Hey, everyone! Before I start my article, I just wanted to say thank you for all of your support in the transition to 48 Minutes! We have had a blast making the changes we have made to further our product. With that being said, this is the first of my Friday Columns that I will write here on the site with my thoughts on the happenings in the NBA.
This week was a very easy topic to start this series with, and that has to be Joel Embiid and how, "The Process" is coming to fruition in front of our eyes. Now, I know Joel Embiid is only about 45-50 games into his NBA career after two and a half years of waiting due to injury, but every game he has been on the court has been must see.
The stats are out of this world. The usage rate is definitely playing a part, and Joel just had the first 45 points, 17 rebounds, 7 blocks and 7 assists game the NBA has ever seen. That's...absurd. The dynamic duo that Embiid has formed along with 2nd year rookie, Ben Simmons, has also given the 76ers some amazing potential and an extremely high ceiling. The 76ers obviously had a strong belief—you could say a trust—to give Embiid the contract they did just a few weeks before the 2017-18 season started.
Currently 14 games into the season, the Sixers are 8-6 and holding the 6th seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Considering it was just a few years ago this team struggled to even win ten games in a season, we are seeing The Process is really coming together and exceeding all expectations, and no voice has been louder than Embiid's. He has skills in the paint of Hakeem Olajuwan, with the fun loving personality of Shaq, while also having the ability to shoot three pointers. There is not another player like him in the league.
Now, we have talked about the ceiling of the 76ers behind all their young talent, but what exactly is Embiid's ceiling if he is able to stay healthy? Best center in the league is definitely the most likely label he will carry, which is insane considering guys like Nikola Jokic and Karl-Anthony Towns also play that position, as well. But, what about the potential to be the best player in the league? Sure Giannis Antetokounmpo is carrying the flag right now as the guy many people think is the best player of the future, but from the sample size we have seen from Embiid, why can't he take that throne if he is really able to play a whole year?
If the 76ers can keep their play up to, and make a run, at the playoffs then he definitely should be considered for the MVP voting and 1st team All-NBA. We are finally seeing just what the wait was all about with Embiid and he is only scratching the surface.