The fascinating matchup of Joel Embiid vs. Marc Gasol

On Sunday, the Sixers, playing at home in Philly, handled the Raptors, 110-104.

In the win, Tobias Harris scored 26 points, Matisse Thybulle added 20 off the bench, and Ben Simmons put up 16 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists. Sixers center Joel Embiid had a rough day, finishing with 10 points, eight rebounds, and six assists — but seven turnovers.

In the loss, Kyle Lowry scored 26, while starting center Marc Gasol had a miserable statline of 0 for 6 shooting, 0 points and four rebounds in 30 minutes.

But the Embiid vs Gasol matchup is fascinating. Here’s the Toronto Sun reporting, prior to today’s game:

In six regular-season games between the two bigs, only one of them since Gasol became a Raptor, Embiid has shot just 29% against Gasol’s defence. In the past three regular-season meetings, not including last night’s game, Embiid is a combined 8-for-39 against Gasol including that 0-for-11 in the only previous meeting this year when Embiid didn’t even get one from the free throw line where he was 0-for-3 for the first, and probably last, scoreless game of his NBA career.

The Sixers and Raptors are right next to each other in the East standings, and their records could be close all season. This will be worth paying attention to, right through the postseason.

 

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Joel Embiid practice update

Sixers center Joel Embiid is still under careful health watch by the team. How long this will go on, no one knows. Here’s the Philadephia Inquirer with the latest:

The 76ers plan to give Joel Embiid a day off periodically to rest. The first one came Monday, three days into training camp.

But Embiid did participate in a post-practice one-on-one drill against a staff member, along with Dario Saric.

“We had two great days and tomorrow he’ll come in, and it’s sort of a game day for us,” Sixers coach Brett Brown said in reference to the Blue and White scrimmage at 7 Tuesday night at Penn. “We’ll come in, have a shootaround, then go to the Palestra and play in front of a fantastic crowd. We just felt like, let him have today to rest and we’re going to jump back into it tomorrow.”

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Joel Embiid hopes to begin playing back-to-backs by late January

The Sixers have gotten used to the fact that their star center, Joel Embiid, isn’t being utilized in back-to-back games. It’s a tough thing, for a team to have a great center to count on – but inconsistently. It throws things off. But Embiid, sharing some wishful thinking, hopes that in the fairly near future he’ll be playing every game. Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer reporting:

Joel Embiid hopes to begin playing back-to-backs

“I just need not to take days off,” Embiid said after Thursday’s shoot-around for that night’s game against Boston Celtics at TD Garden. “It’s not on me. It’s on the medical staff. But hopefully, back-to-backs by the end of this month, I will be allowed to play.”

The Sixers’ only remaining back-to-back situation this month will come Jan. 28 at the Oklahoma City Thunder and Jan. 29 at the Milwaukee Bucks. He has missed at least one game of the five back-to-back situations they’ve already had this season.

In all, Embiid has missed nine games total because of rest, back tightness and knee rehabilitation. The 23-year-old underwent left knee surgery in March. Embiid, who’s still getting in shape, said he was at 81 percent of where he wants to be.

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Joel Embiid might play in a preseason game

The Joel Embiid health watch continues. We look forward to the day when he’s just fully healthy so we only have to talk about his on-court production, but for now, the quest for 100 percent health remains part of the process. Here’s NBC Sports reporting:

Joel Embiid might play in a preseason game

Joel Embiid checked off a key criterion in his return to play by participating in full-court 5-on-5 work on Thursday.

This was the first time Embiid has played basketball to this extent since undergoing season-ending left knee surgery in March. He didn’t experience soreness in the scrimmage…

Embiid thinks he has a “pretty good” chance to play in a preseason game next week. He will not play on Friday against the Celtics.

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Joel Embiid takes step towards return

It’s been years of health updates on talented still-young Sixers center Joel Embiid. Here’s the latest, from CSN Philly:

Joel Embiid takes step towards return

On Friday, Joel Embiid participated in half-court 5-on-5 during the final day of training camp. He had not done 5-on-5 activity since undergoing left knee surgery in March.

“To see him with us, sweating and playing against people, and them playing against him was a good day,” Brett Brown said.

The Sixers have not set a specific date for Embiid’s return. He is targeting opening night, Oct. 18 against the Wizards in Washington, D.C. Embiid has not played in a game since Jan. 27.

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Joel Embiid and Dario Saric named to NBA All-Rookie First Team

Joel Embiid and Dario Saric named to NBA All-Rookie First Team

The NBA announced today that Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid and forward Dario Saric were named to the 2016-17 NBA All-Rookie First Team as voted on by a panel of 130 sportswriters and broadcasters. The voting panel each selected five players for the first team and five players for the second team, regardless of position. Saric was a unanimous selection. He and Embiid are the first teammates to earn the recognition since Seattle’s Kevin Durant and Jeff Green in 2007-2008.

