Joel Embiid: Restoring hope in Philadelphia

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Basketball in Philadelphia is back, and there is one man you can thank for that…Joel Embiid.

Something that he has brought to the City of Brotherly Love is a sense of hope. That is something Philadelphia fans have not been able to hang their hat on in quite a while. Five or more years to be exact.

The Eagles have not won a playoff game since 2008, the Phillies are in a state of rebuilding, and the Sixers themselves have been considered one of the NBA’s worst team for the past three to four seasons.

Let’s just say Philadelphia fans are getting anxious.

All of the hope was put into Embiid’s arms when he was drafted in 2014, but after two injury setbacks that kept him out for two years, Philadelphia fans might have thought that there could be a curse on the fan base and franchise.

But once he stepped on the floor, something changed. He had a charisma that attracted the fans and the crowd right from the very start, something that we truly have not seen since Allen Iverson.

Now?  Joel Embiid has scored 20+ points in 10 straight games, and the Sixers are now 6-2 during the month of January. With Ben Simmons on the horizon, things are going to turn around quick in Philadelphia. Being a writer from Philadelphia, I can say that this whole situation of “trusting the process” brought the city together and it will be paying off soon.

On the court, Joel Embiid is changing the center position with his ability to be quick and mobile. Usually, when you think of the 7’2 center, you think of an immobile big man who will be a force on defense, while staying inside 99% of the time on offense.

The difference with Embiid is the amount of transition buckets that he has created already.


With a guy like Embiid, you can run a lot of different types of offense through him. The Sixers are a team that likes to run, and Embiid will tell you himself that he likes to play up tempo.

When you have a guy who can shoot the pull up three point shot, chase down LeBron James and block him from behind, while also creating shots in the low post, you have a lot of positives coming your way.

Embiid is part of a new wave of centers that could eventually rule the league again. With a guard loaded league, it is relieving to see that the center position is on the fore front.

It is also evident that good facilitators and guard play will only increase the ability of what Embiid can do, and Ben Simmons will be there to do that in due time.

 

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