The Philadelphia 76ers have finally found the veteran star that they have been in search for throughout the entire offseason. Although they have a few young stars who are on the rise, the Sixers could never take the next step in the Eastern Conference without bringing in a superstar to take their game to the next level. The trade for Jimmy Butler did just that, but now Joel Embiid is not playing up to his own potential.
In other words, the Sixers star is frustrated. You could see it on Embiid’s face just the other night. The Sixers had their biggest game of the season against the Toronto Raptors. Although the game was kept close for most of three quarters, the Raptors proved their dominance and ran away with the victory in the end. You could credit a couple of players on the Sixers for being fighters in that one, but the MVP candidate, Joel Embiid was a lost cause.
Lately, Embiid hasn’t been all that spectacular for what he’s worth, and he will tell you that himself. After that specific game in Toronto, Embiid was the first one to straight up say that he’s played like trash. In fact, Embiid mentioned that his last few games have been trash.
Therefore, the Sixers gave him the night off against the Detroit Pistons on Friday – Assuming that Embiid’s issues were coming from fatigue. That’s not the problem, though. Embiid is upset with what his role has been since the Jimmy Butler trade. But you cannot merely blame the Butler trade for Embiid’s struggles.
First off, Has Embiid Been Bad?
Joel Embiid has hit a bit of a rough patch, no doubt. With under 20 points in his last three showings, we aren’t witnessing the same amount of dominance on the offensive side of the ball from the Sixers big man. Every NBA player is going to hit a cold streak, and it seems like Embiid is hitting his early on. So yes, he hasn’t been as great as he was when the year started off, but is it really that big of a deal right now when the team won nine of their last 12 games?
According to Embiid, it is a big deal. As a competitor, Embiid is not going to be satisfied with his game unless he is at the top of his game. That’s fine. However, nobody can blame the arrival of Jimmy Butler in Philly for Embiid’s struggles. While the Sixers center had a change of direction for his role on the team with the trade for Butler, the 76ers center wants to make it clear that he is still a big fan of the trade.
You Cannot Blame Butler
Clearly, Embiid’s frustrations have been taken the wrong way within the media. While rumors were starting to heat up that Embiid was unhappy with his role, people were jumping to conclusions and speculating that Butler’s superstardom has affected Embiid. That’s not the case. Right now, the Sixers just need to find a gameplan that tailor’s to Embiid’s skillset a little bit more, which definitely makes sense.
Blaming Butler’s presence for Embiid’s struggles won’t go over well with the Sixers center though. When he acknowledged his game is at what seems like an all-time low, Embiid had nobody to blame but himself. Now, it’s up to Brett Brown to try and sit down and implement a game plan that can help out not only Embiid but the entire team as well. Getting one of the league’s top players in a system that works best for him is a good idea, wouldn’t you think so?