We always knew Skip Bayless had impeccable basketball takes:
If both are healthy, give me Embiid over Jokic any day or night. Tonight: 50 points in 27 minutes. That's just silly good.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) January 20, 2022
50 points in 27 minutes for Joel Embiid in a come-from-behind home win against the Orlando Magic. He only shot 23 field goals and finished 15-17 from the foul line while adding 12 rebounds, two assists, a steal, and three blocks. He was a +24 on the evening and only turned the ball over twice. That is bananas.
Most of the Sixers recaps we do follow the same formula. Embiid, playing out of his mind, leads the way despite the team operating $33 million below the salary cap because of the Ben Simmons hold out situation. That’s what makes this Embiid season so impressive, the fact that he’s bringing it every night while a multiple-time All Star teammate isn’t even there to help him. You could very easily make the case that Simmons’ absence only showcases the value of Embiid even more, because he’s taking on an even bigger workload while playing with the NBA’s second highest usage rate.
Some of the statistics that people researched after this performance were outrageous. Look at this:
Embiid was 17-23 (.739) on the night. pic.twitter.com/pps26vZr9v
— Sixers Stats (@SixersStats) January 20, 2022
Look at the names on that list. Wilt. Damian Lillard twice. Kyrie Irving and FVV. It’s insanely impressive that a 7’2″ center can put himself into that same grouping, and double his point total vs. FGA. It’s like the reverse Russell Westbrook. He’d have 23 points on 50 shots.
“It was great,” said Embiid of scoring 50 in front of a crowd this time. “Like I always say: ‘lots of love.’ Obviously this time around there were a lot of fans. But, my focus was the same like it’s been lately. All about business. Especially on the court. Worry about what I can control. But tonight, we did it as a team. Obviously, we didn’t finish the second quarter great. But from the beginning of the third, we really put pressure on them offensively and defensively.
Here’s another stat:
— Jimmy (@_JimmyMcCormick) January 20, 2022
Again, look at the names on there. Wilt, Klay, Harden, Kobe 2x, The Mailman, etc. Joel was scoring so frequently Wednesday night it checked out at 1.825 points per minute. Insane!
ESPN also shared a related statistic attributed to the Elias Sports Bureau, noting that Embiid’s 50 point/10 rebound game was achieved in the fewest minutes during the shot clock era, which began in the 1954-1955 season.
I feel like this is a very obvious take, but sometimes people take Embiid for granted. Don’t get me wrong; they appreciate what he does, but I think you become so used to it that the enormity of what he’s doing doesn’t always resonate. You almost expect him to go for 30 and 10 each night, but he’s doing it without Simmons and also logging career-high assist numbers and career-low turnover numbers. That’s the funny thing about the Nikola Jokic debate, because Embiid has become a much better playmaker this year, and is throwing some Jokic-like passes at times. They really do have some moments where they look like the same guy out there. Two brilliant players, Jokic and Embiid.
Over his last 10 ten games, Joel is putting up the following numbers:
- 31.1 MPG
- 32.8 points per game
- 54.7% from the floor
- 34.4% from three
- 11.8 free throw attempts per game
- 82.2% from the line
- 9.8 rebounds
- 4.3 assists
- 3.7 turnovers
- 0.9 steals
- 1.3 blocks
- 2.5 fouls committed
- 64.8% true shooting
- 40.6% usage
- 13.8 individual net rating
And the Sixers are 8-2 in that stretch, 5th place in the Eastern Conference and just 2.5 games out of first place despite a max player being a spectator, playing Call of Duty or whatever he’s up to.
It’s pretty incredible what Embiid is doing. It’s prime Joel, and hopefully the Sixers don’t waste this season with non-activity on the Simmons front. Let’s enjoy the ride as best we can.