When it comes to Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid, there really isn’t much he can’t do. The big guy can score at all three levels, he can handle the ball like a guard, he can get the upper hand and he’s also an impressive defender.
If there was a weakness in his game, it was his struggle against double teams and his inability to make the right decisions with his passing. However, in a season and a half with Doc Rivers at the helm, Embiid has made great strides in this area.
In the 2021-22 season, Embiid is averaging a career-high 4.3 assists as he sees defenses better and he makes progress in that area. He’s only been improving in that area of his game and that’s something that’s been impressive about him.
“Double teams, when I got here that’s all I heard, ‘Joel and the double teams’ and we had no problem with that, but you’re going to have a game here and there where it’s going to affect you and you come back to the lab,” Rivers said. “That’s just part of it.
The most impressive thing about Embiid is that he was able to identify what he needed to improve on and he walked into the gym and worked on it with coaches and his teammates. The big guy can do a lot on the basketball court, but he found he struggled with double teams when it came to making decisions and figuring out when to be patient and when to attack. .
“He’s really good,” Rivers added. “No, really, and I say this half-jokingly, but it’s unbelievable how many calls I get from Kevin Garnett, former players, and we talk and I’m just like, ‘He’s good, man. He has talent in all areas He shoots the 3 like a guard, handles the ball like a guard, has the size of a big man, great post game, good feelings, and what he has the most fact is that he worked on the things he struggled with.
In this current season, Embiid has shown more patience and he is really taking steps forward in terms of actually controlling the game and understanding what needs to be done to advance as a more complete player.
“Finally this year he’s baiting people,” Rivers concluded. ‘”It’s just great to see. I think what he finds and what we sell to him is that you’ll be more effective because people will hesitate before they come looking for you.
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