From the Western Conference, Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic and from the Eastern Conference, Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid have been named the Kia NBA Players of the Month for games played in December and January.
According to StatMuse, the last time two centers won Player of the Month in the NBA was Yao Ming and Dwight Howard in November of 2006.
Acting as a catalyst to Denver’s No. 4 ranked offense, Jokic averaged 26.8 points, 11.8 rebounds and 8.6 assists in 20 games. It is his first player of the month award and the first by a Nuggets player since Carmelo Anthony in November 2009. In each of the first 20 games of this season, he has also recorded a double-double becoming the second player since 1976 to accomplish the feat. Jokic is the fourth Nuggets player to win the award, joining Anthony (three), Alex English (three) and Fat Lever (one).
Meanwhile, Embiid, registered 28.3 points and 11.1 rebounds in 16 games, helping the 76ers to a 14-2 record in those contests. He was one of three players in the league to average 25 points and 10 rebounds through the season’s first month-joining Nikola Jokic and Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo. Philadelphia was 14-2 in Embiid’s 16 games and is 15-6 overall on the season, sitting atop the Eastern Conference table. In his fifth NBA season, it is Embiid’s second career Player of the Month selection. He joins Hall of Famers Allen Iverson (four), Charles Barkley (two), Moses Malone (two) and Julius Erving (three) as the only 76ers players to win the award numerous times.
Other nominees for this month’s title were:
Western Conference: DeMar DeRozan (SAS), Luka Dončić (DAL), Paul George and Kawhi Leonard (LAC), LeBron James (LAL), Damian Lillard (POR) and Christian Wood (HOU)
Eastern Conference: Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL), Malcolm Brogdon and Domantas Sabonis (IND), Jaylen Brown (BOS), Andre Drummond and guard Collin Sexton (CLE), Kevin Durant (BKN) and Julius Randle (NYK)