Bestinau got that-
In a season where Joel Embiid has made a clear case for the MVP award, the big guy continues to make history.
Embiid will capture the 2022 NBA score. With Giannis Antetokounmpo resting for the Bucks on Sunday, Embiid’s current average of 30.6 points per game will make him the first center to lead the league in scoring since Shaquille O’Neal in 2000. As the NBA has evolved into a perimeter this century game-oriented, great men offensively are less emphasized, but Embiid continues to rewrite what it means to be a modern center.
Not only is Embiid the first center since Shaq to achieve this, it is only the fourth time since the 1976 NBA-ABA merger that a center has led the league in scoring. Shaq did that in both 2000 and 1995. David Robinson’s 29.8 points per game topped the NBA in 1994. blow.
There are two players in NBA history with an average of 40.4 points or more per 100 possessions (per basketball reference† One of them is Embiid. The other is Michael Jeffrey Jordan. The trial and the GOAT. Whether he’s crushing those mid-range jumpers or coming to the line a million times per game because he’s so impossible to guard that opponents have no choice but to trick him, Embiid just puts numbers on the board. He is the best “true hooper” center since Shaq.
Embiid’s 30.6 points per game is the highest for a center since Moses Malone in 1982, when Moses averaged 31.1 (per basketball reference† This is only the 15th time ever that a center has dropped a minimum of 30.6 points per game, listing Moses, Kareem, Wilt, Bob McAdoo and Walt Bellamy. All those guys are in the Hall of Fame and I have no doubt Embiid will be inducted there someday.
I don’t think Embiid will take home the MVP award this season as it will likely go to Nikola Jokic for the second consecutive season. If I had a vote, I’d give it to Joel, but alas, I don’t see why the NBA would ever trust me with one. Anyway, in case it goes to Jokic again, the scoring title should be a more than worthy consolation prize for Embiid and Sixers fans alike.