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#pounditSaturday, August 8, 2020

Articles tagged: Joel Embiid

Video: Joel Embiid, Shake Milton have to be separated

Joel Embiid

Joel Embiid and Shake Milton got into it during Saturday night’s Philadelphia 76ers-Indiana Pacers game.

At the end of the first quarter, the Sixers were walking towards their bench. Embiid began pointing his finger at Milton, who did not respond well. Milton had to be restrained by a teammate.

Embiid appeared to be upset with Milton over a sequence before the end of the quarter. First, Milton and Embiid got mixed up defensively. Then, after giving up a bucket, Milton got the ball stolen away from him when trying to bring the ball up the court, leading to another Pacers basket.

The game was a high-scoring affair that Indiana won 127-121. Embiid had 41 points and 21 rebounds, while Milton had no points in 19 minutes.

It was a poor first game back for Milton, who is part of the starting lineup while Al Horford is coming off the bench. Between the poor effort and the skirmish with Embiid, Milton needs to improve.

Joel Embiid wants to play with Ben Simmons for rest of his career

Skepticism over fit has dogged Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons for much of their time together in Philadelphia, but the duo themselves appear to share no such concerns.

This week on “The Rights to Ricky Sanchez” podcast, the Sixers star Embiid said that he wants to play with Simmons for the rest of his NBA career.

“When you think about it, this is only our third year together playing,” he said. “A lot of people, they always expect. We’ve only played for three years. The potential that we have. And I love him and want to be with him for the rest of my career because I think he still has a lot of potential, and me too.

“We can get so much better than we are right now,” Embiid went on. “I don’t ever see the point of playing with somebody else. That’s someone I would love to play with for the rest of my career.”

This is indeed the third season that the 24-year-old Simmons and the 26-year-old Embiid have played together. Critics will point to the duo’s failure to make it out of the second round over that span as well as the perceived incompatibility between their ball-dominant, floor-shrinking play styles.

That being said however, the Sixers may have discovered the best way to deploy their star tandem, and both players are still young enough to continue to grow and expand their games together.

Sixers ready to give Joel Embiid heavy minutes in Orlando

Joel Embiid 76ers

Joel Embiid may be ready to take on his final form in the Orlando bubble.

Philadelphia 76ers head coach Brett Brown told reporters on Tuesday that he has set a target of 38 minutes per game for Embiid in the playoffs, per Derek Bodner of The Athletic. Bodner notes that the 26-year-old center played 30 minutes per game in last year’s playoffs and 34 a game in the second round specifically.

Embiid began his NBA career on a strict minutes limit due to his history of foot injuries that kept him sidelined for his first two professional seasons. His playing time had slowly crept up to 33.7 minutes per game by last season, but it went back down to 30.2 a night before play was suspended this season.

Regardless, Embiid recently met the minutes-played clause in his contract, so that combined with his strong continued two-way play probably explains the Sixers’ comfort in trotting him out for heavy minutes moving forward.

Video: Joel Embiid arrives for Orlando flight in full body suit

Joel Embiid 76ers

Joel Embiid is trying to gear up as much as possible for a safe trip to Orlando.

The Philadelphia 76ers big man arrived for the team’s flight to Orlando on Thursday with a full suit, mask, and gloves.

Embiid has expressed a lack of confidence in the NBA’s bubble plan in Disney World. A high level of cooperation among all the participants is required in order to give the best chances of keeping the coronavirus out of the bubble. Embiid does not have much confidence in all the participants holding up their end.

The 26-year-old is averaging 23.4 points and 11.8 rebounds per game this season. His Sixers are tied with the Pacers with a 39-26 record this season.

5 NBA players who need to win the championship the most

Giannis Antetokounmpo

It almost feels like there’s even more at stake in this year’s NBA playoffs than usual. Due to the pause in NBA action, teams that will be involved in the playoffs have had extra time to think ahead and plan and consider the repercussions of what a bad playoff run could mean. Multiple superteams will feel that they don’t have an indefinite amount of time to win a championship. Players are inching closer to free agency. Some teams, as built, may not be able to continue to exist in their current form.

Which players really need to win a title sooner rather than later? These five could face serious consequences if things don’t go their way in the postseason.


Joel Embiid gets $95 million of his contract guaranteed due to shortened season

Joel Embiid

The NBA stands to lose a significant amount of money from its shortened season, but Joel Embiid is one player who may have actually benefitted from the sports world coming to a screeching halt three months ago.

Embiid signed a five-year, $148 million maximum contract extension with the Philadelphia 76ers back in 2017. Because of the star big man’s lengthy injury history, a clause was put into the contract stating that Embiid must play a certain number of minutes in order for the final three years and $95 million of the deal to become guaranteed. As ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne noted this week, Embiid has officially met the minutes-played criteria because of the shortened season.

The NBA and NBA Players Association recently finalized a deal that states all performance bonuses and incentives will be prorated using March 11 as the end date of the regular season. Embiid needed to play 1,650 minutes this season to fully guarantee his contract, but the minimum was lowered to below the 1,329 minutes he has already played when prorated over 65 games.

Embiid has averaged 30.2 minutes per game this season, and he would have hit the original minimum if he continued to play a similar number of minutes over the 76ers’ final 17 games. There’s always a possibility of an injury, however, and that is now something the 26-year-old does not have to worry about.

Of course, the 76ers aren’t upset to have Embiid under contract for three more years. The big man has been named an All-Star in three straight seasons and averaged 24.1 points and 11.5 rebounds per game since not playing at all his first two-plus years in the league. He’s even made some brave dietary sacrifices to remain in shape, so paying him is certainly worth the risk.

From LeBron James to Kawhi Leonard: the front court players most deserving of All-NBA

LeBron James

The selections for All-NBA forwards and centers present an interesting dilemma, as they strictly adhere to a two forward, one center format. In today’s position-less pace-and-space era of the NBA, it seems antiquated to require one center per All-NBA team. With the game speeding up and a premium being placed on spacing, there is a significant decrease in demand for traditional centers. Teams like the Houston Rockets don’t even believe in playing a center.

The NBA recognized this shift in basketball ideology by removing positions from the frontcourt of the All-Star ballot and allowing for three frontcourt players of any position to be named a starter. While this was a step in the right direction, no changes have been made to the format of the All-NBA teams, resulting in less deserving players on the All-NBA teams simply due to their position.

With that caveat in mind, here are my selections for the All-NBA forwards and centers. (You can see my 2020 All-NBA guards here)