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Joel Embiid Climbs To No. 2 In Latest NBA's MVP Ladder, DeMar DeRozan Breaks Into The Top 5

Joel Embiid Climbs To No. 2 In Latest NBA's MVP Ladder, DeMar DeRozan Breaks Into The Top 5

As stated every week, no matter how strong a player looks on the 2022 MVP rankings, their pursuers will be ready to shock the world when nobody expects them. Stephen Curry started this season as the top candidate to win the award, while Kevin Durant stole that spot for a couple of weeks. Giannis Antetokounmpo started the year topping the list before Nikola Jokic snatched that first position last week.

This week, the Denver Nuggets superstar remains atop of the list, but the rest of the top 5 did suffer some big changes, with some players making a case for themselves to win the coveted award. 

Giannis Antetokounmpo keeps dropping positions and ranks 3rd in the ranking this week. Joel Embiid has entered a hot streak that saw him record big games to propel the Philadelphia 76ers to the 5th position in the Eastern Conference standings.

Like every week, Michael C. Wright of NBA.com takes us through the 2022 NBA's MVP ladder. The Joker still leads the pack, but Embiid is trying to steal that position with his impressive performances. 

The reigning MVP has put together four triple-doubles over his last seven outings, and notched a 26-point double-double Wednesday to lead Denver’s third-straight victory. The night before in Detroit, Jokic scored 28 points to go with 21 rebounds and nine assists in 34 minutes. That performance marked Jokic’s fourth 20-20 game of the season. For context, the rest of the NBA this season (eight players) has combined for eight such showings. In the first quarter against the Pistons, Jokic notched his 3,000th assist to become the only Nugget to produce 5,000 rebounds and 3,000 assists.

Joel is ready to make a statement this next week, and if he keeps this great level and the Sixers keep climbing position in the East, he'll probably rank higher on this list soon. 

As an individual, though, Embiid continues to carry fifth-place Philadelphia through an ultra-competitive conference, where the sixth-place Milwaukee Bucks are just two games behind the East-leading Miami Heat in the standings. Embiid grinded through his 20th consecutive game Thursday after missing 11 contests earlier in the season. The Sixers own a record of 26-11 so far when he plays, and they’re an Eastern Conference-best 13-3 since Christmas. Philadelphia is 3-8 this season without Embiid in the fold.

So, while Embiid’s recent streak of four straight games with at least 35 points and 10 boards came to a close Thursday, keep in mind that he and Lakers star Anthony Davis are two of just four players since the 1976-77 to even accomplish that feat.

Embiid also moved past Moses Malone for No. 16 on Philadelphia’s career scoring list, while becoming the first Sixers player to be named a starter for the NBA All-Star Game for five consecutive seasons since Hall of Famer Allen Iverson (1999-2000 to 2005-06).

Chris Paul also got up one position, ranking 4th on the list, while DeMar DeRozan made it to the top 5. The Phoenix Suns and Chicago Bulls are two of the best teams in their respective conferences and these two have played a major role in those situations. The rest of the list of also filled with legendary talent that could get up in the next months.

The Next Five:

6. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors (Last week: No. 6)

7. Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets (Last week: No. 4)

8. Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies (Last week: No. 8)

9. Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns (Last week: unranked)

10. LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers (Last week: No. 10)

This race keeps getting interesting and even though some candidates have lost some rhythm in recent weeks, that's not an issue. This is a marathon and things could change in the future depending on how these players fare and how impactful they are for their team. Stay tuned, because this competition gets better by the day. Jokic is still 1st, but Embiid could take revenge and win the award that the Serbian snatched away from him last season.