The battle for the MVP will be fierce again this year, with several candidates determined to win the trophy. However, a former bully claims that his winner would already be determined! His advantage would be to be able to count on another big name in the league.
It has now been twice in a row Joel Embiid finishes second in MVP votes, each time having to bow to Nikola Jokic. Last year, the pivot of the Sixers could hardly have done more. More than 30 points, almost 12 rebounds and 4 assists on average: the Cameroonian was omnipresent for the formation of Doc Rivers, releasing a level of domination quite impressive on the floors.
Unfortunately for him, it was not enough to pass in front of his Serbian counterpart, according to the voters. On the other hand, Kendrick Perkins thinks it will be a different story in 2022-23. Interviewed recently by journalist Brandon Robinson, he explained that the presence of one man will make all the difference: James Harden. Arrived along the way last season, this time he will be there from start to finish and will act as an X factor for his teammate:
Kendrick Perkins sees Joel Embiid become MVP
“James Harden is going to help him get it done.”
— 👑 Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson (@ScoopB) September 14, 2022
Embiid is already the big favorite for the trophy. I think with an average of 26 points and 10 rebounds, or 26 and 11, and one of the best collective records in the NBA, he will get there. And I firmly believe that James Harden will help him get there. People shouldn’t expect James Harden to come back and put up 25-30 points per game. That’s not going to happen
I think when he gets back on the pitch, James Harden is going to fully embrace that point guard role. Even to the point where I think he’ll be talked about as the best point guard in the league. He doesn’t get enough credit for what he does at distribution. He’s a great scorer of course, but he’s also very good as a pure point guard.
The Beard’s debut in Philly was quite mixed: if he disappointed in terms of scoring and especially in terms of taking the initiative, he nevertheless developed an immediate connection with The Process, forming a lethal duo on pick-and-roll. Having worked hard on his fitness over the summer, the former Nets superstar should be able to show himself in a much better light from the fall. We know one who is just waiting for that.
Having failed in second place in MVP votes each time in 2020-21 and 2021-22, Joel Embiid should finally get the statuette this year according to Kendrick Perkins. It remains to be seen whether James Harden will really help the Cameroonian establish himself as the best player in the league.