History Supports Joel Embiid's MVP Candidacy Despite Several Missed Games

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid.
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid. / Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

The numbers Joel Embiid is putting up right now don’t make sense. He’s scored at least 30 points in 13 of his last 14 games, scored 50 points in under 30 minutes and has the Philadelphia 76ers competing for homecourt advantage in the Eastern Conference. 

While Embiid’s play is speaking volumes, the overall team record and the amount of games he’s missed subtracts heavily from the argument that he should be the MVP. 

However, it’s not like there isn’t precedent for what Embiid is doing. 

In 1977-78, Bill Walton won MVP despite playing less than 80% of the games that year. He played in 58 of the possible 82 games (70.7%). Walton’s Blazers were the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference that year, but he still played the least amount of games any MVP has played.

That’s where the argument for Joel Embiid comes in. A lot of stars have missed time this season and the top teams don’t have candidates fully worthy of being a runaway option. Embiid belongs in the conversation, especially with how he’s played this year. 

Embiid is averaging a career high in points per game and in 3-point percentage – all while playing less than 33 minutes a game. 

WynnBET currently has his odds set at third at +300, behind Giannis Antetokounmpo and Stephen Curry (+275). 

With the way Embiid is playing, all the history and what MVPs normally get judged on might have to be thrown out the window. He’s having an all-time season, and voters shouldn’t be scared to reward him for it. And bettors shouldn’t be afraid to take a chance on it either.