The United States beat Canada 86-72 in an Olympics warmup on Wednesday night. Joel Embiid started, played 12 minutes, and fouled out with five points, six rebounds, two assists, and four turnovers. He shot 2-5 from the floor and 1-2 from the free throw line and dropped this elbow on Dwight Powell:

Only five fouls allowed in FIBA, and the elbow in that clip counts as one of the five, so that goes a long way in explaining how someone could foul out in just 12 minutes of play.

Embiid looked as though… wait for it… he hasn’t played in months! The entire group turned the ball over 15 times. That’s probably to be expected in exhibition game #1. My main takeaway is that if they play a heightened level of defense in Paris then nobody is going to beat them. They are a brick wall on the defensive side with this personnel group. And Joel will have to realize that he doesn’t need to be option 1, 2, or even 3 on this team, not with the firepower surrounding him. I’d love to see him protect the rim and move the ball and do some Jokic-type things in this setting.

Tim Bontemps at ESPN:

Embiid, playing for the first time in a Team USA jersey, looked rusty, finishing with 5 points, 6 rebounds and 5 fouls in 13 minutes.

He and Kerr had talked during the past few days about ramping up his conditioning and activity levels as he recovers from a knee injury suffered late in the regular season that he played through in his Philadelphia 76ers‘ first-round playoff loss to the New York Knicks. Embiid said he still has a ways to go, as does Team USA.

“We could have been much better,” Embiid said. “We didn’t take care of the ball. Defensively, we were pretty good. So that’s where we’re going to hang our hat, and offensively it’s going to come.”

I only caught bits and pieces, but it seemed like the refs were totally uninterested in calling the same type of fouls we see in the NBA. It was… kind of refreshing? More basketball and less foul baiting. Joel is going to have to adjust and play a more open game. It doesn’t seem likely he gets the whistles he gets for the Sixers, but again, one game here. On to the next one.