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Who should be the NBA MVP front-runner?

Rachel Nichols and Boogie Cousins welcome Amin Elhassan to discuss midseason awards in the latest episode of Bully Ball on DraftKings Network.

We’re at the midpoint of the NBA season and Rachel Nichols and Boogie Cousins were joined by Oddball’s Amin Elhassan on the latest episode of Bully Ball to hand out some midseason awards.

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Among those awards, they discussed the NBA MVP race and whether Joel Embiid should be the front-runner. Embiid currently has +600 odds on DraftKings Sportsbook, behind Nikola Jokic, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Luka Doncic.

However, Boogie says there’s NO QUESTION that Embiid should be the front-runner given how much he’s dominated in the games he has played this season. Boogie says we thought Embiid was special last season and he’s taken things to a whole new level thus far this year. This is the first year where players have to meet an eligibility requirement of 65 games played and Embiid has missed 10 games thus far in 2023-24. So Boogie says if Embiid doesn’t meet the threshold, SGA would be the next person to come to mind for him. Boogie says SGA has taken OKC to whole new level and his game speaks for itself. He says SGA is a top-five guard in the league, no one had expected this team to be where they’re at and he’s even elevated the play of Chet Holmgren.

Amin is also on the Embiid for MVP bandwagon. Amin thinks Embiid is the MVP given how well the 76ers have played, especially dealing with the turmoil of James Harden’s exit at the beginning of the season. Amin says it’s not easy to overcome when there’s turmoil in the organization and the 76ers have won when Embiid’s out there and he’s been better than he was a year ago. But, if Embiid falls short of the games played mark then Amin agrees SGA is the next man up. What Amin loves about watching SGA play is that he’s not explosive or blindingly fast, but he’s more like a wave — when it’s forming it doesn’t look all that fast but before you know it the wave is here. How’d that happen? That’s what SGA is like, Amin says. He moves at his own pace, but in those bursts, he gets where he needs to go. Amin points out that he can finish with either hand and is so effective shooting at every level. He’s incredible, and Amin says while we knew OKC would be better no one thought they would be THIS much better. Shai might not be the best athlete and his movements might be herky-jerky, but he’s the type of player Amin sees and thinks you could use to make teaching tapes.

And as Rachel points out, don’t forget about the Joker. Boogie says there won’t ever be a season where Jokic is playing where he won’t be mentioned in the MVP race. He brings too much to the game, Boogie says. Meanwhile, Amin reminds everyone not to forget about Giannis either.

Meanwhile, Boogie has seen the way The Blame Game plays out and has some advice for Trae Young ...

And in light of the announcement of a statue for Dwyane Wade, Amin, Boogie and Rachel discuss who else needs a statue ...

Listen or watch the full show below and make sure to tune in to new episodes of Bully Ball every Monday at 6 p.m. ET on DraftKings Network!


Midseason Awards, Most Surprising Team ft. Amin Elhassan | Episode 10 | BULLY BALL

  • The latest BULLY BALL episode is HERE. This week, Rachel and Boogie are joined by Amin Elhassan to share their midseason awards as we are almost halfway done with the NBA season. Plus, they discuss the most surprising teams in the league.


Check out the DraftKings YouTube page and the All The Smoke Productions YouTube page for more. Subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also follow Rachel Nichols and Demarcus Cousins on X at @Rachel__Nichols and @boogiecousins.

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