Open in App
Sporting News

Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid or Giannis Antetokounmpo? The key stats you need to know in 2023 MVP debate

By Scott Rafferty,

2023-04-05

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=1ov127_0lJSzQPQ00

Joel Embiid saved one of his best performances of the season for last.

In Philadelphia's win over Boston on April 4, Embiid went off for 52 points, 13 rebounds and six assists on 20-for-25 shooting from the field. He became only the third center in NBA history to record three 50-point games in a single season, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Wilt Chamberlain.

After the game, 76ers head coach Doc Rivers said Embiid's performance should put an end to the MVP debate.

"The MVP race is over," Rivers said . "Tonight, we couldn't make shots, we had guys [missing] open shots — the man just scored half our points, in an NBA game. And I'm biased, but the MVP race is over."

Is that the case? Here's how Embiid stacks up statistically with Nikola Jokic and Giannis Antetokounmpo, the two other leading MVP candidates, with only a few days remaining in the regular season.

(All stats current through games played on April 4, 2023)

FOLLOW THE MVP RACE ON A NIGHTLY BASIS ON NBA LEAGUE PASS: U.S. and U.K. | All other countries

Nikola Jokic vs. Joel Embiid vs. Giannis Antetokounmpo: Traditional stats

Embiid has the edge over both Jokic and Antetokounmpo in scoring. He's also averaging more stocks per game (blocks plus steals). A three-time All-Defensive Second Team selection, Embiid has proven himself to be one of the best anchors in the NBA.

Jokic, who has a shot at becoming only the third player in NBA history to average a triple-double, leads the way in assists and rebounds. He could become the first center ever to average double-digit assists in a single season.

Antetokounmpo doesn't lead a single category outright other than turnovers, but he's arguably the league's best player today. In addition to being the only one with a championship, he's a two-time MVP and one-time Defensive Player of the Year.

Antetokounmpo could join some exclusive company himself with averages of at least 30 points, 10 rebounds and five assists per game.

Per game Jokic Embiid Antetokounmpo
Points 24.8 33.3 31.1
Rebounds 11.9 10.2 11.8
Assists 9.8 4.2 5.7
Turnovers 3.6 3.4 3.9
Blocks 0.7 1.7 0.8
Steals 1.3 1.0 0.8
Minutes 33.8 34.7 32.1
Field goal % 63.3 54.7 55.3
3-point % 38.5 32.8 27.5
Free throw % 82.1 85.9 64.5

Jokic has played the most games and minutes of the three MVP candidates. Antetokounmpo has played the fewest.

Totals Jokic Embiid Antetokounmpo
Games 68 65 63
Points 1,684 2,162 1,959
Rebounds 807 664 742
Assists 668 272 359
Turnovers 243 224 246
Blocks 47 110 51
Steals 85 66 52
Minutes 2,296 2,254 2,024

Nikola Jokic vs. Joel Embiid vs. Giannis Antetokounmpo: Advanced stats

This is where Jokic pops yet again .

There isn't much separating Jokic and Embiid in Player Efficiency Rating (PER), but Jokic holds a sizable lead over Embiid and Antetokounmpo in almost every other notable advanced stat.

Advanced stats have become quite polarizing, so that'll mean a lot to some and almost nothing to others.

Stat Jokic Embiid Antetokounmpo
Player Efficiency Rating 31.7 31.6 29.0
Value Over Replacement 8.7 6.4 5.4
Box Plus/Minus 13.1 9.2 8.5
Win Shares 14.9 12.3 8.7
True Shooting % 70.2 65.4 60.5
Usage % 27.3 37.3 38.7

Nikola Jokic vs. Joel Embiid vs. Giannis Antetokounmpo: Clutch stats

The clutch is defined as the last five minutes of a five-point game.

Jokic and Embiid have been two of the best clutch performers in the NBA this season, whereas the numbers point to Antetokounmpo struggling to score efficiently.

Only five players have scored more points than Embiid in the clutch and only two have recorded more blocks. His plus-minus leads the league .

Stat Jokic Embiid Antetokounmpo
Games 29 36 28
Wins 20 23 21
Losses 9 13 7
Points 100 131 69
Rebounds 34 34 36
Assists 27 16 19
Blocks 3 9 0
Steals 3 5 0
Field goal % 50.9 48.7 37.5
3-point % 36.4 30.8 16.7
Free throw % 80.0 86.9 72.2
Plus-minus 79 99 17

Nikola Jokic vs. Joel Embiid vs. Giannis Antetokounmpo: Team success

The Nuggets, 76ers and Bucks have been three of the best teams this season. They've each been dominant with their MVP candidate in the lineup, but Jokic is the only one whose team has a losing record without him.

The difference between how the Nuggets perform with Jokic on the court compared to when he's on the bench is the largest in the NBA for the second season in a row.

Performance Jokic Embiid Antetokounmpo
Record with 48-20 (70.6%) 43-22 (66.2%) 47-16 (74.6%)
Record without 4-7 (36.4%) 9-5 (64.3%) 10-6 (62.5%)
Offensive rating with 124.3 119.0 116.4
Offensive rating without 102.3 112.2 108.6
Defensive rating with 111.5 109.9 109.2
Defensive rating without 113.8 114.3 109.4
Net rating with 12.8 9.1 7.2
Net rating without -11.5 -2.1 -0.8

How much should MVP voters weigh these stats? That's for them to decide.

Expand All
Comments / 0
Add a Comment
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE
Most Popular newsMost Popular

Comments / 0