Have you noticed the Philadelphia 76ers All-Star center Joel Embiid has not been himself lately? He’s still averaging 22 points, 12 rebounds, and three assists per game, but it’s very transparent that the joy of the game has slipped away from him.
Embiid’s career so far has always brought an entertainment factor. He’s either trash-talking to opposing players, getting involved in the media, or merely pumping up the crowd. But is it the wrong type of entertainment? The TNT Inside the NBA crew touched on this topic, and I agree with them. Shaq, Kenny, and Charles, all criticized Embiid for his effort and failing to dominate games in the way they think he should.
You hear names like Giannis, LeBron, Davis, Luka, Harden, all dominating games and taking over. It’s consistent week in, week out. Joel is perceived to be in that group of players, but has he ever shown us that he can physically dominate a game and consistently? Maybe Joel’s game has been trapped from the way Philadelphia is set up, and the type of players that’s around him. He might not be able to be himself and do whatever he wants, but that’s a big ‘if’ in my books. I believe if you’re a genuinely dominating NBA player, you create your own path, and everything forms around it.
The ‘joy’ I was talking about might re-surface again if he steps up and starts dominating, like he should be. Don’t get me wrong, Embiid is a good player. I just haven’t seen him be great yet.
Catch you Monday.