'Walking cheat code' Embiid on course for MVP - Pacers coach Carlisle
Joel Embiid has been dubbed a "walking cheat code" by Indiana Pacers coach Rick Carlisle after leading the Philadelphia 76ers to an eight-straight win.
Embiid set a franchise record with his ninth game in a row scoring at least 30 points in the 76ers 141-121 triumph, with a tally of 31 on 10-for-15 shooting with seven rebounds and six assists.
The 76ers sit comfortably as the number three seed in the Eastern Conference following their winning streak, which stands as the longest run in the NBA - no other side having a run of victories longer than three matches.
With Philadelphia picking up form and Embiid leading the way, Carlisle ranks the 29-year-old as the best performer in the league this season.
"Embiid, right now, he's probably the MVP, with what their team is doing and how he's just elevated his game," he said.
"He's as difficult a guy to game plan for as there is in the game. Giannis [Antetokounmpo) is crazy ridiculous. [Nikola] Jokic is the same. And this guy is maybe even more difficult, if that's possible.
"He had 31 points in less than three quarters. Made it look like he wasn't even trying to do it. He's a walking NBA cheat code right now. He's just that good."
Aaron Nesmith started the game as the Pacers' first line of defence against Embiid and spoke of the difficulty in matching up against the Cameroonian ace.
"It's tough because he's such a big dude. Seven foot and very heavy. It's hard to guard him without using your hands and being physical," Nesmith said.
"In today's game, the way the refs call it, it's hard to be physical with a guy like that and not get in foul trouble.
"I was trying to find that balance. When I first got him, I picked up like three fouls because of it."