Joel Embiid and Nikola just went head-to-head in tonight’s game between the Denver Nuggets and Philadelphia 76ers. Behind Embiid’s spectacular night, Philly roared to a seventh straight victory at the expense of the top-seeded team in the Western Conference.
In the titanic battle between arguably the NBA’s two best centers, “The Process” emphatically showed his dominance. Embiid finished with a game-high 47 points, 18 rebounds, five assists, three steals, and two blocks.
Former NBA player Jalen Rose reacted to Joel Embiid’s blistering performance after the game:
“There’s a great opportunity in Philadelphia to make it to the conference finals. I appreciate Joel taking it personal and putting a smackdown against Nikola Jokic.”
Embiid has lost some glittering hardware to Jokic over the past two seasons. He was runner-up to the Serbian in back-to-back MVP races and missed out on two All-NBA selections. “Troel” was last year’s scoring champ but it’s a small consolation to what he could have accomplished.
Joel Embiid could also suffer more of the same against Nikola Jokic this season. Philly’s superstar didn’t even make it as an NBA All-Star starter, unlike the Denver Nuggets big man.
Jokic is also making another ridiculously strong case for the newly-named Michael Jordan MVP Trophy this season. “The Joker” leads the NBA in triple-doubles with 15, five more than what Luka Doncic has.
Nikola Jokic’s 33 double-doubles are second only to Sacramento Kings center Domantas Sabonis’ 37. Embiid trails badly behind with just 22.
Joel Embiid, however, showed tonight that he can have a bigger impact on both ends of the floor than the reigning MVP. He had 47 points while no one else even reached 30. The Cameroonian grabbed 18 rebounds while no other player pulled down 10.
For practically the entire night, Embiid had the game in his hands with his production. As good as he was on offense, his impact on defense was even more mesmerizing. “The Process” took it to Nikola Jokic when given the chance to do so.
Joel Embiid’s display was both overwhelming and eye-opening. If he sustains this, he may yet grab the award that has eluded him over the past two years.
ESPN analysts favor Nikola Jokic’s Denver Nuggets to come out of the West than Joel Embiid’s Philadelphia 76ers to represent the East
Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid will face each other again on March 27 in Denver. It will be their last head-to-head this season unless they both reach the 2023 NBA Finals.
Former NBA players Jalen Rose and Kendrick Perkins both see the Nuggets winning the West rather than Philly coming out of the West.
Here’s Rose on how the playoffs could look for both teams:
“The West is more wide open. Anytime the Sacramento Kings have the better record than the Suns, the Lakers, the Clippers and the Warriors, I feel like the tougher path is in the East.”
Perkins tossed in his thoughts as well:
“The East is the harder conference. You got not only the Celtics, but you have the Nets to worry about along with Giannis [Antetokounmpo] and the Milwaukee Bucks. In the West, I don’t see anyone, especially if they get the No. 1 seed, the Denver Nuggets.
The odds are stacked yet again against Joel Embiid. He proved the doubters wrong last night but it remains to be seen if he can keep it up until the postseason.