The reigning MVP is.
There’s no debate to be had.
But let me humor you.
Two of the last three years Nikola Jokic has been First Team All-NBA. The other year he was Second Team. In those same years that Jokic was First Team, Embiid was Second Team. When Jokic was Second team (bullshit he wasn’t First Team by the way), Embiid didn’t even make an appearance on an All-NBA team.
Last year, both the Nuggets and Sixers made it as far as their respective Conference Semi-Finals before getting eliminated. The year before that, the Nuggets made the Western Conference Finals while the Sixers were swept in the Eastern Conference First Round. The year before that, both teams got eliminated in Game 7 of their respected Conference Semi-Finals.
The Western Conference over the last 3 years has been significantly better than the Eastern Conference.
Over the last 3 years, Jokic has played 225 regular season games, and 43 playoff games. Embiid has played 166 regular season games, and 26 playoff games.
When comparing Win Shares (WS), an advanced stat estimating the amount of wins contributed by one player, here’s what that looks like between the two since 2018-19:
Jokic – 11.8, 9.8, 15.6 (!)
Embiid – 8.7, 6.0, 8.8
“Win Shares is a player statistic which attempts to divvy up credit for team success to the individuals on the team. Full details are available below, but the important things to note are that it is calculated using player, team and league-wide statistics and the sum of player win shares on a given team will be roughly equal to that team’s win total for the season. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s total of 25.4 Win Shares in 1971-72 is the all-time single-season record and his 273.4 career Win Shares are the all-time career record. Abdul-Jabbar played long enough to compile many such career records. The all-time leader in Win Shares per 48 minutes is Michael Jordan (which falls in line with the prevailing wisdom on Jordan’s G.O.A.T. status).”
Nikola Jokic was nearly twice as valuable to his team as Joel Embiid was last year. And significantly more valuable than Embiid the two years prior to that.
I could dive deeper and deeper into the advance stats rabbit hole, but I’ll just leave you with this player comparison to better exemplify what I’m talking about:
Now let’s look into the playoffs. When the real basketball is played.
In his playoff career up to this point, Jokic has averaged 25.9 PPG, 11.3 RPG, and 6.4 APG shooting 51.2% overall, 40.6% from beyond the arc, and 84.0% from the free throw line. He has an average PER (player efficiency rating) of 27.5, and a WS/48 (Win Shares per 48 min) of .205.
Joel Embiid in the playoffs has averaged 24.2 PPG, 11.2 RPG, and 3.0 APG shooting 46.3% overall, 32.0% from beyond the arc, and 80.3% from the free throw line. He has an average PER of 22.9, and a WS/48 (Win Shares per 48 min) of .153.
In the playoffs, Joel Embiid has averaged less points, a lower Field Goal Percentage from everywhere on the court, has a lower player efficiency rating, and is significantly less impactful to his team than Nikola Jokic.
We did it.
We definitively proved that Nikola Jokic is a better all around basketball player than Joel Embiid.
He didn’t just “play more games” *cough* ESPN Propaganda *cough*. He’s simply a better overall player.
But I’m warning you.
Don’t let the MVP awarded to Jokic last year fool you. ESPN is going to be back on their bullshit.
Here were their predictions for MVP this year:
Tim Bontemps: Giannis Antetokounmpo
Jamal Collier: Giannis Antetokounmpo
Nick DePaula: Kevin Durant
Nick Friedell: Kevin Durant
Israel Gutierrez: Giannis Antetokounmpo
Tim Legler: Luka Doncic
Andrew Lopez: Kevin Durant
Tim MacMahon: Giannis Antetokounmpo
Bobby Marks: Jimmy Butler
Dave McMenamin: Kevin Durant
Kevin Pelton: Giannis Antetokounmpo
Jorge Sedano: Anthony Davis
Ramona Shelburne: Kevin Durant
André Snellings: Giannis Antetokounmpo
Marc J. Spears: Kevin Durant
Ohm Youngmisuk: Luka Doncic
The man just keeps proving over and over again he’s not only the best Center in the world, he may damn well be the best player in the world.
Joel Embiid who?