Comparing Giannis Antetokounmpo to other MVP candidates this season

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JANUARY 13 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JANUARY 13 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo. Philadelphia 76ers: Joel Embiid
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – FEBRUARY 22 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Giannis Antetokounmpo vs. Joel Embiid in the MVP race

Joel Embiid is having the best year of his career and has become a top-five player in the league. The Bucks and Sixers just faced off on Thursday, with the Sixers winning the game and Embiid putting up 42 points, 14 rebounds, and five assists, while Giannis put up 32 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists. There clearly is a growing rivalry between the two teams and players.

Overall this season, Giannis seems to have the edge on Embiid statistically, at least according to Stathead. He averages more points, rebounds, and assists per 36 minutes on better efficiency — 63 percent true shooting compared to Embiid’s 61 percent, and 58 percent effective field goal percentage compared to Embiid’s 53 percent. He also beats Embiid in all of the advanced stats mentioned earlier.

Embiid has been on a tear since Christmas, averaging 33.4 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 4.7 assists on 64 percent true shooting and launching himself into the MVP race. However, Giannis has been equally as impressive over that same stretch, putting up 32.2 points, 10.9 rebounds, and 6.3 assists on 66 percent true shooting. Even in Embiid’s best stretch of his career, he is still not able to definitively beat out Giannis. He has been really, really good, but overall Giannis has been better on both ends.

The case for Embiid over Giannis is that Embiid has the Sixers at third in the East, compared to the Bucks who are fifth in the East with a better supporting cast. Embiid right now is the odds-on favorite to win MVP, but if his numbers stay below Giannis Antetokounmpo’s and the Bucks finish ahead of the Sixers, it looks like Antetokounmpo will probably deserve it over him.