For Sixers fans, there has been very little action and excitement over the past season because well, the team just wasn’t very good. We had a a good look into the future last year with rookie Nerlens Noel coming into his own once the 76ers traded away Michael Carter-Williams. The thought of Joel Embiid being the center piece of the Sixers’ success may be in jeopardy due to a second surgery that Embiid will have to receive.
With this set back, there comes a great opportunity for newly drafted big man Jahlil Okafor. Since debuting in the summer league, Okafor has done just what everyone expected him to do, and that is to take over on the offensive and defensive end. He is averaging 16 points and 9.4 rebounds a game so far and there is no reason to believe he can’t continue those numbers into the regular season.
Okafor’s best game so far was his most recent against the Los Angeles Lakers where he put up 19 pts and 11 rebounds. As you can see in the highlights, Okafor establishes himself in the paint and knows where his strengths are. In doing so, he is able to overpower his defender. He even gets to the charity stripe consistently, which is a huge weakness in his game. In doing so now, he can only help improve himself for the upcoming season at the line.
This is Okafor’s time to show what he is made of. It is weird to say, but this Embiid injury could be a blessing in disguise for the Sixers and Okafor. We are finding out sooner than later that this Embiid injury is going to be a big problem for his career. Having Okafor step in this year right away with Nerlens Noel can help the Sixers make that final decision of who they want to build the team around for the long term. The duo of Noel and Okafor could be a recipe for success since they can cover each others’ weaknesses and compliment each other as well. We are at a wait and see stage right now, but don’t be surprised if we find out this season who the franchise’s future will be built around.