Each week, this feature will give you the most significant offering from Joel Embiid’s work on the court and its meaning for the Philadelphia 76ers.
JoJo’s Week in Review
During the week of December 12th, the Philadelphia 76ers played 3 games. “The Process” Embiid played in each of those contests. Joel Embiid was featured with Jahlil Okafor creating the Sixer’s version of Tall Ball.
The reviews that have come back on this pairing have been mixed. The duo show flashes of good chemistry. The high-low play from Jo to Jah during the Raptors’ game is the best example of what could be fantastic from these two.
But by and large, the Lakers and Raptors games result in Joel Embiid being justified in saying he is not “Trusting the Process” for the first time as a 76er. Joel’s game becomes too perimeter oriented, and the Sixers lose too much rim protection with exchanging him for Jahlil in the post.
The efficiency dipped for Joel in the Lakers and Raptors shooting 8 for 20 in those two contests for 24 points and was far less effective rebounding. He hustled like crazy for the 10 boards he got in those two contests, but was out of position too often to maximize his impact.
As for the Nets Game, 33 points (On 17 shots!), 10 Rebounds, 2 Steals, 3 Blocks for a stat line speaks for itself. Joel enforced his will upon the opponent in a way he didn’t in the two games prior. Joel fed off of and ignited the crowd.He was literally jumping out of the court and had much more fun against the Nets, which leads to the play of the week.
I still can’t get over Joel trying to silence the crowd after an almost failed fast break. Here it is within this highlight reel at one minute and twenty-five seconds.
“Turning defense to offense” is one of those basketball clichés that holds up in the modern NBA. “The Process” play of the week highlights the most fun version of Joel Embiid’s defense creating offense. Looking at this replay, Sean Kilpatrick’s pass was a little out of control. However, the former Delaware 87er’s recklessness does not minimize Joel’s defensive awareness to play the passing lane.
Still hard to believe someone of Embiid’s stature having such quick reflexes to make a play and control the ball. Nerlens Noel shows how valuable this prowess can be when it comes to defense.
The Run Out
Next, Joel’s ability to run with the ball, and then throw a behind the back pass to Robert Covington represents the highest level of skill during the play. This is a 7-2 man running a fast break. True, the pass was a little off. But it was made at the right time to run a give and go. Joel then gets the opportunity for the easy finish.
The double clutch at the rim is the lowest level of basketball by Joel. But it ultimately causes the most “Process” moment of the night. All of the decisions made with this play were made correctly. The process by which the basketball went in the hoop was flawless.
The result was a sloppy but gave us all a chance to appreciate JoJo for who he is, “The most interesting man in the basketball world”. Embiid’s shush to the crowd, the teammates’ reaction and the crowd interaction with the potentially all-time embarrassing blunder on the put back is the perfect cap to this story.
Dec 18, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) dives to keep the ball in play during the fourth quarter of the game against the Brooklyn Nets at the Wells Fargo Center. The Sixers won the game 108-107.Mandatory Credit: John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports
Joel’s ability to lead and develop the identity of this Philadelphia 76ers team is invaluable. This entertaining exchange gives everyone a window into how incredible it will be to watch Joel on the court for as long as his body will allow him. Speaking of which, Joel, while we love you, maybe you can do this not as much…
The Runner Up
The Raptors have one of the best offenses in the league. They have a legitimate chance to claim the first seed in the Eastern Conference. Joel’s performance against them was muted in comparison to Sunday. But he still featured some exciting moments. Chief among them was this block on Demarre Carroll
Joel executes the perfect close out here. He elevates, embarrasses Carroll, and sends the ball into the front row. No matter how many points Joel will score in a game, he can still impact the opponent. The lift shown by Embiid is next level crazy, if you consider that he could have even more explosiveness as the season goes on.