Why Draymond selects Embiid as clear front-runner for MVP

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In Draymond Green's opinion, the 2022-23 NBA MVP award is between two Eastern Conference superstars. 

On the latest episode of "The Draymond Green Show," the Warriors forward discussed who he believes the award will come down to. 

"Joel Embiid and Giannis Antetokounmpo is who I believe the MVP race has come down to," Green said. "[Nikola Jokić], incredible year, as of late he's slipped and those guys have continued to ascend. As of late the Denver Nuggets have slipped and those two teams have ascended. Both players are absolutely amazing. Giannis the other day had a perfect triple-double which was great."

Jokić has won back-to-back MVP awards and likely will be among the finalists again this season. The Nuggets big man is averaging 24.7 points, 11.9 rebounds, and 9.9 assists per game this season while shooting a career-high 63.4 percent from the field. 

The Nuggets (48-24), however, have not maintained their first-half success. Since the all-star break, Denver is 7-6 and has a three-and-a-half game lead over the Memphis Grizzlies for the Western Conference's No. 1 seed after maintaining its stranglehold of the top seed for most of the season. 

As Denver continues to falter down the stretch, Draymond believes the success of the surging Milwaukee Bucks (51-20) and Philadelphia 76ers (48-23) helps support Embiid and Antetokounmpo's candidacy. 

"Joel continues to do what Joel is doing," Green added. "They took a tough loss last night at home vs. the Bulls, but Joel has been doing it. I think it's important how they close out the season. We know how the Bucks will close out the season, the Bucks aren't losing many games."

"Right now in the MVP race, I think it's Joel. I think it's Joel's award to lose. I think the way he loses that award is his team starts losing. Joel's going to put up Joel numbers, Joel going to do what Joel has been doing. It's Joel's award to lose. It's interesting how much things are changing, you look at the standings, this MVP stuff is changing. Joel should get his first MVP this year. I don't expect Philly to hit some crazy losing streak. And be that they won't do that, it should be Joel's to lose."

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In 58 games this season, Embiid is averaging a career-high 33.6 points, 10.3 rebounds and 4.1 assists on a career-high 54.6 percent shooting from the field. Antetokounmpo is averaging a career-high 31.3 points, 11.9 rebounds and 5.6 assists on 54.6 percent shooting from the field. 

Whether it's Embiid, Antetokounmpo, or even Jokić, the voters really can't go wrong with any of the three stars. 

But in Draymond's opinion, it's clear who is most deserving ... for now. 

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