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Myles Turner’s hot take on guarding Joel Embiid doesn’t hold water

Myles Turner

Myles Turner of the Indiana Pacers suggested earlier this week that 2022-23 NBA MVP Joel Embiid was easier to defend than multi-time MVP Nikola Jokic. However, upon studying the two’s opponents, Turner’s strong take begins to lose steam.

Turner suggested on Gilbert Arenas’ podcast, “Gil’s Arena,” that it was possible to mute Embiid’s skillset but Jokic’s all-around game was practically unstoppable.

“Embiid, you can control a little more,” Turner said. “Jokic, it’s like there’s stuff that’s out of your control.”

Turner and Embiid have met 13 times, with the Sixers star averaging 29.3 points, 11.6 rebounds, and 3.8 assists, according to StatMuse.

Turner, meanwhile, has fouled out three times against Embiid and the Sixers, the most recent of which occurred this season. Turner fouled out after only 17 minutes in the Pacers’ 147-143 defeat to the Sixers on March 6, far short of his season average (29.4). Embiid, on the other hand, had a monster game, scoring 42 points on 11-of-16 shooting.

Jokic averaged 24.1 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 5.1 assists in one less game against Turner, and the Pacers’ big man fouled out only once.

Turner appears to have no quarrel with Embiid, and the tone of his words did not come off as harsh. However, his argument boils down to Jokic being a basketball unicorn and Embiid, well, isn’t.

While that may be true, there’s no doubt that the reigning MVP has beaten Turner nearly every time they’ve met.