Atlantic Notes: Rivers, Embiid, Toppin, Durant, Brown

Speaking to reporters this weekend, Sixers coach Doc Rivers made a case for Joel Embiid to win the Most Valuable Player award, as Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer relays. Embiid is currently in the midst of his best season, averaging 30.0 points, 11.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game.

“Listen, I don’t get on this, but I really believe he should be the MVP,” Rivers said.

In addition to his impressive averages, Embiid has led Philadelphia to a 47-30 record. He’ll face stiff competition for the award this year, which will include Denver’s Nikola Jokic, Memphis’ Ja Morant, Phoenix’s Devin Booker and Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Here are some other notes from the Atlantic:

  • The Knicks have been eliminated from playoff contention, but second-year forward Obi Toppin is showing he still cares about the games, Neil Best of Newsday writes. Toppin most recently finished with 20 points, four rebounds and four assists in a loss to the Cavaliers on Saturday, showing potential at 24 years old.
  • The Nets dropped a 122-115 game to the Hawks on Saturday despite receiving a superstar performance from Kevin Durant, Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes. Durant finished with a career-high 55 points on 19-of-28 shooting from the floor (68%), but it clearly wasn’t enough. Brooklyn forced just six Atlanta turnovers and allowed over 115 points for a fourth straight game.
  • Now that the Celtics have won 49 games, forward Jaylen Brown is halfway to meeting the criteria for a $482K bonus, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link). Brown will receive the bonus if Boston makes the second round of the playoffs. The incentive was deemed unlikely at the start of the season, Marks notes.
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