Joel Embiid from the Philadelphia 76ers has taken over the media — once again — from his recent efforts on and off the court. On Wednesday night, against the Los Angeles Lakers, he chalked up a mesmerizing 46 points, 15 rebounds, 7 assists and 7 blocks. It was unlike anything we’ve seen from an NBA center, and he was making headlines all around the NBA.
However, on Saturday night, the 76er’s faced the budding dynasty of the Golden State Warriors on their saturated yellow home turf. Despite the Warriors having never played against either Embiid or Ben Simmons, they ‘Out Smarted’ the 76ers by taking both players out of their comfort zones. This was all done, thanks to Draymond Green’s shape-shifting role as a help defender.
As Danny Chau pointed out in his recent article, the Warriors were quick to rotate and double Embiid as often as they could, especially when he was turning blind along the baseline. “They double-teamed me a lot from Ben’s man every time I sprung baseline, so it kinda of threw me off,” Embiid said after the Warriors game. “They were kind of mixing it up.”
This effort by the Warriors showed that Embiid has much to learn when put in these uncomfortable situations, but looking at his game as a whole, he has to be one of the most complete players in the NBA. From his size and skill, to his personality and IQ. The two teams will meet again on Saturday, exactly one week after their first bout, and this will be the perfect stage to show us that he can learn from his mistakes, at a rapid speed.
Catch you Thursday.