Sixers: The chants of EMVPiid will soon fill the Wells Fargo Center

Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

An MVP-caliber performance. Joel Embiid‘s best overall game. A showing that single-handedly destroyed the Utah Jazz.

These are some of the accolades showered on the Sixers‘ superstar center after dropping 40 points and 19 rebounds on arguably the best defensive center in the NBA. Embiid floated like a butterfly, stung like a bee, and scored like a man possessed in an overtime victory.

Though Embiid didn’t score a single point from the field in overtime, his presence was fully felt for the final 12 minutes of his 40-minute outing, amassing four rebounds while locking down the paint like a certified defensive player of the year.

Seriously, Embiid elevated his exemplary game to another level in those final 12 minutes, and he very well may have vaulted himself ahead of LeBron James in the MVP conversation, a front-runner status that’ll be his and his alone until proven otherwise.

Oh yeah, and did I mention that Embiid also hit a crazy, circus-level 3 pointer to take the game into overtime? Because he did that too, and I’ve gotta say, it was a sight to be seen.

But do you know what would have made it better? Having fans in the Farg erupt, turning bated breath into the kind of thunderous applause only Philly’s faithful can produce.

Well, as it turns out, we won’t have to wait too much longer for that day to come around, as the Sixers will officially be able to have 15 percent capacity at their games post-All-Star break, and Joel Embiid will surely still be putting up memorable performances over the final 36 games of the regular season.

The Sixers are getting fans back at the best possible time.

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In a way, it’s a borderline miracle that the Sixers – and the NBA as a whole – have made it through the first half of the 2020-21 season relatively unscathed.

Sure, plenty of teams have missed games, and the whole “Seth Curry incident” will forever go down in the footnotes of NBA history in a similar vein to Rudy Gobert’s infamous microphone touching fiasco, but for the most part, the NBA is back, and the games are mostly watchable.

The lack of fans, though, has surely taken some getting used to and still feel a bit eerie even when everything else is firing on all cylinders.

And think of all of the fantastic moments fans have missed out on that you just know would have generated a pop we haven’t seen around these parts since… well, I can’t even say.

Imagine how hyped fans would have been to witness Ben Simmons’ first made 3 of the year in a blowout win over the Orlando Magic? Or how about when Danny Green drained nine 3s in a January win over the Miami Heat? You just know the Farg would have been rocking when the “Seven Sixers” took the court in what may be the closest thing fans around these parts see to “The Process” for the foreseeable future.

Gettings fans back, even if it’s just 3,100 of Philly’s best and brightest, will surely help to bring back that ruckus atmosphere that made the Well Fargo Center one of the toughest home courts in the NBA and only fuel Joel Embiid’s MVP candidacy in what’s shaping up to be a two-man race between “The King” and “The Process.”

If Embiid keeps playing like he did versus the Jazz, I certainly won’t bet against him.

dark. Next. Snubbing Seth Curry from the 3-point contest is a flippin’ travesty

Once upon a time in the not too distant past, fans, pundits, and outside observers alike openly opined over whether the Sixers should trade away Joel Embiid to fully build around Ben Simmons. But now? Now Embiid is an MVP favorite, the best player on the best team in the East, and has arguably cemented himself as the most talented 7-footer in NBA history, at least according to Max Kellerman. While only time will tell how long Embiid’s “Process Prime” will last, it’s nice to know at least some fans will get a chance to see him perform like the best player on planet earth.