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Joel Embiid starts 2019 strong

Philadelphia 76ers All-Star big man Joel Embiid has had a great start to begin the 2019 portion of the NBA regular season.

Joel Embiid has had a strong start to 2019 with playing the first three games of the year at an MVP level. The Philadelphia 76ers needed to rely on the Sixers big man especially with Wilson Chandler and Jimmy Butler missing the past two games with illnesses. The center’s great play has earned him the player of the week award.

In the win against the Los Angeles Clippers, Embiid more than had his way against the Clippers big man. He finished the game with 28 points, 19 rebounds, three assists, one steal, three blocks, five turnovers and five fouls, while making 9-19 field goal attempts, 50 percent of his four 3-point attempts and 8-12 of his free throw attempts. This game marked the fourth time this season where Embiid had at least 19 rebounds in a single game.

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Despite blowing a big lead, the Sixers still got the victory against the Phoenix Suns thanks to the effort of Embiid. He ended the contest with 42 points, 18 rebounds, two assists, three steals, two blocks, four turnovers and three fouls, while converting 12-23 shots from the floor, his one 3-point attempt and 17-19 fouls shots. This is the fourth time this season that Embiid scored at least 40 points in a single game.

There’s no doubt that Ben Simmons‘ triple-double stole the show in the Sixers win against the Dallas Mavericks, but Embiid’s impact on the game was undeniable. He had 25 points, 12 rebounds, five assists, one steal, one block, two turnovers and four fouls, while shooting 7-17 from the field, 1-3 from downtown and 10-11 from the charity stripe.

Honorable mention

It was tempting to make Jonah Bolden the player of the week with how he stepped up, but there’s no doubt he’s worthy of the honorable mention. He made two starts in place of Chandler and overall, he had a very good week. Against the Mavericks, he had a career high of 11 points and tied a career with nine rebounds. On the week he averaged 8.0 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.0 block, 0.7 turnovers and 3.0 fouls.

Next: Simmons taking jumpers signals potential growth

Embiid has dominated the beginning of the new year by averaging 31.7 points, 16.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.7 steals, 2.0 blocks, 3.7 turnovers and 4.0 fouls. Embiid’s had no choice but to step up with the absence of two starters for most of the week, but hopefully he can sustain this play moving forward.

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