Sixers impressed with Joel Embiid as a passer in Game 1 vs. Raptors

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CAMDEN, N.J. — Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid led the league in scoring with 30.6 points per game and he’s incredibly tough to stop, but the Toronto Raptors held him to 5-for-15 shooting and 19 points in Game 1.

However, Embiid did not commit a single turnover and he had four assists, helping the Sixers win the game. Some might not consider this game impressive, especially for Embiid’s standards, but the Sixers would disagree.

“You know big fella,” said Shake Milton. “He’s good for 40 and 15 whenever he wants. He could’ve easily did that last night if he wanted to, but he just took what the defense gave him and I think he’s gonna make our team that much more dangerous when he plays like that.”

Milton was the beneficiary of some of those Embiid passes as he was able to make some moves off the ball to get open.

“Not only is he getting guys involved, but teams might be a little more reluctant to send that help or they might be reluctant to meet certain guys,” Milton added. “We’re just gonna continue to feed big fella and he’s gonna continue to make the right plays.”

When it comes to Embiid, the biggest thing is he has to trust his teammates and be able to make the right passes. Decision-making is going to be a very important part of this series as it was in Game 1.

“Some people say he didn’t play well, I think Jo had a great game,” said Danny Green. “One of the best floor games I’ve seen him play in a long time. He was trusting, making the pass, finding guys, and giving himself up offensively time and time again. He took his time and was aggressive when he needed to be and took his shots and imposed his will by getting fouls. For the most part, when he caught it, he was looking to make plays and finding guys.”

The zero turnovers Embiid committed are what stands out the most. In the 2019 semifinals, he averaged 4.0 turnovers per game against the Raptors.

“He’s a much better player passing out of the post than he was in that series,” Milton added. “I think you can see it now. He’s throwing looks, he’s just making the right reads so our guys are catching the ball in the paint and having easy layups. That’s a credit to him and the work he’s put in. He talks to us a lot about where he wants us to be, where he expects us to be however the double team comes, and we just try to be there and be ready.”

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

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