After an off week, Philadelphia 76ers star center has returned to form and has continued to lead the franchise through the early stretch of the season.
In the previous player of the week award, Ben Simmons had stepped up his game and Joel Embiid hadn’t played up to his standards that he had set for himself. However, it seemed that Embiid got added motivation to perform at his standards with the addition of Jimmy Butler. Even with the addition of Butler, Embiid proved that for the past week he’s still the Philadelphia 76ers best player.
The All-Star big man had his highest point total of the week in the win against the Miami Heat. He had 35 points, 18 rebounds, three assists, two turnovers and one foul, while shooting 8-15 on field goal attempts, 3-4 on 3-point attempts and 16-20 on free throw attempts.
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The centers for the Heat had little success in stopping Embiid. Both Hassan Whiteside and Kelly Olynyk had five fouls each and Bam Adebayo had three fouls. On the flip side, each one of Miami’s centers also had a good night shooting the ball as well. Embiid could have done more defensively, but his offensive dominance more than makes up for it.
In the Sixers lone loss of the week against the Orlando Magic, Embiid perhaps had his most well rounded game with the first triple-double of his career. He finished the contest with 19 points, 13 rebounds, 10 assists, two blocks, two turnovers and two fouls, while making 6-20 shots from the floor, going 4-7 from downtown and 3-4 from the foul line.
Registering his first career triple double is a great achievement for Embiid in the midst of a bad shooting night. His defense on opposing center Nikola Vucevic, who ended the game with 30 points, should get Embiid upset seeing as the Sixers ended up losing the game.
Philly claimed a victory over the Utah Jazz, despite another bad shooting performance from Embiid. The center had 23 points, seven rebounds, two assists, two steals, three blocks, one turnover and four fouls, while only making 7-20 attempts from the floor, 1-4 from behind the arc and 8-9 from the charity stripe.
Luckily for Embiid, his new teammate was able to step up in his place and Butler had 28 points to lead the 76ers. It’s not surprising that Embiid had some tough nights shooting while he was becoming accustomed to playing along side of Butler. Despite his bad shooting, Embiid was still able to put up significant numbers against the Jazz.
Embiid’s bad shooting from the floor continued, but his dominance from the free throw line made up for in the Sixers overtime win against the Charlotte Hornets. He finished the game with 33 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, one steal, two blocks, four turnovers and five fouls, while converting 9-23 shots from the floor, 2-5 on 3-pointers and 13-14 on free throws.
The big man had a dominant first half against the Hornets, but it was Butler that saved the game for the Sixers in overtime. Even when Embiid’s shots don’t fall, he can still be one of the game’s most impactful players.
J.J. Redick had a very good week shooting and could very easily be this week’s honorable mention, but the award goes to Butler. Butler carried the Sixers to two victories this past week and has done exactly what he was brought in to do. If Butler had played in the game against the Heat, then there’s a chance he would have been the player of the week. In three games, Butler averaged 19.0 points, 3.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists,1.3 steals, 0.7 blocks, 3.0 turnovers and 3.0 fouls.
The dominance of Embiid this past week is unquestioned. He finished the week with the average of 27.5 points, 12.3 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 0.8 steals, 1.8 blocks, 2.3 turnovers and 3.0 fouls in four games. Despite the bad shooting performances in the final three games of this previous week, he was still able to impact the game in a variety of ways. Embiid will most likely have to step his game up in order to get this award again next week.