NBA first-half winners and losers: Joel Embiid putting it all together; Jazz winning, but getting disrespected

On the eve of the second half of the NBA season, it's a good time to take stock of where everything stands from the first half.

It's been a predictably odd season thus far amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Over 30 games have been postponed due to health and safety protocols. The lack of fans can still make for an awkward viewing experience. The shortened offseason, compressed schedule and little practice time have made for some stilted play.

Still, there has been plenty of excitement on a nightly basis to keep NBA Twitter going in all its vibrant, weird glory.

So with the All-Star Game in the rearview and a couple days off to rest and prepare for a sprint to the playoffs, we take a look at the winners and losers from the first half of the NBA season:

Winner: Joel Embiid

Embiid tantalized us for the first four years of his career. Even as he earned three All-Star appearances, two second-team All-NBA selections and two second-team All-Defense nods, we wondered just how good Embiid could be if he really put it all together. We’re finally seeing it this season, and a healthy, in-shape, engaged Embiid is completely dominant. He’s averaging a career-high 30.2 points to go with 11.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.4 blocks and 1.2 steals. He’s shooting career highs of 52.1% overall and 41.6% from 3-point range. He’s a leading MVP and Defensive Player of the Year candidate while leading the Philadelphia 76ers to the best record in the Eastern Conference. He’s become everything the Sixers and fans hoped.

Source: Read Full Article