Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid has been heavily criticized in the media despite the team having an 18-7 record and currently in the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference standings.
Embiid, who puts up 22 points, 12.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists a game this season, is averaging his lowest points per game average since the 2017-2018 season.
But folks need to take into consideration that this team is still trying to find its chemistry after an off-season of changes, including adding Al Horford, Josh Richardson and drafting Matisse Thybulle, while other players (Tobias Harris, Mike Scott and Furkan Korkmaz) are playing in extended roles because of Jimmy Butler and JJ Redick departing.
TNT pundit Shaquille O’Neal said Embiid needs to shoot less from beyond the arc as a big man, and Barkley agreed. However, Barkley said in the beginning of the year, both Milwaukee and Philly were head and shoulders above any team in the Eastern Conference, but right now with Miami and Boston ahead of the players from the City of Brotherly Love, Philly isn’t in that class right now.
Embiid, interviewed by Philadelphia Inquirer beat writer Keith Pompey, responded today: “That’s what they do; maybe they’re right,” Embiid said. “But I do think they’re right. I think I need to be more aggressive, just look to impose myself, just look to dominate. I think the whole season I haven’t done that and then you can see the ways affected my efficiency and my stats. So I guess I need to go back to having fun and just dominate. But I get what they are saying. I think they are right and I got to make a change.”
The two-time NBA All-Star will look to rise above the Celtics in the standings when they take on Boston tonight.