When he has been on the court this season, Joel Embiid has been the most impactful player in the NBA. The reigning MVP has been scoring at an all-time level with improved playmaking, leading the Philadelphia 76ers to a 26-7 record when he plays.
Unfortunately, injuries have plagued him since the beginning of the season. Embiid, who has already missed over a quarter of the Sixers' 45 games, is scheduled to miss more due to left knee soreness. This not only raises concerns for the Sixers' regular-season standing and title chances, but it also makes it close to impossible for Embiid to win the MVP.
Sixers News: Embiid Set to Miss More Games Due to Knee Injury
The injury absence against the Portland Trail Blazers was Embiid's 12th missed game of the season. According to the new rules passed by the NBA last offseason, in order to qualify for major awards, players need to play 65 games out of the 82.
This means that for Embiid to qualify for the award, he can only miss five more games out of the remaining 37. This may be a tall order for a player regularly dealing with knee soreness.
And there is no reason for the Sixers to push Embiid in the regular season. Philadelphia needs to worry more about postseason success than regular season accomplishments.
Plus, even if Embiid were to hit the 65-game threshold, it would be hard for him to beat out Nikola Jokic and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who will likely have played significantly more games and minutes with similar levels of production and impact. MVPs very rarely play less than 70 games even without the new games played rule.
As of right now, Embiid has the third-best odds to win the 2024 MVP at +430. Nikola Jokic is the current frontrunner at +125 odds but there is still plenty of the season left.
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