NBA MVP Power Rankings: Jayson Tatum rises after recent success, who drops?

Houston Rockets v Boston Celtics
Houston Rockets v Boston Celtics / Brian Fluharty/GettyImages
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2. Joel Embiid

Last week's rank: 2

Joel Embiid has now missed two weeks of basketball with a knee injury, and it's unclear when he will return to action. The 76ers have struggled without their superstar, but Tyrese Maxey has proven to be a lead guard in his new role.

Embiid's last game was on January 5, where he played the New York Knicks. Despite dropping 30 points, Embiid and the Sixers would get dominated by the Knicks and their new lineup. Since Embiid's absence, the Sixers have won just one game.

Going 1-2 without your star player is to be expected, but when you are trying to compete at the top of the East, you need to win the challenging games. If Embiid misses yet another week of basketball, his name could slip once again, and he could start to get close to the NBA's minimum number of games played.

Over the offseason, the NBA enacted a rule that you need to play at least 65 games if you wish to win any award. This new rule was meant to target star players like Kawhi Leonard and Joel Embiid, players who traditionally take time off to rest. Embiid has missed time with a serious injury, but he could be out of the running before fans know it if he continues to miss valuable time.

The 76ers will play the Houston Rockets on Monday in a matinee affair. Embiid is currently doubtful to play, which could reflect in his next week's MVP ranking. If Luka Doncic can get healthy soon and return to playing at a high level, Embiid's No. 2 spot could be in jeopardy.