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Stephen A. Smith Lauds Nikola Jokic As The MVP After Denver Nuggets Win Over Philadelphia 76ers: "Nikola Jokic Got The Better Of Joel Embiid"

Embiid Jokic

The Denver Nuggets overcame the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night courtesy of an all-around performance from reigning MVP Nikola Jokic. The leading scorer across teams on the night was Joel Embiid, who couldn't lead the Sixers to the win as they blew a 19-point lead en route to a 4-point loss.

While Embiid won the scoring battle with ease, Jokic's larger impact on the game has been given a lot of credit as the Serbian center closes in on his second consecutive MVP trophy. Embiid is Jokic's closest opponent, but it seems he has fallen two steps back after this performance in the eyes of voters.

ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith shared his comments on the game and the MVP race on his show, emphatically placing Jokic to repeat as the winner this season.   

"Joel Embiid's MVP case is starting to show cracks big enough that Philadelphia might make it a tourist attraction. Let's be honest, Nikola Jokic got the better of Joel Embiid on Monday night. The reigning league MVP knocked off his supposed biggest challenger, in Philadelphia. Came back and won on the road, despite being down by 19. Jokic is still leading his team to big victories, despite playing without the services of Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. It's not the same story for Embiid."

Pointing out team strength is fair considering the Nuggets are without two max-contract players. However, Denver's role-players gave them a massive boost as Bones Hyland and Jeff Green had 20-point nights to supplement Jokic. But Jokic was dropping eye-watering dimes all night to facilitate their success.

The 76ers were with James Harden, who played a very passive game and ended up with 24 points on good efficiency. But efficiency doesn't matter when the team is losing and this loss has set Embiid's MVP campaign back a few pegs. 

Hopefully, the 76ers center can make a late and final push to hold off Jokic. Stephen A. Smith is a voter for the MVP award, so opinions like this from other voters may have already sealed the race in Jokic's favor.