Reigning NBA MVP Joel Embiid is having a historic season so far, but he may not be able to win a second-straight MVP award.
Although it might sound crazy, Embiid is in danger of being ineligible for an end-of-season award due to the NBA's new 65-game rule that was implemented this season.
This rule was put in place to discourage stars from resting and being subjected to load management, and it states that players will be ineligible for All-NBA honors and the end-of-season awards (including MVP) if they fail to play in at least 65 games.
Embiid has now missed 11 games so far this season, after sitting last night in Denver. This means that under the new rules, Embiid can only miss six more games in order to be eligible to win the MVP award. The Sixers have 36 games remaining this season.
Embiid is currently leading the MVP race, averaging a historic line of 36 points, 11.4 rebounds and 5.8 assists in 33 games played.
Philadelphia has been cautious with their superstar center, resting him even for marquee games, if deemed necessary. Injuries have plagued Embiid in the playoffs throughout his career, and it has led to some disappointing performances and finishes.
This year, Embiid may have to decide between playing in 65 games to be eligible for the MVP award or resting in order to be in the best possible shape entering the playoffs.