Shaquille O’Neal can be very critical of active players, but the former insider also knows how to recognize the potential in some. As it happens, he said a superstar had better become unanimous MVP this year. Ironically, the player in question is experiencing a severe ignition delay.
For the moment, we cannot say that Joel Embiid made a flamboyant start to the year. Like the Sixers, who lost their first three regular season games, the Cameroonian pivot has experienced some difficulties since the resumption of competition. For the moment, he is averaging 20 points, 13.5 rebounds and 4 assists, with rather disappointing percentages (45% overall shooting success, 18.2% from behind the arc). Not really what we expected from an MVP candidate.
Because after finishing twice in a row in second place in the votes, being beaten each time by Nikola Jokic, The Process hoped to seize the Maurice Podoloff trophy in 2022-23. And he’s not the only one, because Shaquille O’Neal agrees, although he has often criticized it in the past. The Hall of Famer even wants him to achieve a real feat as he explained recently, giving him some advice in passing:
Shaq’s big expectation of Joel Embiid
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) October 22, 2022
He has to behave like an MVP, act like an MVP, talk like an MVP and play like one. We know he can land jump-shots, but when you’re up against a guy shorter than you, you have to take advantage of it. When you make your size and shoot in, it’s good, but the percentages won’t always be high. If he gets close to the circle, they will double, it’s simple.
Joel is going to average 25, 26 points, but if he follows my advice, which is to dunk six to seven times a game, that gives you six to eight more points. And when you shoot 35 points per game and the others don’t, you become MVP. If he doesn’t become unanimous MVP this year, I will be very disappointed.
Clearly, the Big Aristotle wants Jojo to get closer to the circle in order to increase his productivity. Except that between his very average debut in 2022-23 and a recent statement very worrying about his healthit seems to be off to a bad start… An opinion shared by Internet users:
He won’t get mvp at this rate
—Darius Walston (@DariusWalston) October 22, 2022
At this rate, he won’t win the MVP
Shaq has high expectations of Joel Embiid and hopes to see him become the unanimous MVP this season. For the moment, The Process is not reassuring, but 2021-22 had also started badly for him. The campaign is still long, so we must remain patient.