Following a double OT loss to the lowly Houston Rockets on Dec. 5, the Philadelphia 76ers had been a .500 ball membership. Doc Rivers, Joel Embiid, and James Harden all had that unhappy, whiny look on their faces as for those who simply advised a 3-year-old no. Skip forward practically two months and 24 video games, they usually’re 32-16 and a recreation again of Boston within the loss column for first place within the East. These distressed expressions are nonetheless there, however that’s simply how Doc, James, and Joel look.
The Sixers are 20-4 previously couple dozen outings, and now have our full consideration after beating the most effective workforce within the West: Nikola Jokić and the Denver Nuggets. Philly rallied again from first-half deficit and outscored the Nuggets 68-46 within the remaining two quarters to tug out a 126-119 win.
Embiid approached the matchup with the reigning back-to-back MVP as you’d count on. Whereas the Joker’s remaining line was good by most requirements, 24, 9, and eight is youngster’s play when the competitors goes for 47, 18, and 6. Embiid is as soon as once more main the league NBA in factors per recreation, and also you’d assume extra folks would discover contemplating he’s 7-feet, 280-pounds.
I used to be pro-Embiid for MVP a season in the past even after Daryl Morey was reunited together with his No. 1 boy, as a result of the massive man is unstoppable. If Harden had proven up in level Harden mode from the get-go, Embiid might need taken residence the award he shilled so shamelessly for. (Extra on that later.)
Embiid is each bit as distinctive as Jokić
I perceive that Jokić could make a meal worthy of a 3-star Michelin restaurant out of squirrels and bark. It’s cool. The passing is infectious, all that. It’s simply… I’ve by no means seen a middle rating in as some ways as Embiid.
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JoJo has everything in his offensive repertoire short of a sky hook and a Dream Shake — which are other guys’ signature moves. Every big man has something. Shaq O’Neal savaged anyone who stepped in the paint. Timmy Duncan would kill you with bank shots and fundamentals. Even Jokić has a little one-legged fadeaway and those low-post touch shots that he relies on.
Embiid doesn’t rely on anything but his teammates feeding him the ball. Think about it. He never really repeats the same move. The 120-pack of Crayola colors is his thing. It’s reached a point offensively where he goes through his bag like there’s an XP bonus for combo variations completed in a game.
The scouting report on Embiid is to hope he shoots threes and long twos. Well, he’s only attempting three shots from deep per night, and is hitting 56 percent of everything he puts up inside the arc. Jokić is such an anomaly that analytics folks obsess over him, and overlook the other precious metal in the room.
Adamantium may not have as many uses as vibranium, but it’s still fucking sharp as shit. Plus, adamantium might be able to cut through vibranium, according to a cursory Google search I just did, but it was unclear, and I don’t have time to go down that rabbit hole. I also don’t have time to explain why I compared Embiid to adamantium and not vibranium even though the latter and the center are both from Africa so I’m going to move on.
Let’s show some restraint, Philly
The Sixers over-campaigned a year ago and it turned off voters. Clearly the route is to let the organization do the promotion and have the player give team-first quotes to the media. Act like you don’t care about anything but the team. Or anything. During the Nuggets-76ers broadcast Saturday, the ABC crew said Jokić was at the track when he was announced as an all-star starter — an honor Embiid did not get this year.
Morey came to his big man’s defense, and of course he just overdid it. I don’t understand how the “shameless Boston media” prevented Embiid from being voted in as a starter, however that was the road argued by the Philly GM. We’re searching for extra “sympathetic underdog” than “petty youngster.”
Basketball followers are also on a “I’ve to see it” foundation with Harden, and no person desires to listen to a phrase out of him till after a couple of collection wins in Might and June.
Maintain the banners and hashtags in a drawer and proceed to go to work. If Embiid desires to win it, go on the market and seize the No. 1 total seed. Win one other 20 of 24. Maintain quietly dominating as a result of it’s going to get observed. Some Denver followers can’t even watch Jokić as a result of he’s buried behind an area TV deal dispute and a cloud of weed smoke, and he nonetheless gained — twice.
Each single individual in right here is already looking at you, Joel. You don’t need to eye fuck everyone who catches your gaze.