Joel Embiid Is Raring to Go, Which Is Both Good and Bad for the 76ers

“Dominant,” Brown said.

Embiid was harder on himself.

“I feel like I’m still behind,” he said. “But I feel like with repetition, it’s going to come.”

For success-starved fans of the 76ers, it must have been both glorious and nerve-racking to watch Embiid eviscerate the Nets. For every brilliant play that he made — and there were more than a few, including the 40-footer that he swished during a dead ball — there was a more minor-key moment when he flirted with danger. Was that a slight grimace after he took a fall in the second quarter? An almost imperceptible limp after a tumble in the third?

Basketball is a physical sport, and contact is unavoidable. But forgive those fans who would prefer that Embiid cover himself with bubble wrap.


Embiid was dominant in a preseason game against Timofey Mozgov and the Nets on Wednesday. In the game, Embiid scored 22 points in less than 15 minutes on the court.

Julie Jacobson/Associated Press

Brown understands. He used the word “reckless” to describe Embiid’s Tonka Truck style — “He doesn’t know any other way to play,” Brown said — but expressed hope that Embiid would settle into a more conservative frame of mind once his playing time is more consistent, an imposing prospect for the rest of the Eastern Conference.

Still, Brown said it would be a mistake to talk about Embiid as if he had already arrived as a fully formed colossus. He has a chance to be great. A chance.

“But it’s at its infant stages,” Brown said, adding: “The 7-foot-2, we get. The 200-whatever pounds, we get. But he can shoot a 3. He can shoot free throws. He can post up. He can face up. It’s just a very potent offensive package that people have to game plan, and we see the impact he makes on the defensive end. He’s all over the place.”

After he was drafted by the 76ers, Embiid missed his first two…

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