There is a perception that newly acquired Philadelphia 76ers guard, James Harden, has wanted to play with Joel Embiid for quite some time. Ramona Shelburne and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN stated on February 11 that Harden has always respected Embiid, to the point where he urged Daryl Morey to trade for him during their time in Houston.
Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer backed up Harden’s alleged sentiments about Embiid. Pompey stated that James Harden sees his partnership with Embiid as an opportunity to regain the success that he had in Houston. However, Harden’s sentiments about Embiid are confusing, because their skill sets are entirely different.
The strength of Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid
Embiid is a player who likes to spend a significant amount of time in the post. Post ups have accounted for 34.3 percent of his possessions since 2016, and he has averaged 8.3 per game. Embiid has excelled in these post-ups, shooting 50.6 percent from the field on 5.4 shots per game.
This success has contributed to Embiid averaging 8.6 points per game in post-ups – 33.7 percent of his scoring output. Embiid’s post-up success has been the catalyst behind the Philadelphia 76ers leading the league in that particular play type this season.
The Sixers have spent 8.5 percent of their possessions in the low post this season, averaging 9.0 per game. Post ups being such an integral part of the Philadelphia 76ers offense has contributed to Embiid’s supporting cast spending a significant amount of time behind the arc as floor spacers.