Sixers big man Joel Embiid goes into detail of just how he draws so many fouls

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Ky Carlin
·3 min read
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Philadelphia 76ers star big man Joel Embiid is having a terrific start to the season. He is squarely in the MVP conversation as the team sits at the top of the East mostly due to the work of the big fella.

He is having a terrific season working in the post mostly due to his improved ability to pass out of double teams. He now has shooters he can kick out to and he is continuing to make strides forward. That has forced teams to play him straight up 1-on-1 and he has taken advantage.

He entered Friday’s matchup with the Minnesota Timberwolves averaging 10.4 free throws per game and he took 18 in Friday’s win. He was a perfect 12-for-12 in the first half and he finished 16-for-18 from the line.

“When you talk about drawing fouls, a lot of people, I guess, call it flopping, all that stuff but, the way I say it is it’s about being smarter than your opponent,” said Embiid. “You gotta have a high basketball IQ. I’m talking to the young guys, they’re like, ‘How can we draw fouls? How can we get to the free-throw line?’ and I’m like, ‘You gotta be smart like as soon as you feel the contact, you gotta go through it’ and that’s how you get fouled.”

Embiid was accused of flopping by Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart, but the big fella insists that it’s just a focus of his. He just wants to continue to draw fouls and get the easy points at the line.

“That’s been an emphasis for me since I came into the league,” he added. “That’s how you stay efficient by through the free-throw line and getting those easy points. You don’t have to work for it and I have a knack for just getting to the free-throw line.”

For the Sixers, as long as Embiid is healthy and he is continuing to push forward, that’s all that matters. His ability to get to the line has really continued to help him score easier and more efficiently. He averaged 8.5 free throws per game in the 2019-20 season and he now has a different mindset to keep getting to the line no matter what.

He continues to be smart in the post and he knows teams have to defend him differently because of how dominant he is and the pieces surrounding him.

“My goal every single night is to get all their centers or the other team’s best players in foul trouble and I got to keep on going,” he said. “It also gets harder for them to guard me because if you go and put your hand, I’m gonna get fouled so now, if you want to guard me with your hands back, now I’ve got the leverage to just back you down and dunk on you or just get easier shots. You got to pick your poison as a defender.”

Philadelphia continues the road trip on Sunday when they take on the Indiana Pacers for the second game of a 3-game trip.

This post originally appeared on Sixers Wire! Follow us on Facebook!

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