The Philadelphia 76ers had been a stylish upset choose within the first spherical of the playoffs.
Joel Embiid and firm have made certain that has not occurred up to now.
After a sluggish first half, he dominated within the second half and time beyond regulation.
Exploding for 28 factors that was capped with a game-winning three with 0.7 seconds left on the clock.
JOEL EMBIID WITH THE HUGE THREE IN OT 😱 pic.twitter.com/VKpdy4HszF
— ESPN (@espn) April 21, 2022
He has had a robust begin for the encore to his historic common season.
Embiid is averaging 27.7 factors and 13 rebounds per recreation whereas constructing a 3-0 collection lead.
Towards an undersized Toronto Raptors staff, he’s wielding his measurement benefit successfully, taking 34 free throws.
Competitors for the MVP this 12 months was fierce, however Embiid is proving he needs to be this 12 months’s winner.
Embiid Not Backing Down
Toronto has been a thorn in Embiid’s facet for many of his profession.
Nick Nurse’s aggressive defensive scheme towards “The Process” has induced him to wrestle.
Via 17 profession regular-season video games towards the Raptors, Embiid is averaging 21.3 factors, 11.2 rebounds, and a pair of.8 assists per recreation.
These 21.3 factors per recreation have come on 42.2% taking pictures from the sector, 26.8% from three, and 80.9% on the line.
All of the numbers listed above are beneath his profession averages (26.0/11.4/3.3 – 49.0%/33.8%/81.0%).
Exhausting double and triple-teams have compelled Embiid to make fast selections with the ball, a facet of his recreation he struggled with as a youthful participant.
There was additionally the notorious 2019 second-round collection towards Toronto.
Embiid averaged a measly 17.6 factors and eight.7 rebounds per recreation on 37% taking pictures.
He was nonetheless extremely efficient (as evidenced by his +89 in 237 minutes) however didn’t do sufficient to win.
— NBA (@NBA) April 20, 2022
This time round, Embiid appears higher ready.
He has labored on his recreation since these 2019 playoffs to be higher geared up to deal with the added stress.
He has additionally made certain he’s the aggressor – not the Raptors.
When the double (or triple) staff comes at Joel, he has assessed the scenario and made the proper learn.
Or, he has merely attacked the protection earlier than the double-team can get to him.
After a hesitant Recreation 1, Toronto appeared set on being much more aggressive towards Embiid.
Whereas prior to now it could have gotten him off his recreation, he dealt with it higher this time round.
Minus an early technical after some shoving with OG Anunoby, Embiid stored his feelings in test and harnessed his aggression.
Embiid is clearly not backing all the way down to anyone this postseason, precisely as an MVP ought to.
Some groups and gamers will often attempt to cakewalk their method by way of the primary spherical.
They earn the upper seed and anticipate home-court benefit to be sufficient to get them by way of.
Embiid appears totally engaged to start out this postseason, on each ends of the court docket.
Recreation 1 was a tough exhibiting for the Sixers’ huge man offensively.
He scored 19 factors on 5-15 taking pictures, together with 0-2 from three.
However he impacted the sport in different methods.
He obtained to the road 11 occasions and sank 9 of them.
He pulled down 15 boards.
And he dished out 4 assists whereas turning the ball over zero (0) occasions.
For a participant who averages better than 4 turnovers per recreation towards Toronto in his profession, that was enormous.
The staff with the very best participant usually wins the collection until the distinction of the rosters is tilted dramatically within the different course.
— The Athletic NBA (@TheAthleticNBA) April 20, 2022
Embiid additionally appeared extra lively on the defensive finish.
He offered his ordinary rim safety however was efficient on switches.
He did job at staying in entrance of smaller guards and wings when the Sixers went away from their typical drop protection.
His measurement and skill to maneuver his toes additionally helped neutralize Pascal Siakam when he drew that task.
Embiid’s dominance on each ends of the court docket this collection has confirmed he deserves the 2022 MVP.