The Philadephia 76ers are currently 35-22 and the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference. Before the 2019-20 season, the Sixers added Josh Richardson in a four-team trade involving the Miami Heat, Los Angeles Clippers, and Portland Trail Blazers.
The deal ultimately sent Jimmy Butler to Miami in exchange for Richardson. The Sixers also added NBA All-Star Al Horford in free agency, while re-signing Tobias Harris and Mike Scott to multi-year contracts. Though they opted to let sharp-shooter J.J. Redrick walk in free agency after renouncing their free-agent exception, the Sixers were still considered one of the few teams in the East capable of challenging the Milwaukee Bucks for the Eastern crown. Philadephia currently holds the best home record [26-2] in the league, while on the road, it is the polar opposite [9-20].
Now, they may have to play a number of games without their All-Star guard Ben Simmons, who only played five minutes in Saturday’s game before injuring his lower back against the Bucks.
This means the Sixers will have to rely more on their other star, Joel Embiid, who is averaging 23.3 points, 12.0 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game for the Sixers through 40 games.
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Jay Williams Outlines How Joel Embiid Can Change His Game to Better the Sixers
Willams was a host on Saturday night’s episode of The Jump on ABC alongside Rachel Nichols and Richard Jefferson. During one of the segments, the panel, which featured guest NBA Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson, discussed who needed to adjust their game to help the Sixers – Ben Simmons or Joel Embiid. Willams revealed that he believes Embiid needs to get himself into better basketball shape.
“It’s Joel Embiid most definitely. If you want to be the best player in the world, we watched one [Giannis Antetokounmpo] the conditioning right. There are times just think about it; you are a starter, and you play the first seven or eight minutes, and then you come out, and in the second quarter, you come back in about seven or eight minutes,” said Williams. But, Joel Embiid checks himself multiple times in the first half, and his conditioning needs to be at world-class conditioning to be the best player. That is what’s next for Joel Embiid.”
Williams is referencing Embiid self-proclaiming himself the best player in the world last week after the Sixers beat the Brooklyn Nets 112-104 in overtime on Thursday night.
“For sure,” Embiid said via ESPN’s Tim Bontemps. “The All-Star Game was fun. Being there in the fourth quarter, doing my thing at the end of the game, I thought it was great.
“But the All-Star Game, just proving I’m here, I belong, and being the best player in the world, I just intend to keep coming out every single night and just play hard and trying to get wins and just go out and try to win a championship.”