76ers Em­biid shows he’s worth ev­ery penny

Jerusalem Post - - SPORTS -

This game was all about Joel Em­biid. The 76ers cen­ter made his pre­sea­son de­but af­ter miss­ing the last eight months re­cov­er­ing from a torn menis­cus in his left knee. So Wed­nes­day was the first in-game op­por­tu­nity to get a glimpse at how the big man was do­ing.

Af­ter set­tling down, the fourth-year player showed why he re­ceived alu­cra­tive con­tract ex­ten­sion de­spite play­ing in only 31 ca­reer games. He fin­ished with 22 points, seven re­bounds, three as­sists and one block in the Six­ers’ 133-114 vic­tory over the Brook­lyn Nets at the Nas­sau Vet­er­ans Me­mo­rial Coli­seum. Twenty of his points came be­fore in­ter­mis­sion. Em­biid made 4 of his 9 shots and 14 of 18 free throws in 14 min­utes, 45 sec­onds of ac­tion.

“It’s just a very po­tent of­fen­sive pack­age that peo­ple sort of have to game-plan for,” Six­ers coach Brett Brown said of Em­biid’s ver­sa­til­ity for a 7-foot-2, 285-pounder. “We see the im­pact that he makes on the de­fen­sive end and all over the place. “Some­thing like tonight will re­mind us all that’s why he was paid what he was paid.”

Em­biid said it felt good to be back. How­ever, he wasn’t to­tally sat­is­fied with his per­for­mance. The big man thought he was “pretty bad” on the de­fen­sive end af­ter he gave up a cou­ple of dunks.

“I don’t think it should be easy [to do against] a guy that’s as big as me, and as strong as me,” Em­biid said. “I don’t think that should hap­pen.”

How­ever, he was pleased with the en­ergy he pro­vided for his team­mates.

While this was Em­biid’s de­but, Markelle Fultz was side­lined for the sec­ond time in three games.

This time, the first over­all pick in June’s NBA draft was out with a sore right knee. He missed Fri­day’s game against the Bos­ton Celtics at the Wells Fargo Cen­ter with a sore right shoul­der. Fultz in­jured his knee dur­ing Mon­day’s re­match against the Celtics in Bos­ton.

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