In the battle of MVP, the two centers have come up with unique skills to ask the teacher and still beat the emperor

  The Denver Nuggets’ game against the Philadelphia 76ers was hyped by many media as a heavyweight game that would determine the MVP of this season. Last season, Jokic beat Embiid for MVP, and it seems that there is a big reason for Embiid’s lack of attendance (21 games missed). This season, Jokic is still almost unbeatable in the MVP competition, occupying the first place in the official MVP for several consecutive weeks. In the MVP prediction of the BBR website, Jokic also beat Antetokounmpo and Embiid, ranking first. You must know that in the past ten years, BBR’s MVP prediction has only been missed once in 2017.

  Winning a direct conversation with Jokic becomes critical as Embiid wants to turn the tide. Since the regular season on December 10, 2019, the two have never had a direct confrontation, and the first confrontation in two seasons has attracted much attention.

  Embiid and Harden had a honeymoon period of over a week after Harden was traded to Philadelphia. Embiid said after Harden’s debut victory over the Timberwolves, “I’ve never had such an open seat in my life.” The two teamed up for a five-game winning streak (lose to the Heat and Harden rested) until last week. In the focus of the battle, Philadelphia was defeated by the Nets. Philadelphia’s honeymoon period also ended. In yesterday’s game against the underdog Magic, Philadelphia struggled to overtime to reverse the game. In today’s back-to-back game, how should Philadelphia deal with the menacing Nuggets?

  One, how does Philadelphia defend Jokic?

  Defending Jokic is a worldwide problem. First of all, he is one of the best passing players in the history of the league. Whether he is playing inside-out in the low post or supporting in the high post, he can feed every teammate comfortably. If you don’t pay attention, the bottom corner of the basket will be penetrated by other Nuggets players.

  Choose to defend Jokic alone? Jokic is not afraid of any inside single defense at all. Every time he plays Gobert, the best defensive player in the league, he drinks it like a bottle of Coke with ease. In this month’s game against the Pelicans, Jokic scored 30 points on 10 of 11 shots in the fourth quarter and overtime. In most games, Jokic passed the ball first to drive his teammates, and his teammates couldn’t move. Only to attack with the ball. According to synergy data, Jokic is averaging 31.3 possessions per game (attempts + assists) this season, scoring as high as 1.426 points per possession, more than 93% of the players in the league.

  Is there no way to defend Jokic? It is absolutely impossible to limit the death of Jokic, but to reduce his offensive influence. The focus of defending Jokic is not the inside line, but the rotation of other players’ help defense. Can they be double-teamed in time, and can the follow-up rotation be in place? This will test the faster forward players. In the last game the Nuggets lost to the Raptors, the Raptors, with the league’s top defensive resources, set a good example. They took advantage of the Nuggets’ mistakes to score 31 points, grabbed 23 offensive rebounds, and scored 30 points on the second offense. In the fourth quarter, they frequently hit the penalty area guarded by Jokic, and they also received results.

  Jokic was not in good shape after the opening today. He was repeatedly stolen and blocked by Philadelphia. Table alone sent him two steals and one block. But how can Jokic be a vegetarian as an MVP?

  After hitting an open three-pointer in the second quarter, Jokic sent three assists to his teammates again and again, and the second long pass to Barton’s cross-court assist was a lament. Throughout the first half, despite the fact that Philadelphia worked so hard to get 10 points by making mistakes from the Nuggets, because Jokic was there, the Nuggets scored 16 fast break points. So even if the Nuggets only made 3 of 14 three-pointers in the first half, the team still relied on Jokic’s strength at the end of the second quarter to bite the score (at most 15 points behind, 5 points before halftime) .

  2. Embiid’s hit back

  In the past two games, Embiid has only made 14 of 45 shots. Embiid showed a strong aggressiveness at the beginning of today’s game. He fired frequently from the mid-to-long distance and scored 10 of Philadelphia’s first 17 points. Harden’s arrival hasn’t changed his status as the team’s number one star. Embiid has played less and less like a center this season and more like a seven-foot Kobe Bryant who has 12.5 encounters per game. Boxes and post-ups, mid-range positions, triple-threats, pull-ups or fallbacks? Embiid has played well. Among his finishing styles, the top three are jumpers (633), faders (178) and layups (253). In a way, Embiid and Harden’s former partner, Durant, don’t seem to be too far behind, both are offensive cores that require a lot of isolations.

  Harden has played some pick-and-rolls with Embiid, but in the game against the Nets, the Nets have found a way to break the Harden-Embiid connection, that is, let Thybull on the weak side. Deshun guaranteed that someone would stand in front of Embiid, which made it impossible for the two to play a simple pick-and-roll. Today, although Thybulle hit a corner three-pointer in the first quarter, the Nuggets resolutely let him empty.

  In the connection between Harden and Embiid, in these three games, we saw more singles after the two were separated, rather than the very tacit cooperation in the first five games. Fortunately, both Embiid and Harden were in hot offensive form in the third quarter today, taking turns to dismantle the Nuggets’ defense with singles. The two scored 25 points on 6 of 10 shots to open the score, and the Nuggets fell behind. After 8 points, Jokic has a regular rest. Who does the Nuggets rely on to support it?

  Third, the unexpected ending

  Under the watchful eyes of many relatives and friends (Hiland’s hometown is only 30 kilometers from Philadelphia), Hyland became the X-factor of the Nuggets in the fourth quarter. The 0-for-3 three-pointer in the third quarter did not interfere with his mentality. Facing Philadelphia’s defensive strategy of squatting after the pick-and-roll, he was unceremonious and easily hit an open 3-pointer twice with Embiid squatting. . In addition to these two easy training-level three-pointers, Hyland hit a Logo shot from 30 feet away and a chase three-pointer over Thybulle’s head, all points that Philadelphia did not expect at all.

  Perhaps no one would have imagined that in a game where the two MVP contenders had a dialogue, it was the substitutes of the two teams that decided the outcome. In addition to Hyland’s 4 three-pointers in the final quarter, Cousins ​​also made 2-of-3 three-pointers. In the whole game, the Nuggets scored 48 points off the bench, and Philadelphia’s bench only had a pitiful 14 points.

  Looking at the 29-11 fast break score comparison, Embiid said after the game: “The offense is not the problem, the problem is defense, especially defending the opponent’s fast break.” Philadelphia can be said to rely on excellent defense in the first half The leader, in the second half, lost the game because of the inability to defend against the pick-and-roll, and lost the game by squatting and leaking three points. In addition to the problem of defense, what about the weak substitute? Is Harris going to bring more backups? These are all issues that Rivers will have to consider in the future.

  In an MVP battle, Jokic and Embiid both came up with their own unique skills of pressing the bottom of the box, and they also attacked and defended each other in the final quarter of the game. In terms of personal performance, Embiid, who scored 34 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists on 11 of 20 shots, did not lose to Jokic, who had 22 points, 13 rebounds and 8 assists. Embiid previously called Jokic a “monster, the best player.” Jokic also called Embiid an “incredible player.” If we are squeezed into the second team by Jokic again this season, we can only sigh: since Jokic is born, why is Embiid born. (30 points)

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