Shortly after finalizing his new five-year extension with the Sixers, Joel Embiid made his 2017 preseason debut with the team in Brooklyn on Wednesday, and the center’s performance in the game likely made 76ers fans a little more comfortable with their team’s big-money commitment. Playing just 15 minutes, Embiid poured in 22 points to go along with seven boards and three assists. He also made 14 of 18 free throws.
Of course, Embiid was one of the NBA’s best players on a per-minute basis last season as well, so his showing on Wednesday night didn’t come as a total surprise. For Embiid, the primary goal is to stay healthy enough to blow past last year’s career high of 31 games played and become a more frequent contributor to Philadelphia’s lineup.
Here’s more on the Sixers:
- Although Sixers head coach Brett Brown had previously said not to read much into his preseason rotations, Wednesday provided a preview of what the team’s regular season rotation might look like, writes Sarah Todd of Philly.com. Embiid was somewhat limited and Markelle Fultz didn’t play, but otherwise it wouldn’t be a surprise to see everyone in similar roles on opening night.
- Sixers big man Richaun Holmes confirmed to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer that his fractured left wrist won’t require surgery, and will heal on its own. The club plans to re-evaluate the injury after about three weeks.
- Jordan Brenner of SBNation.com has a fascinating and in-depth profile on Jahlil Okafor, who has become the forgotten man in Philadelphia as fans focus on other recent top-three picks Embiid, Fultz, and Ben Simmons. While Okafor says he still respects the organization and wants to succeed with the Sixers, he admits that he’s unsure about whether there’s still a role for him with the club. “Sometimes I do think it would be great to get a fresh start, be on a new team, new surroundings, new teammates,” Okafor said. “I think about that often and I think that’s something that could benefit me.”