Sixers: Nick Wright is wrong about Joel Embiid’s MVP case

Joel Embiid | Sixers (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Joel Embiid | Sixers (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Sixers center Joel Embiid has continued his incredible, dominant 2020-21 MVP campaign in spectacular fashion. A 50-point, 17-rebound, and five-assist game against the Bulls was followed by 25 points and 17 rebounds against the very pesky Toronto Raptors. All that stacked on to a season during which Embiid has dropped 30 points or more 13 times.

While we can sit back and appreciate what Embiid has been able to do this season, many within NBA media are holding true to the long established narratives that brought them notoriety and yes, big TV deals.

Fox Sports’ Nick Wright has a misguided interpretation of the MVP race. Sixers center Joel Embiid deserves more credit.

Peep the scenario. It’s the Feb. 25 edition of Fox Sports’ First Things First with Nick Wright and one of the regular segments on the show typically features Nick Wright creating a hierarchy type-ranking or pyramid, and on this specific show, Wright was ranking the top eight players to be considered for 2021 NBA MVP. Sixers big man and leading scorer, Joel Embiid was among those, along with a few head-scratchers.

Now, there were many questionable things about this here ranking. James Harden being considered top eight among All-Stars is one of them, but none of those things really mattered to me.

Not until I peeped the top two names on his ranking, and he’s got Joel Embiid at number two and LeBron James positioned at number one.


Since Anthony Davis reaggravated his calf injury on Feb. 15 against the Nuggets, the Lakers have been catching L’s ever since and are currently on a four-game losing streak as we speak.

LeBron James is averaging 25.6 points, 8.1 rebounds and 8.0 assists per game this season.

In contrast, Joel Embiid is putting up 29.8 points,11.3 rebounds and  3.1 assists per game.

Even advanced metrics like usage percentage put Embiid ahead with 33.8 percent, compared to LeBron’s 31.9 percent. Bear in mind LeBron is the primary ball-handler on his team. A testament to how aggressive Embiid has been all season long.

Bring out all the other metrics too, if you dare. Player efficiency rating? Embiid sits comfortably at 30.7 to LeBron’s 23.5. True shooting percentage? LeBron is at 59.2 percent compared to Joel Embiid’s 65.2 percent.

We can go deeper, for the naysayers if they’re feeling froggy.

Try this on, LeBron is currently averaging 35.1 percent in 3-point shooting percentage. Embiid is averaging 40.5 percent. Granted, LeBron is attempting more shots from beyond, but Embiid’s a center, he ain’t supposed to take that shot anyway.

There is no part of Nick Wright’s argument that holds up or holds water and thankfully, former Boston Celtics forward Antoine Walker was a guest on the show for that segment and let him know that.

For what it’s worth, I love Nick Wright, I probably wouldn’t have taken a shot at anything sports media related, had it not been for how much fun he made it look. Typically, Nick is not far off when evaluating Embiid, so I know he doesn’t have anything against him. Rather, it’s his loyalty to LeBron that’s winning out.

That being said the Sixers and all their fans cannot tolerate dissent at this critical juncture.

It’s Joel Embiid or no one for 2021 MVP.

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