Embiid's MVP Hopes Fade: Sixers Face Crisis After Third Consecutive Loss

The current MVP of the NBA League, Joel Embiid, was again absent from the match of the Philadelphia 76ers, which is getting closer to elimination from the competition for the most prestigious individual award of the strongest league in the world

by Sededin Dedovic
Embiid's MVP Hopes Fade: Sixers Face Crisis After Third Consecutive Loss
© Tim Nwachukwu / Getty Images

The loss to the Philadelphia 76ers in Portland brought things to a boiling point. After a good form and 6 wins in a row, the Sixers fell into a crisis and this was their third defeat in a row and a very convincing 130:104. Not only did it further distance them from the top seeds in the Eastern Conference, but it also added to the growing concerns about Joel Embiid's health and its impact on his MVP campaign.

Embiid's knee injury before the game in Denver and the latest injury in the series marked his 12th absence of the season, pushing him closer to ineligibility for the league's most coveted individual award. With the updated 65-game minimum requirement, Embiid now has a shrinking margin of five games to cut before the regular season ends.

His 37 remaining outings leave no room for further mishaps. The long-awaited showdown between Embiid and Nikola Jokic in Denver never happened, and that would have been a clash between the two main MVP candidates. It was seen in that game as well as this one against Portland that Embiid means the team and that without his recognizable game there is no team game.

This vulnerability raises questions. Is Embiid's injury really holding him back, or are deeper tactical decisions at play? Denver coach Mike Malone's call for an investigation into Embiid's pregame warmup injury further fueled speculation.

Regardless of the reasons, the consequences are undeniable. The Sixers' championship aspirations look increasingly fragile without their playmaker. Trade rumors are swirling, suggesting the team may shift its focus to the future and some younger players.

Meanwhile, Embiid's MVP hopes get dimmer with each missed game because there are still a lot of games left and he would have to play almost every game by the end of the season to meet the 65-game norm. The No. 1 MVP candidate is in an uncertain position, and his title defense does not depend only on him, health is a key factor.

Joel Embiid Philadelphia 76ers