Embiid and Saric are the 13th and 14th players in franchise history to earn All-Rookie First Team honors. It’s also the fourth consecutive year a Sixers player has been named All-Rookie First Team. Only the Knicks have had a longer such streak, seeing a player named All-Rookie First Team in five consecutive seasons from 1964-68.

Embiid appeared in 31 games (all starts), averaging 20 points, eight rebounds, two assists and three blocks in 25 minutes per game. He shot 47 percent from the field, 37 percent from three-point range and 78 percent from the free-throw line. He led all rookies in points, rebounds and blocks per game. His averages in points, rebounds and blocks per game were the highest of any NBA rookie since the Clippers’ Blake Griffin, who was named 2011 Rookie of the Year.

The Cameroon native scored 20 or more points 19 times in his rookie season, which was the most such performances among rookies. Embiid posted at least 20 points in 10 straight games from December 23-January 18, as he became the first rookie to score 20-plus in at least 10 consecutive contests since Griffin did so in 14 straight. He scored in double-figures in his first 15 career games and in 30 of his 31 games overall. He was one of six NBA rookies to score at least 10 points in 30 or more games in 2016-17.

Saric appeared in 81 games (36 starts), averaging 13 points, six rebounds and two assists in 26 minutes per game. He shot 41 percent from the field, 31 percent from three-point range and 78 percent from the free-throw line. He led all qualified rookies in points per game and was second in field-goal and free-throw percentage.

The Croatian native scored 20 or more points 14 times in his rookie season, which was the second-most such performances among rookies. He scored in double-figures in 22 straight games between February 6 and March 24 – the longest streak by an NBA rookie in 2016-17 and the longest by a Sixers rookie since Allen Iverson scored 10-plus in 26 straight in 1996-97. His 50 overall games with at least 10 points led all rookies.

Joel Embiid health update

Here is the Philadelphia Daily News with an update on the Joel Embiid health saga. Embiid remains out for the year, but his recovery is worth tracking:

Joel Embiid health update

When the 76ers recently embarked on a four-game West Coast trip, injured center Joel Embiid joined them in Los Angeles after a loss in Portland. Embiid made the trip, the team said, to see some of the team of doctors that is overseeing his recovery from a slight meniscus tear in his left knee.

The team returned to practice Thursday, but Embiid remained on the West Coast. It was announced that he is in San Diego with Dr. David Martin to see more specialists about the knee. Apparently, a convention of orthopedic surgeons is happening this week in San Diego and the team decided it would be beneficial for Embiid and Martin to be there.

Joel Embiid has season-ending injury, again

Joel Embiid done for season, again

The Sixers were very careful with super-talented center Joel Embiid this season, playing him limited minutes, giving him plenty of rest during busy parts of the schedule, and trying to keep the big guy healthy.

But it didn’t work.

The team announced today that Embiid will miss the rest of the season. “The Process” is delayed once again.

The team recently announced that their other talented rookie, Ben Simmons, who hasn’t played this season, won’t be active until 2017-18.

Once again, the Sixers are about the future, not the present.

More on this: Joel Embiid injury update: out for season

Joel Embiid bothered by knee

Well, this isn’t good. Sixers center Joel “The Process” Embiid is dealing with a lingering knee issue. Hoping for the best. Here’s CSN Philly reporting:

Joel Embiid bothered by knee

Joel Embiid on Monday will have an MRI on his injured left knee and is now listed as out indefinitely.

Embiid has been experiencing swelling and soreness in the left knee injury that has caused him to miss 16 out of the last 17 games. Bryan Colangelo announced back on Feb. 11 that Embiid has a minor meniscal tear. In his most recent press conference last Friday, Colangelo had targeted this Friday’s home game against the Knicks as a possibility for Embiid’s return. Now, that isn’t the case.

Raptors coach Dwane Casey compares Joel Embiid to a young Shaq

At this point, fans around the league have an opinion on Sixers center Joel Embiid. He’s on the map. It’s too soon to know how great he may become, but early signs pointing to stardom are very promising. Here’s Raptors coach Dwane Casey sharing his view, as reported by PhillySport:

Dwane Casey compares Joel Embiid to a young Shaq

Toronto Raptors coach Dwane Casey had high praise for 76ers center Joel Embiid, comparing him at a similar stage to 15-time all-star and four-time NBA champion Shaquille O’Neal.

“He is physical, has size, athletic ability, like a young Shaq coming into the league and Shaq didn’t shoot it like this young man,” Casey said before Wednesday’s game at the Wells Fargo Center against the Sixers.

Embiid entered the contest averaging 19.7 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.43 blocked shots in 25.3 minutes per game.