Sixers’ Joel Embiid Speaks out on New Big Man’s Promising Debut

DeAndre Jordan

Mitchell Leff/Getty Images DeAndre Jordan

The Philadelphia 76ers are a team with a few new faces. Obviously, the team traded for James Harden when they sent Ben Simmons to Brooklyn, but besides that, the team has also added a couple of other new players. The Sixers also received veteran forward Paul Millsap as part of the Harden-Simmons trade. The team also added veteran center DeAndre Jordan after his contract was bought out by the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Sixers chose to add Jordan because of their need for a backup center to help give superstar center Joel Embiid chances to rest. For Jordan, the Sixers are the sixth team of his career.

Solid Debut

Jordan made his debut for the Sixers in Monday night’s win over the Chicago Bulls. In ten minutes Jordan chipped in two points, three rebounds, two assists, and one block.

Those numbers obviously won’t blow anyone away, but the Sixers don’t necessarily need Jordan to put up big numbers. After his debut, Embiid gave his thoughts on Jordan’s contributions.

“He was great. That’s what we’re going to need him to do,” said Embiid. “Just come in and play 10 or 15 minutes every night. So, he’s just got to come in, rebound, screen, roll to the basket, catch lobs. And then he’s a good defender, too. He was calling out double teams and blocking shots and rebounding.”

Sixers head coach Doc Rivers was also asked about how Jordan played after the game.

“They were good, they were really good,” Rivers said of Jordan’s minutes. “You can see his length, his ability to roll, his ability to block shots, that is something he can do.”

For his part, Harden acknowledged there is still room for improvement between him and Jordan.

“He hasn’t played in a minute,” said Harden, “but the more we communicate, especially being in that unit with me. We played together in Brooklyn so we’re familiar, but the more we can get in our sets and make sure we’re in the right spot so me and him in that pick-and-roll, we have our lob targets and we have our 3s so we’ll watch film on it and try to be better for the next game.”

Potential Impact of Jordan

As Harden said, Jordan hasn’t played much lately. Monday night was just his second game in the last ten that he’s been available. While Jordan isn’t the same player he once was early in his career with the Los Angeles Clippers, he can still play a valuable role for the Sixers.

In the 33 games that Jordan has played this season, he has averaged 4.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 0.8 blocks per game in just 12.7 minutes per game. In short bursts he can still be efficient, according to Cleaning The Glass, Jordan has an effective field goal percentage of 66.3%. His block percentage of 3%, offensive rebound percentage of 12.6%, and defensive rebound percentage of 25.3% all rank in the top 25 among bigs in the NBA.

All of those numbers speak to the impact that the Sixers are hoping to get from Jordan. If he can continue to put up those kinds of numbers then his addition will have been worth it for the Sixers.





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