During his on-court interview with ESPN's Tom Rinaldi, Embiid thought he displayed why he should be recognized as the NBA's best defensive player.
"You know the whole season I've been humble, but I wanna be Defensive Player of the Year, and I feel like tonight showed it," he said.
Not only did Embiid finish with 31 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks, he also helped limit Giannis Antetokounmpo to 8-of-27 shooting from the floor. The reigning Most Valuable Player missed all seven of his three-pointers as well.
Embiid wasn't solely responsible for Giannis' bad day but undoubtedly played a big role with his defense inside.
The Sixers center made the All-Defensive second team in each of the last two years but has yet to collect the hardware reserved for the league's best defender. He was runner-up to Rudy Gobert in 2017-18 and finished fourth in 2018-19.
Embiid entered Wednesday averaging a career-low 1.4 blocks, but he's holding opponents to 58.0 percent shooting inside six feet and 54.2 percent inside 10 feet, according to NBA.com.
If nothing else, his performance showed how dominant he can be close to the basket when he's at his best.