Joel Embiid is an incredibly tough player to guard in the NBA and has been for several seasons since emerging as a perennial MVP candidate. Embiid has always had the talent for big-time lights and moments. That desire to win and to be the one to want to make the important plays down the stretches of games.
Embiid has multiple clutch shots and plays to seal victories this season. Some examples of that this season are this go-ahead mid-range jump shot in Utah, this icy stepback 3-pointer over Nikola Jokic, this smooth ten-footer over DeJounte Murrray, or the interception he made the next possession in the same game. Those are a few examples that beg me to ask the question, how is Joel Embiid not a finalist for the inaugural NBA Clutch Player of the Year Award? I’ve seen that there hasn’t been enough talk about that on the Internet.
The three finalists are Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox, Chicago Bulls guard DeMar DeRozan, and Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler. All three are respectable options as lead ballhandlers with the ability to find ways to score or find their teammates. Each player will need to be compared to Joel Embiid. It is awards season and almost everyone with an opinion on #thisleague fills out their own ballots as if we have a vote.