76ers Joel Embiid wins his first NBA MVP award
The GIST: Though the injury bug continues to bite, the NBA Playoffs must go on, and it’s still bringing plenty of starpower with the storied LeBron James vs. Steph Curry rivalry reaching new heights.
The MVP: Give it up for Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid, no longer a bridesmaid and finally
a bride NBA MVP. Embiid led the league in scoring for the second-straight season, averaging 33.1 points per game en route to the honors.
- But even with their MVP sidelined with a knee injury, the Eastern Conference (EC) No. 3 Sixers upset the No. 2 Boston Celtics 119–115 on Monday as Philly’s James Harden scored a playoff career-high 45 points. Game 2 starts tonight at 8 p.m. ET.
Steph vs. LeBron: It’s the Bay vs. LA for the most anticipated second-round matchup. James and the No. 7 Western Conference (WC) LA Lakers struck first, defeating Curry and the No. 6 Golden State Warriors 117–112 in last night’s thriller.
- Fingers crossed this series goes all seven games, but thankfully, we only have to wait until tomorrow for Game 2 to tip off at 9 p.m. ET.
The injuries: Forget the bug, there’s an injury plague in the EC No. 5 NY Knicks vs. No. 8 Miami Heat series. Two of NY’s top players — Julius Randle and Jalen Brunson — were questionable, but ultimately played in last night’s 111–105 W, while Miami superstar Jimmy Butler sat out with an ankle sprain. With the series now tied at a game apiece, both teams have until Saturday to recover.
- Meanwhile in the WC, the No. 4 Phoenix Suns are down 2-0 to the No. 1 Denver Nuggets after losing 97–87 on Monday as Suns’ standout Chris Paul left the court early with groin tightness. The series resumes on Friday — so send healing vibes ’til then.