Sixers star Joel Embiid gives thoughts on officiating changes in the NBA

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Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid has gotten off to a bit of a slow start to begin the 2021-22 season. While he is still averaging 21.4 points per game, he is not doing it as efficiently as normal.

His field goal percentage is down to 43.8%, his 3-point attempts are up, and his free-throw attempts are down. He took 10.7 free throws per game in the 2020-21 season but that is down to 8.8 to begin this season.

One school of thought is the officiating changes in the NBA are affecting Embiid. The league has been cracking down on non-basketball moves designed to draw contact. When that happens, officials are not supposed to call defensive fouls.

However, Embiid is not concerned about that. He believes his numbers are down due to his knee injury.

“To me, it’s the same,” said Embiid. “When you look at what they really changed, it doesn’t really affect me. I just haven’t been aggressive as I would like because, I’m sure you guys know, I just haven’t been able to be as physical as I was in the past and kinda sticking to shooting jumpers. As the year goes and this thing kinda goes away, I’ll be more physical.”

To be fair, the rule was targeted more toward guys such as James Harden and Trae Young for their exaggerated movements on jumpers, but there have been a few times where it looked as if Embiid drew contact and did not get the call as in the past.

“They really changed whether it was people jumping into other guys, that’s more for 3-point shooters,” the big fella continued. “My rip through is still there which I haven’t used this year, but like I said, as the year goes, I’m gonna be more aggressive than I have been the past few games.”

As long as Embiid gets healthier, it is going to be a big help for him on the offensive end. The Sixers need him to be able to be that dominant force on the offensive end in order for the Sixers to have success.

“Like I said, it doesn’t really affect me,” he finished. “The way I’ve always drawn fouls has always been aggressive, being in the post, pushing guys, and guys pushing me and me being smart enough to use that to my advantage and draw contact to get to the free-throw line.”

Embiid and the Sixers will move on to host Young and the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday.

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

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