The 2022 NBA MVP race is one for the ages, with several players placing their bid for the coveted award. Initially, we believed only four players had a serious shot at the award, but more stars have signed their names on the list of candidates, making it a very exciting competition.
The latest NBA's MVP ladder has Giannis Antetokounmpo atop the ranking, followed by Kevin Durant, Joel Embiid, Nikola Jokic, and Stephen Curry in the top 5. Curry and Durant led the ranking in the first months of competition, but now the Greek Freak is leading a race to win his third MVP in the last four seasons.
Moreover, the rest of the players want to dethrone him and Joel Embiid is doing impressive things to take over the Milwaukee Bucks superstar. Embiid has led the Ben Simmons-less Sixers to the 5th position in the East, boasting a 23-17 record. His recent performances have earned him MVP buzz and a former Sixers player picked him as the favorite to win the award right now.
Talking on TNT's Inside the NBA, Charles Barkley made a case for Embiid, claiming nobody's playing better basketball than him right now (1:47).
“Joel Embiid is my favorite for MVP today. A month ago Stephen Curry was in the same position. But if you look at the NBA lately, nobody plays better basketball in the world than Joel Embiid."
While Shaquille O'Neal said Embiid is top 3, but not top 1, Barkley is convinced the center has done enough to become the MVP favorite at this very moment. In 29 games, the Cameroonian big man is averaging 27.1 points, 10.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists, while shooting 48.2% from the field and 38.3% from deep.
He finished as runner-up last season behind Nikola Jokic. Embiid has reasons to play great basketball and win individual awards, but he's focused on leading his squad to the promised land. Once again, he's thriving. The race will be harder than last year, but Joel is already getting praise for his season. This is a long run and everybody has a chance. Time will tell how the situation unfolds.