In a league dominated by guards and forwards, the 7-foot center is leading the league in scoring at 29.3 points per game.
Those points come from a variety of scoring methods.
Overpowering defenders down low, drawing fouls to get to the line, sinking mid-range jumpers, or hitting threes from deep.
Embiid may be listed as a center, but his skillset goes far beyond what a center can traditionally do.
On top of being an efficient scorer, Embiid chips in 10.9 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 1.0 steals, and 1.5 blocks per game.
His 4.4 assists per game (a career-high) are paired with 2.9 turnovers per game (a career-low).
The Cameroonian big man has carried the Sixers’ offense this year while anchoring the defense.
He has truly done it all.
For a team missing its second-best player in Ben Simmons, they have outperformed expectations thus far.
Philadelphia sits at 32-21, good for fifth place in the Eastern Conference but just two games behind the conference leader, Miami.
Embiid’s MVP-caliber play has only increased the importance of getting him help now.
As good as he is, “The Process” cannot carry this team alone.
Embiid’s play cannot be overstated this year.
He was incredible last year but has seemingly taken his game to another level.
The most visible area of improvement is his playmaking.
Joel has had his struggles handling double-teams in the past.
His court awareness was not where it needed to be in order to make snap reads and find the open man.
Most of the time, a double-team on Embiid would lead to a Philly turnover.
This year has been different.
When the double comes, Joel calmly identifies the extra defender and kicks the ball out to the open shooter.
Or he will find the cutter or open man in the dunker position.
Embiid has had a few slick passes already this year.
Embiid’s passing out of the post has been ridiculous this season. pic.twitter.com/igfF7k4CMp
— Brock Landes (@LandesBrock) February 3, 2022
He clearly has a firm grasp of the offense and is directing his teammates to where they need to be.
The playmaking improvements and continued dominance scoring the ball have turned Embiid into one of the league’s elite players.
Because of his two-way impact contributing to winning basketball, Embiid is the frontrunner for the MVP.
Embiid Needs Help
Even with Embiid playing at an MVP level, the Sixers do not feel like a true contender.
As has been the case in the past two playoffs with Philly, the opposing team keys in on Embiid and forces the Sixers’ supporting cast to beat them.
Something the supporting cast has not been able to handle.
And there is no reason the believe anything will change this year.
Tobias Harris, despite his recent stretch of solid play, has proven he cannot be relied on come playoff time.
Tyrese Maxey is still just 21 years of age and asking him to be the second-best player on a title team is asking a lot.
Embiid needs another star to truly compete.
The 76ers are expected to "pursue" Nets' James Harden ahead of Thursday trade deadline, per @ShamsCharania
Brooklyn is reportedly open to discussing a deal pic.twitter.com/jQxkiddU3k
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 4, 2022
Either of them would be a perfect pairing next to Philadelphia’s star big man.
They would relieve some of the pressure put on his shoulders to generate offense in the playoffs.
And defenses would not be able to focus all of their attention on Embiid with a star perimeter player looming.
A player of Harden’s caliber would provide better spacing for Embiid to operate in the post.
And vice versa for a Harden-esque player operating on the perimeter.
Not to mention it would reduce what is expected from the Sixers’ role players.
Embiid is arguably the MVP of the league this year.
But he will need help to bring home the ultimate prize.