The Philadelphia 76ers could have easily gone winless this past week if Joel Embiid didn’t put on an MVP level performance.
This past week was almost a disaster for the Philadelphia 76ers. The team had a 1-2 record during the week and could have easily gone 0-3 if Joel Embiid wasn’t a dominant force. Make no mistake, if Embiid played like the player he was last year, this week would have been a lot worse. With that in mind, Embiid’s the easy choice for the Player of the Week award.
The overtime lose to the Detroit Pistons was a heart breaker, but it was easily the best performance by the Sixers big man. He ended the overtime contest with 33 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists and three blocks, while converting 11-22 shots from the field, none of his four 3-point attempts and 11-14 from the free throw line.
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Embiid shouldn’t have been the player to attempt the last second 3-point to win the game in overtime for the Sixers and that’s on head coach Brett Brown, but still Embiid’s performance was essential for the club. He even drew a technical foul from Pistons center Andre Drummond which had the Detroit’s big man ejected from the contest, although after the game, Drummond’s tech was rescinded by the NBA and Embiid was given a warning for flopping.
Philadelphia and their big man didn’t fair well at all against the Milwaukee Bucks, the night following the overtime loss to Detroit. In the 15-point defeat to the Bucks, Embiid finished the game with 30 points, 19 rebounds, six assists and three blocks, but he shot a poor 9-24 from the floor, 2-7 from behind the arc, and a great 10-13 from the foul line.
Besides having a poor shooting night, Embiid had a hard time defending Bucks starting center Brook Lopez. Lopez had 21 points and shot 5-11 on 3-pointers. This was clearly the worst game by the Sixers and Embiid for the week, which is understandable for a team coming off an overtime game in the first game of a back-to-back.
Philly had a bounce back performance against the Charlotte Hornets. In the close win, Embiid led the Sixers in scoring with 27 points and also finished the game with 14 rebounds, two assists and two blocks. He also shot a solid 10-22 from the field, 1-5 from downtown and a perfect 6-6 from the charity stripe.
This performance comes on the heels of an ankle injury he suffered in the days prior to the contest. Luckily, he was able to play no problem and it didn’t slow him down. It should be noted that without the monster game from Robert Covington, it’s unlikely that the 76ers would’ve got the win. He had 18 points, 10 rebounds, two steals and four blocks.
The choice is easy on this one, the honorable mention goes to J.J. Redick. It’s not hard to give it to the guy how had 30 points off the bench against the Pistons. For the week, the veteran averaged 21.3 points, 2.7 rebounds and 4.6 assists. If Redick can continue to produce these numbers, then the Sixers bench should always be solid and should put him in the conversation for Sixth Man of the Year.
It’s not surprising that the franchise big man claimed his second consecutive Player of the Week award early in the season. In the past three games Embiid’s averaged 30.0 points, 14.7 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.7 blocks. However, if the Philadelphia 76ers are to become contenders, then they will need others to start stepping up their game on a consistent basis.