NBA

Durant says Embiid deserves to win NBA MVP award

By Sports Desk April 13, 2022

Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant believes Joel Embiid should win this season's NBA MVP award.

The Philadelphia 76ers center and reigning MVP Nikola Jokic are the clear favourites for this season's award, with Giannis Antetokounmpo in the running, too.

Durant, who was the MVP in 2014, pointed to Embiid's scoring when he said he deserved the nod marginally ahead of Denver Nuggets big man Jokic.

"If I had to choose, I would go Joel Embiid," Durant told reporters.

"He led the league in scoring, double-doubles, his team won 50 games this year. His numbers were incredible. It's a great year.

"But you can just close your eyes and just pick any one of the guys out of the top six or seven, and you can have a good MVP this year.

"That shows how great our league is right now and how talented our league is from top to bottom, but I would go with Embiid if I had to choose."

Embiid finished the regular season with the scoring title, averaging 30.6 points per game, along with 11.7 rebounds and 4.2 assists. He also had 46 double-doubles.

Jokic was second in the NBA across the regular season for rebounds, averaging 13.8. The Serbian center also contributed 27.1 points and 7.9 assists, with 66 double-doubles and 19 triple-doubles – two league highs.

The 76ers finished with a 51-31 record to claim fourth seed in the Eastern Conference, while the Nuggets were sixth in the West with a 48-34 record.

Durant was also critical of MVP voting, claiming a player's narrative or story too often fed into the results.

"It's unfortunate," Durant said. "There's a lot of players that have been controlled by their narrative.

"Some of it has been because of the player, some of it just has been because of the perception of other people about that player.

"In Joel's case, more people just like Giannis and Jokic. It's as simple as that. They just prefer them more than Embiid's personality or his story, I guess."

Embiid was the runner-up for last season's MVP behind Jokic, with Stephen Curry in third.

Related items

  • 'Welcome to the playoffs' – Brown hails Celtics' mentality after OT win over Pacers 'Welcome to the playoffs' – Brown hails Celtics' mentality after OT win over Pacers

    Jaylen Brown hailed the Boston Celtics' never-say-die attitude after his last-gasp 3-pointer teed up their overtime win in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals.

    The Indiana Pacers were just 6.1 seconds away from a 117-114 road win in the opening game of the series on Tuesday, only for Brown to sink a 3 over Pascal Siakam from the corner to level things up.

    Two Tyrese Haliburton free throws put the Pacers back in front in overtime, but Jayson Tatum scored 10 of his game-high 36 points in the additional period as Boston triumphed 133-128.

    Jrue Holiday supported Tatum with 28 points, while Brown added 26. All three players finished with three steals apiece as Indiana committed 21 turnovers.

    Speaking after the dramatic finale, Brown said: "Welcome to the NBA playoffs! You've just got to manage your emotions. Anything can happen. 

    "It's not over until the final buzzer sounds. It's not over until it’s over. We found a way to win the game at the very end."

    Holiday echoed those sentiments, adding: "We've seen crazy stuff happen all the time. 

    "We don't think we've lost a game until we've actually lost the game. That's part of the reason why we were so resilient towards the end.

    "A couple of turnovers, a great shot, a great look by JB, or at the other end if we make a couple other shots that were wide open it could be a completely different game. 

    "We're just the type of team that's going to keep on fighting no matter how long and no matter what it takes."

    The Celtics host Game 2 on Thursday as they target a first NBA Finals appearance since 2021-22, when they were runners-up to the Golden State Warriors.

    Asked how Boston will approach Game 2, Tatum said: "Don't relax, it'll be different circumstances. The first two rounds we won our Game 1 by a wide margin, so maybe human nature played into that. 

    "But tonight being a close game, going into overtime, we certainly felt like we should have won and we could have played better."

  • NBA: Tatum, Brown key Celtics' OT win in Eastern Conference finals opener NBA: Tatum, Brown key Celtics' OT win in Eastern Conference finals opener

    Jayson Tatum scored 10 of his 36 points in overtime and the Boston Celtics capitalised on some sloppy play by the Indiana Pacers for a 133-128 victory in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals on Tuesday night.

    Jrue Holiday had 28 points and Jaylen Brown added 26, none bigger than his tying 3-pointer with 6.1 seconds left in regulation.

    The Celtics finished with 11 steals - three each by Brown, Tatum and Holiday. They became the first team in NBA playoff history to have three players record 25 points and three steals in a game. 

    Game 2 is Thursday night in Boston.

    Tyrese Haliburton had 25 points and 10 assists for the Pacers, who scored 56 points in the paint against a Celtics team missing injured 7-footer Kristaps Porziņģis. The Pacers, though, committed 21 turnovers.

    Indiana twice turned the ball over with a three-point lead in the final 30 seconds of regulation. Brown’s 3 from the corner with Pascal Siakam in his face tied it at 117.

    Tyrese Haliburton sank three free throws after he was fouled with 1:46 to go in overtime to put the Pacers ahead 123-121, but Tatum completed a three-point play 34 seconds later to give Boston the lead for good.

    Tatum’s 3 following another Indiana turnover with 43 seconds left extended the lead, and he hit two free throws with nine seconds left to seal the win.

  • Victor Wembanyama makes history with All-Defensive team selection Victor Wembanyama makes history with All-Defensive team selection

    San Antonio Spurs star Victor Wembanyama became the first rookie to be voted to the NBA’s All-Defensive first team when the league unveiled the voting on Tuesday.

    Wembanyama received 98 of a possible 99 first-team votes to add to an impressive list of accolades after his first NBA season.

    Rudy Gobert, the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year, was the only unanimous first-team selection.

    Gobert and Wembanyama were joined on the first team by the Miami Heat’s Bam Adebayo, the Los Angeles Lakers’ Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans’ Herb Jones.

    Gobert was voted All-Defence for the seventh time in his career, all on the first team.

    Adebayo, long considered a top-tier defender, was selected to the first team for the first time in his career. Even the veterans, however, were appreciative of Wembanyama’s rookie campaign.

    “Coming into this league, obviously he had high expectations because he's 7-3 and shooting step-back 3s. I think a lot of people paid attention more to that than what he actually did on the defensive end,” Adebayo said of Wembanyama. “So, for him to get first team, first come around, it's obviously a great accolade for him.”

    Wembanyama led the league with 3.58 blocked shots per game, over a block more per game than any other player. The towering Frenchman was also eighth in the league at 10.6 rebounds per game and ranked in the top 25 with 1.24 steals per game.

    This was the first season of position-less voting for the All-Defence teams, leading to a strong preference for interior defenders, but perimeter players were well-represented on the second team.

    The Chicago Bulls’ Alex Caruso, the Orlando Magic’s Jalen Suggs, the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Jaden McDaniels and Boston Celtics backcourt mates Jrue Holiday and Derrick White were voted to the All-Defensive second team.

    The league will announce its three All-NBA teams on Wednesday.

     

     

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.