MIAMI – Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid Congratulation Nikola Jokic on winning the NBA Most Valuable Player award for the second consecutive season, adding Tuesday night that there was no “right or wrong” answer among the many deserving nominees.
But Embiid also said that, from now on, he would focus only on the “bigger picture” – winning the championship.
“No,” Embiid said, when asked if he was surprised when ESPN’s Adrian Vojnarowski reported on Monday that Jokic would win the award again. “I mean, that’s something I’ve known for weeks, maybe two weeks before the season ends, after those games against whether it’s Denver and Milwaukee, and when [ESPN did its] straw poll or whatever. I just knew it wouldn’t happen.
“Obviously, congratulations to Nicolas. He deserved it. He had a great season. There is no right or wrong. There were a lot of candidates. It could have gone either way. Giannis [Antetokounmpo]And Devin BookerBeing in the best team in the league, by far. So, I think every year is about whatever you guys decide, whatever fits the narrative as much as who gets to win.”
Embiid was one of three finalists to reach the award for the second year in a row, having amassed the best season of his career – the NBA’s best 30.6 points, along with 11.7 rebounds and 4.2 assists in 68 games. .
“I’m not crazy,” Embiid said of not winning the MVP award (the NBA is expected to make an official announcement of the winner later this week). “That’s two years in a row putting myself in this position. It didn’t happen. It’s almost, at this point, anything. Whatever happens, it happens.”
“Last year I campaigned about it. This year, I answered questions when asked, and in the next few years until I retire, it was almost like… Like I said, I wonder what else I need to do to win for me, it looks like Like at this point, it’s anything. It’s all about focus, not that I haven’t been focused on the bigger picture, but you know, it’s really time to put all my energy into the bigger picture, which is winning it all.”
Embiid also disputed a comment from Bill Simmons of The Ringer, who said in a podcast last month, “F— Galen Green“when discussing Green’s potential nomination for the All-Rookies team while playing with the worst-case Houston Rockets in the league. (Simons) tweet later explain his position.
Members of the media vote on the NBA awards.
“What if Galen Green was in a position to earn a Super Max, or I don’t know, All-Star appearances and you had someone who looks like that, has a lot of power,” Embiid said. “[Simmons] It can affect a lot of other media members
“I don’t think it’s fair. I don’t think it’s okay. So that’s the only thing I’ve really said about those awards.”
Embiid’s hopes of winning this season’s championship faced a major snag Tuesday night, as the Sixers lost to the Miami Heat 120-85 in Game 5 to fall into a 3-2 hole. They are one loss away from their rebound in the second round of the playoffs for the fourth time in five seasons.
The 76ers looked tepid from the opening party, and universally agreed that this was the post-game condition, with Miami jumping to the top early and never looking back.
“They were more reactive, more physical and they kept us out of things,” 76ers coach Doc Rivers said. “There is a lot of disappointment from all of us tonight.”
added James Harden: “I think we weren’t involved defensively, and that slowed our attack down. We have to be involved. We have to be cornered. In the second round of qualifying, on the road in Game 5, that’s not good enough just to play hard. You have to play hard. You should. Being able to think, possession by possession, and we haven’t gathered enough thinking possessions together.”
Embiid spent quite a bit on the floor in the second quarter when he was hit in the right side of the face – suffering a fracture during Game Six of the Toronto Series – after the Heat’s backup position. Dwyane Didmon Embiid hits the rebound and the ball returns to Embiid’s face.
Fortunately for the 76ers, Embiid eventually got up and got checked out by the team’s doctors, never leaving the game.
“I don’t think so,” Embiid said, when asked if he had concerns he might make his injury worse by playing through it. “Obviously I’m not a specialist. I only listen to doctors. I don’t think so.
“So it’s just about taking the pain. That’s a lose-lose situation. If I don’t play, you know, I’ll probably be called a game. If I play, and I play poorly, I would say, with a bunch of things that I think isn’t good enough. So it’s all just about trying not to go too high or too low and just get out there and try to dig really deep and try to do everything I can.”
What he and the 76 teams have to do now is avoid elimination at home in Game Six on Thursday.
“I’m quite confident,” Embiid said.
“We lost 2-0, [then] We linked. We have us. We have a lot [to give]And I wasn’t myself. Even in these two wins. I didn’t think I played well. I thought being on the field was huge for us, especially defensively. But offensively, I wasn’t aggressive. I’m kind of, I’m not saying I want to force the issue, but I kind of let the game come to me. You see, they don’t let the game come to me.
“So I think, just going back and seeing the movie and finding ways to be really impactful and trying to be, try to get back into that dominant character that I can be.”
“Beer enthusiast. Subtly charming alcohol junkie. Wannabe internet buff. Typical pop culture lover.”