76ers Embiid shows he’s worth every penny
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.