Former NBA champion and ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins picks Joel Embiid over Nikola Jokic as his starting center, stating there’s nothing the Philly big man can’t do.
Though the NBA has become more guard dominant in the current era, big men like Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic are reviving the game in the paint. These All-Star centers can not only dominate in the paint but shoot the ball also. Their recent performances bear evidence of this fact.
Embiid’s recent performance against the Orlando Magic has elevated his case for the MVP. The Cameron native torched a 50-point double-double in 27 minutes in a win against the Magic and was 17-for-23 from the field. Recently, Embiid joined the ranks of Wilt Chamberlain and Allen Iverson for having the most consecutive 30-point games in the Sixers franchise history, which was eight games.
Joel Embiid joins Allen Iverson and Wilt Chamberlain as the only @sixers with multiple 50 point games!
🏀 50 PTS | 12 REB | 3 BLK pic.twitter.com/5uTYUAsiEY
— NBA (@NBA) January 20, 2022
On the night of Embiid’s historical performance came Nikola Jokic’s 49-point triple-double. The Nuggets MVP was 16-for-25 from the field, and made 14 of his 16 free throws. The Joker recorded his 10th triple-double of the season, making it a career 67. Jokic is currently averaging a 25-point double-double.
Most points in a triple-double by a center:
53 — Wilt Chamberlain
51 — Wilt Chamberlain
50 — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
49 — Nikola Jokic
— StatMuse (@statmuse) January 20, 2022
During a recent segment on ESPN, Kendrick Perkins had to make a difficult choice between Embiid and Jokic when asked who would be his starting center.
Kendrick Perkins picks Joel Embiid over Nikola Jokic as his starting center.
Both Embiid and Jokic are in the MVP conversation this year. The two All-Star centers were pitted against each other the previous season as well, with Jokic emerging MVP. At the time, Embiid had missed a handful of games due to an injury that would lower his case for the MVP.
Both the big men are putting up some mind-boggling numbers this season. Embiid is currently averaging 28.0 PPG, 10.6 RPG, 4.2 APG, 1.1 SPG, and 1.4 BPG on 49.4% shooting from the field. On the other hand, Jokic is currently averaging 25.9 PPG, 13.9 RPG, 7.4 APG, 1.4 SPG, and 0.8 BPG on 56.9% shooting from the field.
During a recent segment on ESPN, Big Perk was asked to choose between the two.
“It’s hard,” Perkins exclaimed. “I am going with Joel Embiid. When you talk about skill-set, zero flaws on the offensive end, it’s Kevin Durant and Joel Embiid and everyone else. It’s nothing that this man (Embiid) can’t do. He can take you on the low block, he got the one leg, Dirk, sidestep 3-point shot, euro step down the lane finish, And One through contact. I’m going with Joel Embiid. Him and Kevin Durant right now are the two most skilled players in the NBA.”
This is why I’m taking Embiid over Jokic! Carry on… pic.twitter.com/T9RETW63yC
— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) January 20, 2022
With the Joker winning the MVP last season, it will be interesting to see if Embiid can get his revenge this year.