Joel Embiid believes he’s unguardable after leading Sixers past Blazers
PHILADELPHIA–Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid is one of the elite players in the league regardless of position. There’s a reason why he is in the MVP conversation every season and performances like Friday are a prime example.
Embiid had 39 points on 13-for-20 shooting to go along with seven rebounds and four assists in a 120-119 comeback win over the Portland Trail Blazers. Philadelphia trailed by as many as 21 before they rallied to win thanks to Embiid knocking down the game-winner with 1.1 seconds left.
On the season, Embiid is averaging 33.4 points and 10.1 rebounds while shooting 53.9% from the floor. Over his past five games, he’s averaging 37.2 points on 60.4% shooting. He’s been terrific.
“I’ve said it, I think I’m unguardable,” said Embiid. “It’s all about using that and trying to make my teammates better and with that comes a lot of doubles and triple teams every single game. So it’s about how do I make my teammates better every day?”
In terms of his terrific play since the All-Star break, Embiid gave one simple reason: the work he’s put in.
“I’m really just working on my game, honestly,” he explained. “Just seeing what works and what doesn’t. Trying to be aggressive and also getting my guys involved. Like I said, I can be better. I missed a bunch of free throws and had a couple of turnovers, especially, one down the stretch so I can always be better.”
He is right about the whole “being better” part. The Sixers were terrific on defense in the second half which allowed them to rally and win the game, but their effort in the first half was terrible as Portland got whatever they wanted.
“It’s not just about offense,” Embiid finished. “Defensively, we got to be better. I thought in the fourth quarter, we did a better job, but that’s how we gotta start games.”
The Sixers will certainly have to be better as a team, but due to the fact that they do have Embiid on their side, they are feeling confident they can achieve their goals come playoff time.
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