Analyzing Joel Embiid's MVP Caliber Season
Joel Embiid is having his best season yet and is an absolute terror on the offensive end. He's shooting at an extremely high volume from the mid range is scoring on his attempts efficiently. He's also leading the league in post up possessions and post up points by an extremely large margin.
After yet another disappointing postseason, things are starting to look up for the Philadelphia 76ers. They are currently the number one seed in the Eastern Conference and the new additions of head coach Doc Rivers and sharpshooters Seth Curry and Danny Green have cemented them as legitimate title contenders. While much of their newfound success can be attributed to these additions, the biggest difference between this season and past seasons is the improved play of Joel Embiid, one of the league's top MVP candidates.
Joel Embiid has struggled to remain on the court throughout his short NBA career. He did not play any games his first two years in the league because of a foot injury and has yet to play over 80% of the games in a given season. However, so far this year, he has played in over 82% of games, which is the best of his career. The saying, “The best ability is availability” applies to Embiid as he has shown that when he plays the 76ers perform better.
Joel Embiid is averaging 7 more points a game this season than last season and is scoring more efficiently than ever. Surprisingly, a large portion of his success can be attributed to his post-up and midrange play, both of which are considered to be very inefficient types of shots. However, Joel Embiid is making those shots look efficient.
He's currently averaging 51.30% from the mid-range, 8% higher than the league average. This is also his first time averaging above 50% from the mid-range and this improvement has led to career highs in PPG, eFG%, and Offensive Rating. It's also interesting to note that although the league has been taking fewer midrange shots over the past couple of years, Joel Embiid has been increasing his attempts. He's averaging 5.6 attempts per game, good for 6th in the league.
He's shooting significantly better than elite guards like Bradley Beal and Devin Booker and is shooting better than any big man not named LaMarcus Aldridge or Nikola Jokic.
Alongside his mid-range game, his post play has been fantastic as well.
When it comes to the post-game, Joel Embiid is in his own world. He's averaging more post-up points and possessions than any other player in the league by a large margin, including other elite big men like Nikola Jokic and Anthony Davis. Not only is he attempting a lot of post-ups, but he's also doing so efficiently. He's outperforming every elite big man as shown above.
Joel Embiid's improved play has cemented him as an MVP favorite and his dominance in both the paint and the midrange have elevated the entire 76ers team. They're the first seed in the Eastern Conference and are potential favorites. They're currently 1-1 in their season matchup against the Brooklyn Nets and are 2-0 against the Boston Celtics. They have yet to face the Milwaukee Bucks but the improved play and durability of Embiid might tip the scales in their favor.
Video Credits: NBA.com
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