Joel Embiid Is Raring to Go, Which Is Both Good and Bad for the 76ers


"Dominant," Brown said.

Embiid was harder on himself.

"I feel like I'm still behind," he said. "But I feel like repetition, it's going to come."

For success-starved fans of the 76ers, it must have been both glorious and nerve-racking to watch Embiid eviscerate the Nets. For every brilliant play that he made – and there were more than a few, including the 40-footer that he swished during a dead ball – there was a more minor-key moment when he flirted with danger Was that a little grimace after he took a fall in the second quarter? An almost imperceptible limp after a tumble in the third?

Basketball is a physical sport, and the contact is unavoidable. But those those fans who would prefer that Embiid cover themselves with bubble wrap.




Embiid was dominant in a preseason game against Timofey Mozgov and the Nets on Wednesday. In the game, Embiid scored 22 points in less than 15 minutes on the court.
            Julie Jacobson / Associated Press


Brown understands. He has used the word "reckless" to describe Embiid's Tonka Truck style – "He does not know any other way to play," Brown said – but expressed hope that Embiid will settle in a more conservative frame of mind once his playing time is more Still, Brown said it would be a mistake to talk about Embiid as if he had already arrived as a fully formed colossus. He has a chance to be great A chance.

"But it's at its infant stages," Brown said, adding: "The 7-foot-2, we get The 200-whatever pounds, we get But he can shoot a 3. He can shoot free throws. He can post up. He can face up It's just a very powerful offensive package, and we see the impact on the defendant end. He's all over the place. "

After he was drafted by the 76ers, Embiid missed his first two seasons because of his operations in his right foot. He made his much-awaited debut last season, appearing in 31 games. He averages 20.2 points and 7.8 rebounds in 25.4 minutes a game before the team announced in March that he needed season-ending knee surgery.

But based largely on his limited body of work – those 31 games – the 76ers this week signed Embiid to a $ 146.5 million contract extension, but the one that gives the team some protection if Embiid reinjures himself In any case, Embiid is worth the risk.

"Pure talent," the second-year forward Dario Saric said. "He's got the talent to be one of the best in this game."

Embiid sees room for growth. He wants to get some weight from his 285-pound frame. Against the Nets, he said, his legs felt heavy. He also assessed his defense as "pretty bad." He gave up a couple of dunks, which he considered inexcusable for a player his size.

More important, Embiid is forming chemistry with his teammates. On Wednesday, he played alongside Ben Simmons for the first time. Simmons, the top overall pick in the 2016 draft, missed all of the last season. Together, They saw fearsome Embiid also found Simmons cutting behind the defense for a baseline dunk.

"Just having him out there draws so much attention," Simmons said. "No one can really stop him."

Caught between Embiid's injury-marred past and his promising future, the 76ers can only wait, watch and hope for the best.

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