Sport Report: Joel Embiid is eligible for First Team All-NBA as a center or a forward
NBA Power Rankings: Joel Embiid powers 76ers into top spot
The red-hot Clippers remain in second, followed by the Jazz and Suns. 1. 76ers (39-18 Last Week No. 4). Beating the shorthanded Nets put Philadelphia in the driver’s seat for the No. 1 seed in the East, then a win over the Clippers (also shorthanded, although so were the 76ers) cemented their contender status and put Philly atop these rankings (we’re not holding the loss to the tornado that is Stephen Curry against them). Joel Embiid is dominating again and thrusting himself back into the MVP conversation with his recent play, averaging 34.
For those who love to obsess over All-NBA voting...
Embiid & Jokic are eligible at *both* C/F, per the official ballot.
The following are eligible at both G/F: JBrown, Tatum, LaVine, Luka, LeBron, Kawhi, PG, Butler, Middleton, Simmons, Booker.
Let the hand-wringing commence.— Howard Beck (@HowardBeck)
A Twitter post by Senior Writer for Sports Illustrated, Howard Beck, has some exciting implications for the 76ers’ MVP Candidate Joel Embiid. It appeared for a time that Embiid, in the midst of a career season, might actually miss out on First Team All NBA honors because of the silly positional loophole requiring only one center to make the roster.
NBA Power Rankings: Kevin Durant return powers Nets' rise; Lakers, Celtics fall; Knicks just keep winning
The Clippers remain No. 1, but there was plenty of movement atop this week's rankings with the playoffs loomingOut West, the Los Angeles Clippers continued their stellar play to remain in the No. 1 spot in this week's Power Rankings, but the Brooklyn Nets are nipping at their heels, thanks to the return of Kevin Durant. Meanwhile, those New York Knicks just keep on climbing, jumping to within sight of the top five after extending their winning streak to nine games.
It would have been ironic; in years past, centers were squeezed onto the team simply because voters had to pick one, reducing the overall talent pool of the honor. But this season they were facing the opposite problem: one of Denver’s Nikola Jokić or Embiid not making the ALL-NBA First team at all! It was a ghastly and hideous prospect, which would have forever cast a pall of lunacy over the entire endeavor; in my humble and unbiased opinion of course.
But alas, there is justice in the world of regular-season awards again. If you ask me, I’d probably say that any ALL-NBA team that did not include Joel Embiid was a farce; who would have made it over him, some worse player on a worse team? HA!
Jokić is the MVP favorite, likely because of his superior “availability” over Embiid. Although to paraphrase NBCS-Philly’s Alaa Abdelnaby it’s easier to be available when you only play one end of the floor (burn)!!!
NBA Power Rankings: Nets jump up to top as numerous top teams stumble
Brooklyn got Kevin Durant back, won a couple of big games, and that moves them into the top slot. 1. Nets (42-20, Last Week No. 7). Steve Nash has a legitimate Coach of the Year case: His team is 42-20 and in first place in the East, with a +4.5 net rating and the best offense in the NBA. All that despite injuries forcing constant lineup adjustments and Nash having to reach deep into his bench (Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving have played just seven games together). Nash’s calm and cool style is exactly what the Nets needed in a coach’s demeanor.
But the other element here is that Jokić is his team’s primary initiator. He’s one massive unicorn, an absolute stud and should be on this top five unit. Allowing him to be voted in as some sort of “point-forward-center” hybrid or whatever is fair anyway. Denver’s Facundo Campazzo is 5’10 in kicks and he’ll and sometimes grab a rebound and give it right to Jokić to bring 90’ up the floor and start a play. Now look me in the eye and tell me that’s a “traditional big.” This is the right thing to do.
Don’t let any Knicks fan who had hope Julius Randle might loophole his way onto that roster tell you otherwise.
For my money, the All-NBA squad would probably include Embiid at the 5, Jokić and Giannis Antetokounmpo as forwards, Steph Curry at guard. I’m open to debate on the final roster spot. I know Luka Doncic, Chris Paul, Kyrie Irving, and others should have valid claims at the last spot. If you wanted to make the case for Ben Simmons (eligible as a forward or guard) I certainly wouldn’t cut you off. I would very much enjoy being persuaded by a good case. Per betting sites, he’s the second favorite for Defensive Player of the Year, and unlike favorite Rudy Gobert, Simmons’ style of defense translates better to playoff basketball. Just saying....
In terms of Supermax eligibility, the difference between First and Second Team All NBA is not relevant. “The Process” is stillAnd now, barring a complete melt down by the voters you’ll be able to brag that Joel is a First-Teamer. As for Simmons, making one of the Second or Third Teams or winning DPOY would give him a path towards a Supermax of his own going into next season.
How the Sixers’ Bubble Burst—and What This Year’s Team Can Learn From It .
Last year’s flameout laid Philly’s weaknesses bare. Will that help the East’s top seed avoid a repeat? Excerpt from the new book Bubbleball: Inside the NBA’s Fight to Save A Season by Ben Golliver published by Abrams Press. Copyright © 2021 by Ben Golliver. Used by permission of Abrams Press, an imprint of Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York. All rights reserved.Other than the Bucks, Lakers and Clippers, the two teams I was most curious to watch in the playoffs were the Philadelphia 76ers and Houston Rockets. Both had All-Star talent and past postseason experience.