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NBA Star Power Index: Joel Embiid feeling like MVP frontrunner, but Nikola Jokic has been the best player

Welcome back to NBA Star Power Index: A weekly gauge of the players getting the most buzz around the league. Inclusion on this list isn’t necessarily a good thing — it simply means you’re capturing the NBA world’s attention. This is also not a ranking. The players listed are in no particular order. This column will run every week throughout the regular season. 

LeBron James turned on the thrusters against the Golden State Warriors on Saturday, scoring 56 points, his highest output since joining the Los Angeles Lakers, in a much-needed victory. The good times didn’t last long. LeBron sat out the Lakers’ loss against the Spurs on Monday with a sore knee, and indeed it is the Spurs that represent the biggest threat to the Lakers missing the play-in series altogether. 

That San Antonio victory tied the Spurs-Lakers season series at 2-2. Neither team is going to be a division winner. Meaning the next tiebreaker is conference record, and at the moment San Antonio has a better one than L.A. Which is to say, if the Spurs somehow catch the Lakers (it’s not likely at four games back with 17 to play), they would have the tiebreaker as of right now. 

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2022-03-10

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