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Can’t we just enjoy Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic for who they are?

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Article Summary:

As Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic have developed into the two best centers in the NBA, the discourse about them from Denver Nuggets and Philadelphia 76ers fans has grown increasingly toxic.

Like Jokic, Embiid is averaging a career-high 30.0 points per game while shooting 51.6 percent overall and 37.9 percent from deep. Opponents are shooting 3.9 percentage points below their overall average when Embiid defends them, and they’re 8.4 percentage points below their average against Embiid within six feet of the basket.

Nuggets head coach Mike Malone conceded Jokic isn’t the same type of defensive presence as Embiid, but he wasn’t willing to say Jokic is a bad defender.

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