Doc Rivers Addresses Joel Embiid’s MVP Win Before Game 2 Vs. Celtics

'Great team evening last night'


May 3, 2023

BOSTON — When Joel Embiid makes his NBA playoff return with the Philadelphia 76ers, he’ll do so with the title of NBA MVP alongside him.

As the 76ers handled business in Game 1 against the Celtics — leaning on some elite small-ball offense from James Harden (45 points) and Tyrese Maxey (26 points) — capitalizing on another Boston postseason collapse wasn’t the only thing that warranted celebration during Tuesday’s off day.

Embiid, who led the league by scoring 33.1 points through 66 games played in the regular season, was named league MVP, beating out Nikola Jokic, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jayson Tatum among others. And upon accepting the league honor for the first time in his career, Embiid was accompanied by his Philadelphia teammates.

“Great team evening last night, really was cool,” 76ers head coach Doc Rivers said before Game 2 Wednesday night. “Just seeing the emotion. Seeing the team’s emotion toward him. You don’t do anything alone obviously. You do everything, even if you’re in boxing, you do everything with people, with a team and people who’ve affected you in your life.”

Through three games in the playoffs, Embiid has averaged 20 points and 11.3 rebounds while shooting 46.2% from the field. Granted, that’s hindered by Embiid’s right knee injury, which sidelined him for two postseason matchups.

When asked for a player comparison, Rivers noted that Embiid resembles a mixture of Hall-of-Famers Hakeem Olajuwon and Patrick Ewing. Embiid joined an exclusive company of big men to win MVP, something that Ewing never did throughout his 17-year NBA career.

Thumbnail photo via Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports Images
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid
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