76ers’ Joel Embiid Details What Has Made Him Love Passing Again

Published 01/05/2021, 4:45 AM CST
Dec 26, 2020; New York, New York, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) reacts to scoring a basket in front of New York Knicks guard Alec Burks during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020, in New York at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports


The best players are always subjected to doubles, and Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid is one of the best. He is one of the best post scorers in the league, so opposition teams are forced to throw multiple defenders at him. But this time he is enjoying it, because it is helping him fall in love with the art of passing once again.

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“I think it’s more so that I’ve rekindled with the love of passing,” Embiid said while talking about how he has improved at dealing with doubles. “Last year, at times, they double, you pass and you miss a lot of shots and it gets frustrating, and then you start thinking that you gotta do everything by yourself.”

Although he is only averaging three assists per game, he is working on his bailout passes. So as the season goes, his numbers could increase if teams keep doubling him in the post. He has the strength to power through defenses as well as pass, which makes him a very dangerous opponent.

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Doc Rivers had dared teams to double Joel Embiid

Back in early December, before the season started, 76ers coach Doc Rivers issued a challenge to opposition teams to try to double Embiid. He praised Embiid’s ability in the post, and also the other 76ers players who are elite perimeter threats.

He said, “Go help. I dare you. This is Seth Curry. This is Furkan, this is Shake (Milton), this is Tobias. Be my guest.’ What we’re trying to convince our guys is it doesn’t matter who scores when you go to the post, it matters that we score and we have to have that mentality. If you don’t trap Joel, Joel is going to score on you. If you do trap Joel, we’re going to score on you.”

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Dec 23, 2020; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) reacts to a scored against the Washington Wizards during the fourth quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Although that is a good mentality to have with a team like theirs, currently only 2/5 of the shooters are averaging over 35% from three. If the 76ers can improve this catch and shoot percentage, they can be a scary team to deal with.

After underperforming heavily last season, the 76ers are back in business now. They currently have the best record in the league and will be looking to build on it.

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Aaron Mathew

1645 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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