The Philadelphia 76ers franchise big man has been magnificent and one of the main reasons he’s dominating has to do with him getting fouled a lot.
It’s hard for NBA fans to ignore the complete dominance of Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid has to begin the season. The franchise big man has scored 30 or more points in four out of seven games. Embiid’s averaging 26.4 points, 11.4 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 2.3 blocks, while shooting 47.1 percent from the field. A big part of Embiid’s offensive dominance has to do with his ability to get to the free throw line.
Through seven games in the season, Embiid has attempted 60 free throws, which leads the NBA. Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine is in second with 56 attempts. On top of the fact that Embiid leads the NBA in attempts, he’s also tied for first in made foul shots with Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard with 50.
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Philadelphia’s center is fourth in free throw attempts per game at 8.6, a head of the likes of foul drawing savant James Harden. Embiid places third in foul shots made per game at 7.1. He only trails Lillard and New Orleans Pelicans star big man Anthony Davis in made free throws. Within his own position, Embiid is 10th among centers in free throw percentage, shooting 83.3 percent.
Embiid is getting to the charity stripe more than ever in his career and he’s making his foul shots at a highest percentage in his career. Surely the improved shooting from the free throw line has some relation to the healthy offseason Embiid enjoyed this past summer.
The reason why Embiid’s getting more foul shots has to do with his aggression going to the hoop. During the preseason, Embiid spoke about attacking the rim more often. It appears that he’s been able to follow through on his goal thus far.
According to Basketball Reference, 55.9 percent of his shots are coming within 0-10 feet of the basketball, which is the highest of his career. With more than half of his shots coming that close to the basket, there’s no surprise that he’s getting to the line more often with his 7-foot and 250lbs frame.
In seven games Embiid’s had double-digit attempts and makes from the foul line in three games. Whether or not this results in wins for the Sixers is yet to be seen. However, Philly has a record of 1-2 when Embiid attempts more than 10 free throws. It should be noted with the high volume of foul shots that he takes, it has helped the Sixers become a top 10 team in both attempts and makes from the charity strip.
There’s no doubt that Embiid has been an absolute superstar for the Philadelphia 76ers early on in the season. A big part of Embiid’s success has been his aggressiveness down low that has lead to plenty of free throw attempts. He should continue to dominate as long as he continues to attack the rim and get plenty of foul shots.