This NBA pre-season is the first time fans are able to watch Joel Embiid, the third overall pick of the 2014 Draft. Due to foot injuries, the Philadelphia 76ers center has been sidelined for the entirety of his young career. Now he’s back. And even with limited playing time in his first two games, the 22-year-old has already shown flashes of excellence.
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During his first pre-season game, against the Boston Celtics, Embiid shot 2-of-6 with four rebounds and two blocks—and he hit both of his free throws. Not bad for playing only 13 minutes. In the video below, watch him protect the rim, score down low and even stretch out and hit a deep 2-point shot.
During his second game, against the Washington Wizards, Embiid posted similar numbers. In 12 minutes, he went 2-for-6 with three rebounds and one monster block.
But perhaps Embiid’s most impressive display happened in the layup line before the Wizards game, when the 7-foot-2 center rose up and threw down a between-the-legs dunk. Centers with Embiid’s size aren’t supposed to be that athletic, but Embiid is different.
Embiid knows he still needs to improve many skills. “Offensively, I’ve got to work on a lot of stuff,” he told Tom Moore of Courier Times. “I’ve got to watch a lot of tape and learn how people guard me, what to do on offense. I thought I had the ball in my hands and I wasn’t passing this time. I’ve got to make sure next time I share the ball. I was a little bit too selfish today.”