Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons may have lost momentum on their MVP and DPOY campaigns, but they’re still one of the NBA’s dominant duos.
The Philadelphia 76ers have every chance to finish at the top of the Eastern Conference this year. This would be their first such season since Allen Iverson won MVP and led them to the #1 seed in 2001.
Joel Embiid was most people’s MVP favorite, averaging 30 points and 11 rebounds on the season till late March. However, once he went down with a knee injury, it put paid to his hopes at the Maurice Podoloff Trophy.
Meanwhile, Ben Simmons has been putting in another campaign worthy of DPOY consideration. The Australian has evolved into one of the NBA’s most switchable and elite centers.
Simmons and Bam Adebayo base their DPOY credentials based on their ability to switch onto all kinds of offensive stars. Both of them could be found guarding the likes of Kyrie Irving as well as Nikola Jokic efficiently on switches.
Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons are 30-6 when playing together
As a result of this duo’s dominance, it’s no surprise that the Sixers are leading the Eastern Conference standings. They could have arguably been even better off if their best duo had played more games together.
Sixers are 30-6 (83.3% winning) in games both Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid play this season.
12-15 (44.4% winning) in games either one, or both miss.
— CGhi (@GallagherArtist) May 1, 2021
Nothing outlines this better than their win-loss record with and without one of these two players. The Sixers are a whopping 30-6 this year with Embiid and Simmons playing. This would translate to a 68-14 record in a regular NBA season – an all-time great standard.
However, with either Embiid or Simmons missing, Philly is only 12-15 this year. It’s clear that while the two may have fit issues theoretically, they’ve found ways to work around that while on court together.
The Sixers are well on their way to usurping the rank of the league’s best defense from the Lakers. But they won’t be able to engineer this without their All-Star duo playing every game till the end of the season.