the season and he didn't pick it up until some of his teammates got injured. The Houston Rockets weren't a playoff team at the time when everyone was healthy at the beginning of the season. Houston is currently the fourth seed in the west with a 25-18 record. Harden could have taken off anyways even if his teammates were healthy.

Speaking of staying healthy, Joel Embiid has been healthy for the most part in the 2018-2019 season. He has made an major impact on the 76ers so far this season. Because of his play, Philadelphia's record is 29-16. They are currently the fourth seed in the east right now. Embiid is the focal point of the Philadelphia 76ers offense. He can play in the low post, he can shoot the three ball, and he can pass the ball effectively as well. Without his presence, Philadelphia is a different basketball team entirely.

Philadelphia may not be a playoff team without him because they don't have enough shooters. Joel Embiid is also a center and his position is more irreplaceable than a guard or a small forward.

Giannis Antetokounmpo would also be a tough player to replace on the Milwaukee Bucks. He also has a better supporting cast. Milwaukee isn't that much better than the Philadelphia 76ers. The Bucks record is 31-12 so far this season and they sit in second place in the east.

Joel Embiid should be the MVP right now in the NBA because he played the most consistent basketball from the beginning of the season between him, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and James Harden.