Sixers: Who is better, Joel Embiid or Nikola Jokic?

Joel Embiid, Sixers (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Joel Embiid, Sixers (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

This has been a turbulent season for the Philadelphia 76ers and Denver Nuggets, both plagued with injuries, covid protocols and the absence of a star player. The  Nuggets being without both Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. due to injuries and the Sixers who will continue to be without Ben Simmons as his ongoing drama with the team continues approaches the trade deadline.

With adversity mounting against both of these teams they are still competing for a playoff spot as the Sixers right now hold the fifth seed with a 32-21 record and Nuggets fight to maintain their sixth-place standing with a 29-24 record. Both of these teams are not at full strength. But it has allowed these two players to put up game-breaking numbers and just recently both have been named Players of the Month for the NBA in their respective conferences.

Keeping this in mind, both of these players continue stockpiling ammunition in the long-running debate of Joel Embiid vs. Nikola Jokic — who is truly the better player? Like others before them — Tim Duncan vs. Karl Malone, Larry Bird vs. Magic — this question has been debated by analysts and fans alike who have scrutinized the careers of both players so far like a book as the story continues to take place.

Who is the best center in the NBA: the Sixers’ Joel Embiid or the Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic?

These two players have revitalized and have made the center position popular again with their display of dominance in this modern era of basketball. Just this season Nikola Jokic is first in player efficiency rating at 32 while averaging 25.9 points,13.7 rebounds and 7.9 assists . Joel Embiid just last month was in the midst of a historic streak, having eight straight 30-point games or more in a row, tying both Wilt Chamberlain and Allen Iverson for the Sixers franchise record. For the season he’s averaging 29.3 points (1st in the league), 10.9 rebounds and 4.4 assists  and he’s also second in player efficiency rating at 31.

Just recently, Joel Embiid tied his career high of 50 points against the Magic along with 12 rebounds and three blocks, and he did all this in 27 minutes while taking only 23 shots. Not to be outdone on the very same night, Jokic puts up a 49-point triple double to beat the Clippers in a stunning OT win. The similarities between these players make a debate like this so close that no one player is truly running ahead of the other.