Joel Embiid hasn’t played a competitive basketball game January, but the 7-2 Sixers center came back in a big way Wednesday night. Sure, it was just a preseason game, and yes, it was only the Brooklyn Nets, but Embiid has put the rest of the NBA on notice.
A day after signing his 5-year, $148-million extension, the big man made everyone remember just how good he can be. In 11 first-half minutes, Embiid scored 20 points on 4-of-8 shooting and 12-of-16 from the free throw line. He added seven rebounds and a block, leading the Sixers to 76 first half points. He played a total of 14 minutes after coming back out for three in the third quarter, ending his night with 22 points, seven boards, three assists and the one block.
Monday’s game almost wasn’t on local TV, but the clamoring of fans to see Embiid finally get to play with Ben Simmons was overwhelming, and so NBC Sports Philadelphia picked up the game. And it was worth it.
Here are some of Embiid’s highlights, and just a small sample of the big man’s buzz.
His size is overwhelming for defenders, but his quickness is stifling as well. A man that size should not be able to move the way he does.
This is the kind of touch Dirk Nowitzki or Tim Duncan had in their prime.
Look at another angle on that play and notice how he can handle the ball. Few men his size have this good a handle, especially after being off the court for nine months!
Embiid having this shot in his bag should absolutely be illegal pic.twitter.com/1DwuuFWYL7
— #Mickstape (@MickstapeShow) October 12, 2017
One man can’t guard him. Apparently, neither can four.
He’s totally unguardable. And he knows it.
Will there be a minutes restriction on Embiid this year? It may not matter.
Embiid had no assists in the first half, but rectified that early in the third with three dimes, including this one to Simmons.
Oh, and he’s even money when it doesn’t count. Watch out, league.