ESPN’s Zach Lowe voted for Joel Embiid to win MVP award

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ESPNs Zach Lowe voted for Joel Embiid to win MVP award Stephen A Smith Kendrick Perkins

ESPN’s Zach Lowe voted for Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid to win this season’s MVP award. The NBA analyst admitted it on his podcast late Monday. It should come as no surprise, considering the six-time All-Star became the first center to win back-to-back scoring titles since Bob McAdoo (1974-76).

“I voted 2023 MVP Joel Embiid,” said Lowe. “I went Embiid, Jokic, Giannis, Tatum, Donovan Mitchell. That’s my MVP ballot. I think the last five weeks has just been all Embiid. And I voted Embiid MVP in the end. I think he’s deserving, and I think he’s going to win and maybe easily.”

Referring to a couple of NBA betting sites, Embiid remains the top favorite to win MVP. Sportsbooks show Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic with second-shortest odds, followed by Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo.

The ESPN analyst considered the facts. In 66 starts this past regular season, Embiid averaged career highs of 33.1 points, 34.6 minutes, and 11 field goals per game. Along with logging 10.2 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.0 steal, and 1.7 blocks, the center shot a career-best 54.8% from the field and 33% beyond the arc.

In Philadelphia’s 103-101 win over the Boston Celtics on Apr. 4, the four-time All-NBA member notched 52 points, 13 boards, six assists, and two blocks in 39 minutes of action.

ESPN’s Zach Lowe, Stephen A. Smith, and Kendrick Perkins are among those who voted for Joel Embiid to win MVP

Not to mention, Embiid shot 20-of-25 (80%) from the floor and 12-of-13 (92.3%) at the foul line. Joel Embiid recorded 39 double-doubles of the season. It was also his third 50-point game of the season.

So, what’s the case for Nikola Jokic to win MVP? First off, the Nuggets finished 53-29, ranking at the top of the Western Conference standings. The five-time All-Star led the league in triple-doubles with 29 as well. It wasn’t close. Domantas Sabonis of the Sacramento Kings finished second with just 14.

In addition to amassing 58 double-doubles, Joker averaged 24.5 points, 11.8 boards, 9.8 assists, 1.3 steals, and 33.7 minutes per game. Denver’s superstar posted five 40-point games during the regular season. Meanwhile, Embiid recorded 13 40-point games.

Furthermore, Jokic led the NBA in true shooting (70.1%), player efficiency rating (31.5), win shares (14.9), box plus/minus (13), and value over replacement player (8.8). Plus, Embiid led the league in 2-point field goals (662). To add to Lowe’s vote, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith decided on Embiid, according to sources.

Needless to say, it all depends on the voter’s criteria. Offense? Defense? Rebounds or wins? Changing the MVP formula to appease disappointed fans is a slippery slope. Opinions based on blind homerism are usually controversial with the voting process. It sends the wrong message that players are judged on popularity rather than skill.

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