Joel Embiid wins the individual battle, but Nikola Jokic won the collective battle

It was the most anticipated game of this great NBA night, and we can say we were not disappointed. In front of a fiery Philadelphia crowd, the Nuggets didn’t back down and knew how to press where it hurt to inflict a brutal defeat on the Sixers, 114 to 110. Beautifully surrounded, Nikola Jokic took off with the win and a pat behind the back. head of Joel Embiid.

Everyone had noted the appointment.

It was tea main event, the must-see match between two of the best players in the world, the world’s top two key figures and two leaders in the race for the MVP. Joel Embiid and his Sixers at home, Nikola Jokic and his Nuggets away. Trend level, we weren’t quite on the same wavelength since Denver racked up some frustrating defeats, while Philly, aside from his gadin against Brooklyn, was in decent shape. Even back to back, even after they left energy in Orlando, the guys at Doc Rivers knew full well that this Monday night meeting was not going to happen. like the others† Exactly, the Sixers started the evening like this: aggressive, knife between teeth, an Embiid more concentrated than ever and Matisse Thybulle reeling from defensive domination and constant activity. Together, the Sixers created a rift and opposite… well, we weren’t there at all. The smell that came out of the first quarter was more of a beating than an unmissable match between two MVPs, and yet the sequel will prove to be very interesting. Particularly in this second quarter, when the Nuggets bench will impose its style on that of the Sixers, DeMarcus Cousins ​​and Bones Hyland, is setting the tone to help Denver stay in touch. Valuable work, because while opposite DeAndre Jordan a new disaster class of a sport we don’t know but that resembles basketball, the visitors stayed together and recorded the score. And bam, Jokic’s return to the field is interrupted by a decisive run before half time, leaving a deficit of almost 20 points… was only 5 units. A godsend for the Nuggets, a real frustration for Philadelphia, but a whole half to play.

In the third quarter? Despite a poor start, the hosts settled behind an Embiid gala and walked up the gap, tipping the scales clearly in Philadelphia’s favour. How could the Sixers lose this game! Denver can’t put in three outside shots in a row, Will Barton is the only real offensive option next to the Joker, Aaron Gordon is too physically compromised… and even Nikola Jokic himself isn’t in a big game. Except for a few caviar, the Serbian spindle is mostly frowning with easily missed baskets and annoying stray balls. No way, with a Matisse Thybulle pippenian, a Harden warming up and the sanctioning boss Embiid will do it for the Sixers. Serious mistake. After letting Denver pick up the score earlier in the evening, Georges Niang’s friends will reach out to get hit. And the Nuggets, dreaming of a miracle, are entitled to the Bones Hyland show: 21 points on 4/9 from the parking lot, with shots almost from the center of the field. The Wilmington resident, 40 minutes from Philadelphia, fulfilled a childhood dream in front of his loved ones. Take a hit with the Sixers, and for once in the great air conditioning mode. We expected Nikola, we expected Joel, and indeed we had this duel, but the one that stood out was clearly the rookie, who single-handedly pocketed the Pennsylvania crowd and knocked down Doc Rivers’ bench with his talent. Ultra precious points, like JaMychal Green’s, which allowed attendees to maintain control of the meeting.

Of course, epic match mandatory, the money-time will be a huge sequence of spectacular actions, between big counters from Embiid, intense mistakes on the spindle, juicy caviar from Jokic, shot reversed in total imbalance, penetrations from James Harden and… very average Sixers version at the buzzer. By doing what it takes to scratch three small points ahead of time with a few seconds to play, the Nuggets will make Niang do a WTF improv at the finish, with Tyrese Maxey and his band taking the lead with both hands at 47 minutes. to look. A real boon to Denver that won’t be asked to finish the business. Jokic of course in the oven and the mill (22 points, 13 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks), but also the other friends who limited the blunders while opposite the sausage party. When Embiid has nothing to be ashamed of his game (34 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocks), the Cameroonian pivot seemed lonelier. A giant well supported by Maxey and Harden, but who else is really solid? A real concern for the Sixers as Denver rubbed their hands behind the solidity of the group founded by Mike Malone. The Nuggets coach, proud of his team, could only shake his head with the smell of Play-offs in this match. Knowing it, his band had outstretched the cheek several times in the match to be punched. But faced with the possibility of burying the game once and for all, the Sixers were inconclusive. And it failed especially when it mattered most, right at the very end of the game.

With great respect and mutual admiration, Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid will leave the floor hugging each other. Good game bro, good game bro. A real winner of this competition? The Nuggets, better and firmer together. A real loser? The Sixers center and his team, as the opportunity to hit hard in the race for the MVP was there… and it disappeared before Embiid’s eyes. Meanwhile, imagine this Denver team with Michael Porter Jr and Jamal Murray. Isn’t life beautiful?