NBA MVP Ladder 2.0: Is the award Joel Embiid’s to lose in the second half of the season?

Lakers forward LeBron James (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Lakers forward LeBron James (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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Philadelphia 76ers
Philadelphia 76ers Joel Embiid (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) /

NBA MVP Ladder, No. 1: Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers

Joel Embiid has continued to dominate the competition as he has led the Philadelphia 76ers to the top seed in the Eastern Conference. The fifth-year big man appears to be in the best shape of his career and it’s imperative to the 76ers success that he remains healthy.

Embiid has elevated his game to another level and has firmly entrenched himself as the front runner for the MVP award at the moment. He has been deadly from mid-range, in the post, and from behind the arc as defenders still haven’t figured out how to slow him down. Embiid remains a dominant force around the rim and makes it easier for his teammates as he commands double teams whenever he touches the ball and also has had a major impact on the defensive end.

If he can continue his dominance and keep the 76ers atop the Eastern Conference, then Embiid will be a heavy favorite to win MVP. Embiid is averaging career highs in points (30.2) field goal percentage (52.1) and 3-point percentage (41.6).

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The fact that the 76ers are 1-5 in the six games that Embiid has missed bolsters his case and justifies how valuable he is to the team. In his latest game against the Utah Jazz, the top team in the Western Conference, Embiid scored 40 points and grabbed 19 rebounds in an overtime victory where he clearly took charge and came up clutch in an MVP-worthy performance. As of right now, the award is Embiid’s to lose.