Jahlil Okafor has had himself a tumultuous year and a half with the Philadelphia 76ers. He became sort of the odd big man out in the trio comprised of himself, Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid. Critics harped on his old-school, back-to-the-basket game as a relic of the past that can't survive in today's NBA. During a road trip last season, he got into a fistfight in the streets of Boston. And after spending all of the 2016-2017 season on the trade block, he's awkwardly back with the 76ers after the team decided to unload Noel instead.
Then there's his defense. Okafor has earned a hideous defensive rating of 111.2, which means he gives up 111.2 points per 100 possessions when he's on the court. With an offensive rating of just 94.6, Okafor's net rating is an awful -16.6, 448th out of 469 players in the league.
In a word, Okafor is having an awful season.
Whatever it is you do in life, just be sure to try harder than Jahlil Okafor does on defense. pic.twitter.com/MY5KDHOGmm
— Basketball Society (@BBallSociety_) March 2, 2017
Plays like the one above truly reveal his defensive ineptitude, or some might say disinterest. As Miami Heat point guard Goran Dragic drove into the lane and put up a floater, Okafor, who was standing between Dragic and the basket, decided not to contest it. And that's fine. It happens. But as the ball clanged off the rim, Okafor simply stood and watched as two Heat players soared past him for the rebound. I mean, he literally did nothing. Then, as the Heat restarted the possession in the paint, Okafor continued to stand and watch as Hassan Whiteside eventually hit a floater right over his head.
It's the second half of the season, Embiid is out for the year, and the 76ers are going nowhere. But abysmal defense like that can get Okafor cut, or at least sent to Sacramento—or something.
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