Christmas has yet to arrive, but Philadelphia 76ers fans have already received a massive gift: a strong start to the 2023-24 NBA season. The 76ers are 19-8 through their first 27 games of the campaign and have consistently been among the Eastern Conference's top three teams.
Philadelphia's strong start couldn't have been made possible without several key players stepping up, making them deserving of every gift they want this holiday season. At the same time, others aren't pulling their weight, landing them on Santa Claus' Naughty List with Christmas just days away.
Here are the three 76ers who are on the Nice List, as well as two who've landed in Naughty List territory.
76ers Nice List #1: Joel Embiid
The 76ers wouldn't be where they are today if it wasn't for another Joel Embiid's MVP-level performance.
The NBA's reigning Most Valuable Player is dominating at an entirely different level than normal. He's averaging career-highs in points 35.1 points on 65.2% true shooting while tallying 11.8 rebounds per outing. Assuming his scoring pace doesn't slow down, Embiid is on pace to lead the league in scoring for the third straight campaign, which would make him the ninth player in history to do so.
That's without mentioning his six 40-point performances through his first 24 games, which includes a pair of 50-point efforts in December alone.
What's also impressive is that Embiid has transformed into quite the playmaker. After averaging just 3.6 assists per game in his career, he's operating on a 5.9 APG clip this season, solidifying his transformation into an even more well-rounded player.
As of Dec. 21, Embiid's mind-blowing campaign has led to his being the 2023-24 NBA MVP favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook, further proving why he deserves Nice List honors.