The NBA has all the time been about participant rivalries, and whether or not we have realized it or not, there’s one among all time unfolding earlier than our eyes.
When Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid face off on Friday, two of the game’s most dominant gamers will sq. off for the thirteenth time of their careers and nearly all of these matchups have not allow us to down.
Each Antetokounmpo and Embiid are unstoppable forces whose physique can solely be matched by just a few gamers within the league aside from one another. With Antetokounmpo at 7ft, 242lbs and Embiid at 7ft, 280lbs, this heavyweight battle is the closest factor we’ll get to an precise Cleganebowl between The Mountain and The Hound.
Embiid is coming off a season by which he turned the primary middle to steer the NBA in scoring since Shaquille O’Neal in 1999-00, averaging 30.6 factors per recreation en path to a second-place end for the League MVP.
SIGN UP TO WATCH ALL NBA LEAGUE PASS MATCHES: USA & UK | All different nations
Antetokounmpo is simply two years away from being third player in NBA history to win MVP and Defensive Participant of the 12 months in the identical season. Since profitable the Finals MVP in 2021, he’s broadly considered the most effective participant on the planet immediately.
Neither participant has skipped a beat this season, as Embiid is coming off the most effective particular person performances in sports activities historical past and Antetokounmpo sleepwalking as much as 30 factors and 10 rebounds an evening.
Simply days in the past, Embiid broke for a career-high 59 factors with 11 rebounds, eight assists and 7 blocks. In doing so, he turned the primary participant (since blocks have been recorded in 1973) to complete at the very least 50 factors, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, and 5 blocks in a recreation.
MORE: How Embiid turned Wilt Chamberlain in 2022
Earlier than Antetokounmpo struggled with proper knee ache that compelled him to take a seat out three of his final 5 video games, the Bucks All-Star had gone six straight 30-point video games (together with two with greater than 40) and 5 doubles. -dual effort.
And the most effective half? These two nonetheless deliver out the most effective in one another.
Statistics of the confrontations between Giannis and Embiid
Taking a look at their head-to-head averages tells you every part it is advisable to know, however diving into the person video games is the place you begin to understand simply how particular these battles actually are.
Antetokounmpo has received 5 of the final six conferences towards Embiid, together with a victory on the Bucks’ opening night time of the 2022-23 season. And whereas this recreation wasn’t precisely one to jot down about for both participant, most of their different current matchups actually are.
After they final met final season, Embiid had 29 factors, 14 rebounds and 7 assists, however Antetokounmpo received the higher of the Sixers large man, having 40 factors, 14 boards and a game-winning block within the ultimate seconds.
GIANNIS with the sport save block on Embiid! 👀
16/24 Taking pictures
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) March 30, 2022
MORE: Cherish the conferences between LeBron James and Kevin Durant
It was one among two conferences of the 2021-22 season, with Embiid’s 42 factors and 14 rebounds topping Antetokounmpo’s 32 factors, 11 rebounds and 9 assists in a 76ers win within the different.
If we have been to speak about their 12 matchups, you’d get bored fairly rapidly due to how usually these two let free 30-point double-doubles.
However it’s price wanting again to in 2019, as Antetokounmpo and Embiid had two of essentially the most explosive one-on-one performances we have seen lately.
On March 17, 2019, Antetokounmpo had the most effective recreation of his profession on the time, with 52 factors, 16 rebounds, seven assists, two steals and one block. And as superior as The Greek Freak was, it was Embiid’s group that took the win, choosing up 40 factors, 15 rebounds, six assists, three steals and one block.
Giannis Antetokounmpo (52 Pts & 16 Reb) & Joel Embiid (40 Pts & 15 Reb) had a duel for the ages immediately.
— ESPN Stats and Data (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 17, 2019
Lower than a month later, on April 4, 2019, Antetokounmpo exacted revenge on his counterpart, accumulating 45 factors, 13 rebounds, six assists and 5 blocks. The Bucks received the win, nevertheless it wasn’t due to an absence of manufacturing from Embiid, who recorded his second profession triple-double with 34 factors, 13 rebounds and 13 assists to go together with three blocks and two interceptions.
It is wonderful how usually these two always stuff one another’s stat sheet – a transparent signal of their aggressive nature to raise their matches towards the world’s greatest expertise, making an attempt to show who the most effective large man within the NBA is. immediately.
We have seen it earlier than with among the biggest gamers to ever play the sport, like Wilt Chamberlain and Invoice Russell, Hakeem Olajuwon and David Robinson, and Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett.
It is time we began placing Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid in that group.