Joel Embiid Issues Straightforward Demand to Sixers

joel embiid

Getty Joel Embiid has a request for his team.

The Philadelphia 76ers have enough firepower on the team to compete for an NBA championship this season, but they will need a lot of things to come together if they want to make that into a reality.

By adding James Harden into the mix, it has opened up the floor for other players, notably Matisse Thybulle, and Joel Embiid wants those open looks generated by himself and Harden to turn into buckets.

Thybulle isn’t a good shooter from beyond the arc, hitting less than 30 percent of his shots, but Embiid wants him to start shooting when he’s open.

“Every time he’s open, I want him to shoot it,” Embiid said via NBC Sports. “I see him work on his game every single day. He works on those threes. If they’re going to disrespect you, you’ve got to take it. And I believe that he’s going to make some of them.”

This thinking applies to the whole team as well, and Embiid believes it’ll be enough to take them to the next level.

Need More Shooters

joel embiid james harden

GettyJames Harden and Joel Embiid are a fearsome duo.

In the Harden trade, the Sixers had to ship out Seth Curry, one of the league’s premier shooters, which means they lost one of their go-to marksmen.

While Harden is a major upgrade, he’s going to be the one drawing all of the attention instead of being a player that’s going to catch-and-shoot like Curry had the ability to do. Embiid has encouraged all of his teammates to just let it fly if they are open when they get the ball.

“Whether it’s my post-ups or the pick-and-roll, we’ve got to have willing shooters,” he said. “All the attention is going to be on me and James so when you create double teams, guys like Tyrese, obviously Georges (Niang), Tobias (Harris), they’ve got to be able to just let it fly. And it’s going to open up everything. I think it all goes back to spacing.”

In the case of Thybulle, there seems to be a clear reason he’s being left open, but the Sixers big man wants him to start punishing teams for that. If the pesky defender can add shooting to his game, then he’ll be an even more valuable asset for the Sixers.

Embiid said he told Harden that he wants him to help break the team out of their shell and make them shoot more threes.

“Honestly, the first thing I told him when he got here,” Embiid said, “I was like, ‘You’ve got to help me.’ We’ve got to get everyone to just shoot the ball — it doesn’t matter who you are — to just shoot the ball if you’re open. Teams come into the game obviously doubling and triple-teaming me. Once we start making shots, then you’ve got decisions to make. Are you going to keep doing that; are you going to give up a bunch of wide-open threes?”

Who Can Step Up?

tobias harris

GettyTobias Harris will need to step up.

In the starting lineup, the Sixers will be looking at Maxey, Harris and Thybulle as likely candidates to start hitting more shots from deep.

Harris has shown he can be a strong shooter from there, and if Maxey and Thybulle develop into dead eyes, it’ll be very hard for defenders to guard the Sixers on any given night.

For Thybulle, it looks like it’ll be something to work on over the summer because his shot currently leaves a lot to be desired. At the very least, he’s gotten more shots at the basket since Harden came over, so that will likely continue.

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