Philadelphia 76ers

Joel Embiid: The Best Center In The 2018 NBA Playoffs

Embiid Is Leagues Ahead Of Any Other Center In The Playoffs

It’s easy to declare the former Kansas standout one of the most entertaining players to watch. On the court Joel Embiid is a monster, averaging 22 points per game this season. Off the court is a similar story, he is one of the most humorous players in the league on social media. He tweets at celebrities, talks smack to other NBA players and retweets hilarious videos. There isn’t much the 7-foot center can’t do, even averaging an astonishing 37.5 percent from behind the arc. Although he missed the first 2 games of the playoffs with an orbital fracture, his return has been outstanding. There is a reason Embiid was named an all-star in his second year playing. He can do everything on both sides of the court, averaging 9.9 rebounds per game this season. The personality he brings is refreshing for fans in an era of superstar divas.

SIXERS TAKE A COMMANDING 3-1 LEAD OVER HEAT

Heading into game 5, Philly has bested Miami 3 games out of 4. Game 5 is back in Philadelphia, a perfect chance for the Sixers to end the series and move onto the next round. Embiid has been a star in his 2 games back, scoring an impressive 23 points in game 4. Although the rest of the Philadelphia squad has looked impressive, the big man from Kansas has been superb. It seems like fans can breathe a sigh relief as the orbital fracture has not slowed him down thus far.

EMBIID IS THE BEST DEFENDER IN THE PLAYOFFS

There is no doubt that this man can block shots. Over the course of the year, he averaged 1.76 blocks per game, which was top 5 for any defender. Over the last two games against Miami, the rim protector has swatted 8 shots away. His team-high 5 blocks in game 3 were crushing for the Heat, who looked helpless in the paint. Any center match-up throughout the Eastern Conference would be a daydream for Embiid. There isn’t a player who can stand up to him on either end of the floor. Hassan Whiteside has been a complete non-factor for Miami, even being replaced by the smaller Justice Winslow at the position. With this in mind, it will be interesting to see if the Heat changes their defensive scheme in game 5 against the relentless Philly big man.

BUCKS OR CELTICS? EMBIID WILL CRUSH BOTH

Next rounds match-up could be the Bucks or Celtics facing Philadelphia. Neither team has the inside presence to stop Embiid. Even Greek superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo would be weak in the paint against the stronger Philly standout. Throughout the Bucks’ series, Giannis has played fairly inconsistent, despite a game-winning shot in game 3. There isn’t much of a chance for Al Horford from the Boston Celtics to put up a fight either, his lack of speed puts him leagues behind Embiid. In addition to his lack of speed, Horford is wildly unpredictable. Whenever he touches the ball Celtics fans hold their breath as he either turns it over or scores on a jumper. Although length isn’t a concern for the Bucks or Celtics, the Philly star’s skill is enough to rattle their cages. In other words, not a single defender left in the Eastern Conference can match up with Embiid.

Embiid loves his celebrities, check out this tweet of him trying to get in touch with famous singer Rihanna:

Last year he feuded with Heat center Hassan Whiteside, calling him out for putting his own stats before his team:

EMBIID AND SIXERS EAGER TO MEET LEBRON IN PLAYOFFS

The 76ers are looking to make a splash this post-season after a decade of losing. They finally seem ready to take the necessary steps to challenge Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in May. The season has been doubtful since 1st overall pick Markelle Fultz suffered a shoulder injury over the summer. Although his return has provided some spark off the bench, nobody expected Embiid to play so well. His presence riles up the crowd, along with his production on both ends. The 76ers finished the season as the 3rd seed in the east. Game 5 will certainly spell trouble for the Heat if they can’t find a way to stop Embiid and produce points of their own. Expect him to make a huge contribution on both ends of the court, and the rest of the Sixers squad to keep up the electric pace they have throughout the series.

Featured Image: Keith Allison via Flickr

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Aric Kirsten

Currently a sports management and sociology major at the University of Arizona. Playing basketball and football has been a huge part of my life, as well as being an avid fan!

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