MVP race: Simmons and Embiid actually have a chance to be Co-MVP’s
In the history of the NBA, there has never been Co-MVP’s. Although there has been Co-Rookie of the year award, having two MVP’s is entirely different.
The Sixers could be the first team in history with Co-MVP’s. Even more exciting would be the fact that Simmons and Embiid are teammates. It is hard to say which player is truly the face of the team, so why not both?
Last season, both players exploded onto the stage and gave the entire NBA a run for their money. Although Embiid showed flashes of greatness in his rookie season, his production last year was among the top centers in the league.
After missing his entire first year with an injury, Simmons’s success was completely unexpected. Everybody knew he was a great player in high school and college but he went under the radar after his injury.
Philly finished third in the Eastern Conference, mostly due to the skills of Embiid and Simmons. Despite the low odds of having Co-MVP’s, let alone two from the same team, it is possible.
Hoop Central tweeted a list of the best players under 25, Embiid and Simmons both crack the top 5:
My Top 10 players in the NBA under 25:
1.) Giannis Antetokounmpo
2.) Joel Embiid
3.) Karl-Anthony Towns
4.) Ben Simmons
5.) Kristaps Porzingis
6.) Devin Booker
7.) Nikola Jokic
8.) Donovan Mitchell
9.) Jayson Tatum
10.) Jaylen Brown
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) August 21, 2018
Are Simmons and Embiid the best at their position?
Throughout the years of the award, the winner is usually the best at their position. Although the past few seasons it’s been debatable if the winner was the top player.
Simmons was arguably the best point guard in the league last season. He is certainly the tallest and most athletic, as well as one of the only true point guards in the league.
The game has changed so much that pass-first point guards are a thing of the past. Simmons is changing the dynamic of point guards. Not only is he fierce and skilled, but his overwhelming size gives him an advantage against most other guards.
As a rookie, Simmons was fifth in the league in assists, with 8.2 a night. For a player in his first year this is truly special, and something he will continue to build upon in his career. He could be one of the first players in the league to average more than 12 or 13 assists per game as long as the team keeps consistent role players.
Debates are already fierce when talking about the center position. Players like Al Horford and Rudy Gobert have always great at certain aspects of the game.
Embiid has drastically changed the position from what it used to be: rim protectors and inside scorers. Embiid made the all-defensive third team this past season, which is definitely a sign for things to come. His 22.9 points per game and 30.8 percent from deep are among the best for all centers in the league.
What makes Embiid truly special is his physicality. Not only does he have the traditional build and skill set of a center, he has skills that few players possess.
Peanut butter and jelly mean nothing on their own
Any scouting report of the Sixers will have Embiid and Simmons at the top of the list. Without one, the entire team seems to crumble. If Embiid wasn’t injured for most of his rookie season the team would have still been hovering around the eighth seed.
At their positions, there is nobody like them on any team. Since the days of Hakeem Olajuwon, the NBA has not seen another center with a similar skill set. On the other hand, Simmons embodies the passing of Steve Nash with the athleticism of LeBron James. He also has the instinct to get to the basket like some of the all-time great scorers.
There is a lot of work to be done before any critic or exec considers naming two MVP’s, let alone Co-MVP’s from the same team. If Simmons and Embiid continue to excel at the rate they were last season, it wouldn’t be too far fetched to see them both hoisting the MVP trophy at the end of this season.
James Harden won the MVP award last season for the Houston Rockets:
James Harden wins the MVP award?? pic.twitter.com/K99sEIYSNR
— NBA Inside Stuff (@NBAInside_Stuff) June 26, 2018