When Joel Embiid learns how to play basketball, he will be a force. Until then everyone is enjoying watching “the Process” going through, well the process.
With three games on the slate the big man’s numbers were solid (23.6 ppg/7.7 rpg/2.6 bpg), but it was his free throw shooting (20 for 24), better yet his free throw attempts that were really impressive. In recent games the center had developed an unbashful love for the top of the key three point shot.
Yet, in the lone win of the week (against the Brooklyn Nets) Embiid attempted only three 3-pointers, making two, but maintained his authority in the paint going 7 for 8. His physical play was key for the 76ers as Joel would notch a game high in points (33) and tie with teammate Jahlil Okafor for a game high in rebounds (10).
In Phoenix No. 21 started the game with a P.I.F right and finished with a dunk. Three of his first five shots took place in the paint and begin or included a back to the basket move. “The Problem” would finish the game with 27 points and seven rebounds in a 123 – 116 loss.
The key to the development of the former Jay Hawk is how he performs in the paint. Nine of his 15 shots were from 10 feet or closer to the cup. If Embiid is to ever be a truly dominate player he must continue this process.
STAT OF THE WEEK:
It is difficult to establish a trend or pattern in seven wins, but one eerily consistent statistic remains true in Philadelphia’s seven wins. When Gerald Henderson plays 30 minutes or more the 76ers are 1 – 4, when he plays 25 minutes or less Philadelphia is 3 – 13 and when Henderson plays between 25 to 30 minutes Philly is 3 – 3.
It is difficult to decipher if such a small sample can be a pattern or a fluke, only time will tell. However, it is apparent that the small forward merely being on the floor impacts the game in some unmeasurable way. The club’s +/- does not reflect any significant statistical impact nor does the score for that matter.
Floor spacing, ball movement and perhaps the ability to create his own shot are definitely factors when the former Duke Blue Devil is on the hardwood. Regardless, when a team is struggling to consistently win games such a statistic is worth noting.
THIS WEEK IN 1982 – 83 (THE CHAMPIONSHIP YEAR):
Vengeance is Served
Just three days removed from losing to the Washington Bullets, the 76ers would take the floor against a familiar foe in the Boston Celtics. However, unlike in their previous meeting, the Sixers would leave the floor this time victorious.
Playing without an injured Andrew Toney, Philadelphia be ahead by as many as 21 at one point. Philly played at a pace the visiting Celtics struggled to match.
The 76ers would take 45 free throws, shoot 52 percent and dish out 27 assists in a complete dismantling of the Celtics 122 – 105. Point guard Maurice Cheeks and forward Bobby Jones held Larry Bird to just 4 for 11 shooting. The entire Boston roster lacked potency, shooting 46 percent and mustering just 19 assists on 91 shots.
TWEET OF THE WEEK: