Posts for joel embiid

Brett Brown Reiterates: All-Star Game Did Not Exacerbate Joel Embiid’s Knee Soreness

Kevin Kinkead - February 22, 2019

Brett Brown spoke at length pregame yesterday about Joel Embiid’s left knee soreness and what he describes as a non-correlation to the center’s All-Star Game participation.

I don’t think he wanted to speak at length, but he knows, and we all know, that the status of the Sixers’ best and most important player is topic #1 always and forever.

Brown reiterated that the Sixers knew about the soreness prior to the All-Star weekend, but doubled-down in rebuffing the notion that Embiid’s 23 minutes in Charlotte were detrimental to his near-term Sixers availability.

After the jump, a full transcript of his Thursday evening comments, which began off the top with Jon Johnson, the local radio host, not the Los Angeles Ram:

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Taking a Moment to Appreciate Joel Embiid’s 2018-2019 Season

Kevin Kinkead - January 22, 2019

Brett Brown was asked last night if Joel Embiid was getting his due in the NBA’s Most Valuable Player conversation.

“Nope,” replied the Sixers head coach, before going into a more lengthy response:

“I mean, all you really have to do, in my eyes, is look what happens when we don’t have him. And look at some of the first halves that he has produced that has forced our position, coaches to make incredible adjustments in the second half. And I think that in my eyes it’s not even close he should be in these types of conversations. And I think, more importantly, his leadership and his growth recognizing the responsibility that he has with this city, with this program and professional disposition and professional approach to practice and shooting around in film session has been at the best that he’s ever been at for me and 2019. And he’s—you take all that and then you say and he’s doing this on the court, so that MVP thing expands in my eyes to many different areas that he’s getting better and is as valuable as you’re saying.”

More or less.

This isn’t a “Joel Embiid should be the MVP” column, but more of a brief step back to think about how well he’s playing this year. I think we as media and fans are so used to him going out and dominating every night that it’s almost become a sidebar type of story, i.e. “oh by the way, Embiid went for 27 and 12 again.” It’s like we’re numb to it, and because it’s become such a common occurrence we rarely take time to consider how far he’s come.

First of all, compare Joel to himself, and look at the improvement across the board in his third NBA season. You should be able to click on this image to make it larger:

Almost everything is up from last season, which was an All-Star year. For example:

  • points: +2 per 36 minutes
  • field goal percentage: + 0.8%
  • two point percentage: + 1.5%
  • free throw percentage: + 3.2%
  • free throw attempts: +1.9 per 36
  • total rebounds: +1.2 per 36
  • turnovers: – 0.7 per 36
  • personal fouls: – 0.3 per 36
  • assists: +0.1 per game
  • blocks: no change

Really the only areas where Joel is down this year are in three-point shooting and offensive rebounding, which kind of go hand-in-hand. He’s hitting at a career-low 30.5% from behind the arc on 4.2 attempts per 36 minutes, while his two-point attempts are only slightly down. Obviously when he’s shooting more three-pointers he’s not going to be on the offensive glass, and the unique skill-set of Ben Simmons makes the Sixers’ spacing and deployment different from other teams.

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Joel Embiid, Rudy Gobert, and the Sixers’ Salary Situation

Kevin Kinkead - June 26, 2018

I’m back.

Kinker has returned from England/Scotland/Ireland/Wales, and while all of those countries were fantastic, nothing compares to the blue collar, lunch-pail carrying, workmanlike city of Philadelphia.

Anyway, Ben Simmons won Rookie of the Year last night. Good for him; he deserved it. The voting wasn’t even close, which surprised me. I thought for sure Donovan Mitchell would have received more first place nods, but I was wrong.

Joel Embiid finished second in Defensive Player of the Year voting, which I do think is fair. Rudy Gobert was fantastic this season, even if he did miss a significant chunk of time through injury. Did he feed on tanking teams during the second half of the year? Maybe, but I think the same could be said of Embiid when the Sixers were trouncing mediocre Eastern Conference squads before he suffered the facial fracture in March. Joel ended up playing 63 games while Gobert featured in 56, so the difference was ultimately negligible, in my mind. Utah was a juggernaut when Gobert returned, going 30-7 over a stretch that began in January and carried into April. The Sixers, of course, won 16 straight to finish the year, a run that included Embiid for about half of that time.

A quick look at the per-36 numbers for each player:

Gobert had better block and steal numbers while committing fewer fouls.

Advanced numbers show he also out-performed Joel in defensive box plus/minus and defensive win shares:

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Joel Embiid Enjoys Living in Philadelphia and Let’s Embrace That

Philip Keidel - June 1, 2018

Joel Embiid is a 24-year-old multimillionaire basketball player whose professional obligations to the 76ers for the 2017-2018 season ended three weeks ago. Nobody could reasonably have faulted him for packing a bag or three and jetting off to any number of exotic, swanky, and gorgeous destinations.

There’s still plenty of time for that this offseason. For right now, though, Embiid is taking the opportunity to actually live in the city where he works and to spread some joy in the (ahem) process:

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What Kind of Mask Should Joel Embiid Wear When He Returns?

Kevin Kinkead - March 30, 2018

It’s good to see Joel Embiid in better spirits.

I’m willing to bet most people would be maudlin and/or morose after suffering a broken orbital bone that requires surgery, but the Sixers’ 7’2″ center was back on social media last night with some self-deprecating humor:

I think we all know what this means. Joel comes back wearing a mask, picks the Sixers up off the mat, and they triumph in a round one, come-from-behind playoff series victory against Trevor Booker and the Indiana Pacers.

Embiid could go the conservative route with a secure and clear mask ala Kyrie Irving:

(Photo Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports)

Or, I think you can get a little more interesting, and maybe Embiid comes out of the tunnel with the Victor Oladipo Black Panther mask, yells “Wakanda Forever,” and then posterizes some poor fool:

(Photo Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports)

Coggin wants to see him go Friday the 13th, a little Crystal Lake action on the basketball court:

I like it, looks pretty intimidating to me. Wouldn’t mind Joel play a little bit of ice hockey for the Flyers, too. Probably would be a better goaltender than Mrazek.

Since we’re having fun on a Friday afternoon, here are a few more options for Embiid to consider when he makes his return: Continue Reading

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How do the Sixers Replace Joel Embiid?

Kevin Kinkead - March 30, 2018

It went from bad to worse last night when Joel Embiid’s precautionary testing revealed an orbital fracture and concussion, suffered Wednesday in a second-quarter collision with Markelle Fultz.

The Sixers’ big man is expected to miss two to four weeks of actions, according to ESPN, and would likely return for the start of the playoffs or midway through round one. He has yet to undergo surgery.

Until then, the Sixers will play eight more regular season games without him, a schedule that includes just two playoff teams and six non-playoff teams, with four on the road and four at home. It is not, thankfully, murderer’s row, and this roster is good enough to beat the likes of Atlanta and Dallas sans Joel in a continued push for home court advantage.

For what it’s worth, the Sixers are 3-8 without Embiid this season, but five of those losses came on the second night of a back-to-back, long before Joel was cleared to play in those games. In full context, not only are you missing your best player, but you’re traveling and tired, so I don’t know how much those back-to-back losses can be blamed on Embiid’s absence and how much can be blamed on weariness in general.

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Joel Embiid has an Orbital Fracture and Concussion

Kevin Kinkead - March 29, 2018

It’s worse than originally thought.

Per Sixers press release:

Can’t make this stuff up.

And the Biggest Storyline of the Sixers Season is Now…

Kevin Kinkead - March 22, 2018

…the same storyline from September and October.

It’s Joel Embiid’s health; only this time we’re talking about getting him ready for the playoffs as the Sixers jostle for seeding in a tightly packed Eastern Conference.

Brett Brown has gone on the record several times saying that he prioritizes “delivering” a healthy Embiid to the postseason versus claiming home court advantage, so I threw the question to Twitter this morning to see what y’all prefer:

It was 70% to 30% in favor of a rested Embiid when I hit the “publish” button.

That surprises me. I thought home court would win in a landslide.

Of course, defining a “rested” Embiid and a “non-rested” Embiid is an arbitrary exercise. Joel says he feels good and I take that at face value. I mean, he missed some games a few months back after the triple-overtime epic with Oklahoma City, but he’s off the injury report, the wrist and back seem fine, and he’s playing back-to-backs for the first time in his career. He’s come a long way in a very short time.

That doesn’t mean there might not be a cumulative fatiguing of sorts, something different from the day-to-day grind of playing X minutes one night, then X minutes the next night. It’s a macro vs. micro type of situation, I think. Embiid is on pace to play 70+ games, a number that I highly, highly doubt anybody had predicted a few months back. He hasn’t come close to playing this many games at any point of his career.

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