Halfway through the season and Joel “The Process” Embiid has apparently pulled even with LeBron James in the race for league MVP. Having a career year, with his team in first place in the Eastern Conference, Embiid has been a dynamic force on both ends of the floor all season long. He’s averaging 30.2 points per game, 1.4 blocks, 1.2 steals, 3.3 assists, 11.6 rebounds, 85.6 percent from the free-throw line on a league-leading 11.6 FT attempts per game and 41.6 percent from downtown. Over at OddsShark, LeBron James is still a sizable favorite, but Embiid has overtaken names like Giannis Antetokounmpo, James Harden, Anthony Davis, Luka Doncic, and the man with a heck of a claim in his own right for the award, Nikola Jokic of Denver.
Would the Sixers need a top seed in order for voters to deliver The Process the upcoming award? If the top three candidates as of today are LeBron James, Joel Embiid, and Nikola Jokic, it would at least imply the voters are comfortable punching their ticket for a player on a team that did not wind up with a top seed; after all, the Utah Jazz have a 3.5 game lead over the Lakers, and neither Donovan Mitchell nor Rudy Gobert is among top favorites as of today.