Sixers explain why Joel Embiid was so dominant on winning streak


The Philadelphia 76ers have won six straight games as they start to find some rhythm. The teams they beat weren’t that impressive – aside from a big win over the Brooklyn Nets on the road – but they won nonetheless and they’re going about business.

A big reason for this has been the dominant play of Joel Embiid. The big guy has been great during the streak as he has scored over 30 points in all six games and is averaging 33.2 points on 56.2% shots and 44.4% depth. All this while he receives aggressive doubles teams and separates them with his score and assists with 4.5 assists per game.

“He’s more imposing of his will,” said Danny Green. “He finds out about double teams, trusts and gets out of them, but also finds how to repost, get deeper seals and make it harder for them to pass the team by making quick moves and catching the ball deep in the paint so it’s a longer race.

It seems so distant when Embiid suffered an absolutely miserable game on December 1 against the Boston Celtics. Embiid shot just 3 for 17 in an 88-87 loss to the Celtics on the road, but since then there has been a noticeable change.

“Joel is mixing things up,” said coach Doc Rivers. “I think the biggest change he went through a stretch where he was taking a lot of jumps and not a lot of power. I think he establishes that he’s the biggest and baddest on the pitch, right from the start. This sets up everything else.

It also helps that Philadelphia continues to play with more pace in the last few games. That sets up a lot of what they do on the offensive end, as guys like Seth Curry, Tobias Harris, Furkan Korkmaz and Green can play with the pass and put Embiid in easier positions.

“No. 1 gets saves,” Rivers said. “No. 2 is Joel was efficient. I keep using the word, I don’t know if it’s the correct word, but force. We play through him, we play through Seth a lot, Tobias, all of them, but it doesn’t have to be. It just comes in rhythm. Our guys get it.

Plus, when the opposition sends out those aggressive double teams, Embiid doesn’t panic. He was calm and aggressive either in attacking him or seeing one of his teammates open the basket for a layup.

“He’s doing a good job of getting by and building trust,” Green added. “They have to rotate and find shooters in order to keep the defense honest and to make it difficult for other teams to figure out how to pass the team and also to try to protect the perimeter. He’s playing the game well on both sides of the pitch, but he’s been playing the game extremely well with doubles teams lately.

This post originally appeared on Sixers wire! follow us on Facebook!

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