Joel Embiid has made a strong case for winning the NBA's 2023 MVP award. As he puts on stellar performances as the season winds down, the conversation around who wins the MVP award has become a hotly debated topic. While Nikola Jokic has been the betting favorite, Embiid has quickly closed that gap.
At the same time, many have pointed to the recent string of performances by both men as evidence of why Embiid deserves to win the award over Jokic. In fact, according to FanDuel, Embiid overtok Jokic this week as the betting favorite to win the award.
Giannis Antetokounmpo sits in third place before there's a steep drop off in odds. Recently, former NBA veteran DeMarcus Cousins appeared on Rachel Nichols' podcast to weigh in.
The way he sees things, with Jokic and Antetokounmpo already winning MVP awards in the past, it's Embiid's time now.
"I think it's big Jo's turn," Cousins said. "I think the other two guys have had theirs. Let's reward the big fella. If it's just about the numbers in the season, it still leans towards Jo. He's leading the league in scoring. He's dominating at an all-time high. Give the big fellaihis flowers. He deserves it. He really deserves it.
"And I'm not taking anything from the other two guys, but they've received their flowers. Not to say they won't get more in the future, but as of right now, big Jo deserves his flowers."
You can view his comments in the video above.
Joel Embiid's MVP odds as the season winds down
Embiid is gaining momentum as the betting favorite to win the MVP award. With just 14 games left in the season, Embiid and the 76ers (46-22) have been making an impressive run. The team is in the midst of a six-game win streak that sees them rapidly catching up to the second-place Boston Celtics (48-22) in the standings.
In addition, the Denver Nuggets (46-23) are beginning to struggle in the West with a four-game losing streak halting momentum going into the final stretch of the season. Early in the year, between Jokic's play and the Nuggets' record, the case was much clearer for Jokic.
Now, however, with dominant performances from Embiid and the Nuggets struggling, this season may be his best chance yet to win an MVP award. Throughout the month of March, Embiid has scored more than 30 points in all of the seven games he's played.
As Boogie Cousins also pointed out, Embiid is leading the league in scoring, a feat that certainly helps fuel his case for the MVP award. With the race being neck and neck between he and Jokic, it's clear that the final stretch of the season will be the deciding factor.
Below, you can view Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe discussing things on "Undisputed."