At this stage of the season, Philadelphia 76ers star big man Joel Embiid has vaulted himself as the favorite to win his first MVP award after finishing as the runner-up to Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic for two consecutive seasons.
Embiid has scored 30+ points in nine straight games, a Sixers franchise record, and he is leading the league in scoring at 33.5 points while shooting an efficient 54.6% from the floor. He has been absolutely phenomenal on both ends of the floor.
However, not everyone sees him as such. Former NBA coach George Karl hopped on Sirius XM Radio and had this to say about Embiid:
I don’t want to bad mouth Embiid because I think he’s really, really good. A lot of my assistant coaches were in Philadelphia when he was a young player, they kept telling me that he was going to be the best guy to ever play the game. I see him moving in that direction, but he takes too many possessions off. He has lazy, body language. He gets angry at things that we don’t understand why. I just don’t know if he’s that NBA pro that we all love because he’s a competitive SOB. From what I know in Philadelphia, everybody says he’s playing great. In games I’ve seen, he played really really well. He’s played great in the 4th quarters, came up with a lot of comeback wins. I can only like one big guy, and I take Jokic over Embiid.
Embiid has been absolutely terrific since the All-Star break as he has been terrific on both ends of the floor. He has been dominant offensively and he has taken his defensive intensity to another level. Does he take some plays off here and there? Sure, but there shouldn’t be any questions about his dominance out on the floor.
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Story originally appeared on Sixers Wire