Joel Embiid was having a terrific season before going down with an injury a couple of weeks ago. He missed a series of games for the Philadelphia 76ers but now is ready to help his team recover the 1st position in the Eastern Conference, which now belongs to the Brooklyn Nets. The difference is very short and the Sixers are ready to snatch the top of East in the next couple of games.
The big man was considered a frontrunner for the 2021 MVP award alongside LeBron James but after both players picked up injuries, the picture has changed. Embiid will try to return to his best form, lead his team to the postseason and claim the first MVP of his career. Following the Sixers' 106-96 win over the Boston Celtics, the player was happy with his performance but made it clear he still needs to work before playing at the same level he did before his injury.
"I'm not all the way there, but tonight was a big step, especially going from the Minnesota game. I felt better, but I still got a long way to go before I get back to where I was before I got hurt," he said, via Sports Illustrated.
Moreover, JoJo explained that his goal is to add a bunch of accolades to his résumé, not just MVP awards but Defensive Player of the Year honors, too, as well as being part of All-NBA Defensive Teams.
"My goal is one of these days [to] win Defensive Player of The Year and be on All-NBA Defensive teams."
We have seen a handful of players winning the MVP and DPOY during history but that's something possible for the Cameroonian. Last year, Giannis Antetokounmpo became only the third player to win both awards in the same season. Joel has a big chance to emulate that as long as he stays healthy for the Sixers.
He has the talent and the desire to win these awards but he needs to recover his best version if he wants to be considered a favorite for the MVP again. The Sixers survived without him and now that JoJo is back, this team looks dangerous again.