The Closer: Joel Embiid proving he can carry Sixers in the clutch
To say the very least, the Philadelphia 76ers 2021 season has gotten off to a rough start. Between COVID-19 outbreaks and injuries, to a certain all-star point guard refusing to play basketball, things haven’t exactly worked out well in favor of the Sixers.
However, we do have a shining beam of hope for basketball in the city of Brotherly Love. The Big Fella, also known as The Process, is back to MVP caliber form over the past week and seems to welcome the challenge of carrying the 76ers with a bunch of role players surrounding him.
The 76ers on the season are 15-12 and coming off a very impressive victory against the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night. Embiid missed 10 games due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols. When Embiid is NOT playing, the 76ers hold a miserable 3-7 record. With Embiid on the court, they are 12-5.
All that is pretty obvious. I shouldn’t have to tell you how important Embiid is to the success of this basketball team. What is impressive, however, is what Embiid has been doing in clutch situations. The 76ers lack a consistent second scoring option. Tobias Harris hasn’t been able to elevate his game, Seth Curry is too inconsistent, and Tyrese Maxey is simply too young to take on this type of role.
That’s why I think that the stat below is the most important part of Joel Embiid’s game this season and will need to continue until the 76ers find their identity and figure out what pieces they can acquire in a Ben Simmons trade.
Joel Embiid leads the NBA in points scored in the clutch
- Joel Embiid – 66
- Jayson Tatum – 57
- D’Angelo Russell – 51
- Zach LaVine – 50
- Anthony Davis – 47
- Kevin Durant – 44
- DeMar DeRozan – 41
- Chris Paul – 40
- Miles Bridges – 40
- Reggie Jackson – 40
- Russell Westbrook – 40
Embiid currently leads all scorers in the NBA in points scored in the clutch by a wide margin. The difference between next place Jayson Tatum is nearly ten points. Another name to keep an eye on that’s on that list is none other than D’Angelo Russell, who has been brought up as a potential suitor in a Ben Simmons trade.
Now more than ever, the 76ers need to Trust The Process and it looks like Joel Embiid is poised to carry this team until more help arrives.
Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports