Sixers discuss Joel Embiid’s development as a passer, attacking double teams

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When it comes to Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid, there really isn’t a lot that he can’t do. The big fella can score at all three levels, he can handle the ball like a guard, he can take games over, and he’s an impressive defender as well.

If there was any weakness in his game it was his struggle against double teams and not being able to make the right decisions with his passing. However, in a season and a half with Doc Rivers at the helm, Embiid has made great strides in that area.

In the 2021-22 season, Embiid is averaging a career-high 4.3 assists as he is seeing defenses better and he is making strides in that area. He is only getting better in that area of his game and that is something that has been impressive about him.

“Double teams, when I first got here it’s all I heard, ‘Joel and double teams’ and we’ve had no issues with it, but you’re gonna have a game here and there where it’s gonna affect you and you go back to the lab,” said Rivers. “It’s just part of it. He’s a willing worker, he cooperates, so for me, it’s been great.”

The most impressive aspect about Embiid is that he was able to identify what he needed to improve on and he got in the gym and worked on it with coaches and his teammates. The big fella can do a lot of things out on the basketball court, but he realized he was struggling with double teams when it comes to decision-making and understanding when to stay patient and when to attack.

“He’s really good,” Rivers added. “No, really, and I say that half-jokingly, but it’s amazing how many calls I get from Kevin Garnett, ex-players, and we’re talking and I just say ‘He’s good, man. He’s talented in every area.’ He shoots the 3 like a guard, handles the ball like a guard, has size like a big, great post game, great feel, and the thing he’s done the most is he’s worked on the things he has struggled with.”

In this current season, Embiid has shown off more patience and he is really taking steps forward in terms of really controlling the game and understanding what has to be done in order to take steps forward as a more complete player.

“Finally this year, he is baiting people,” Rivers finished. ‘”It’s just been great to see. I think what he is finding and our sell to him is that you will be more efficient because people, they will hesitate before they come to get you.”

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

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