According to a yet-to-be released Factor Adjusted Team Similarities (FATS) calculation, the 76ers play a completely different game with Joel Embiid active as compared to when he sits out.
Embiid averaged 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks per game for Philly, but his struggles with injuries have kept him on the bench for major chunks of the season. With Embiid, however, the team plays like a 49.9-win team, while only performing as a 27.7-win squad without him.
The FATS calculator takes into account four different factors — effective field-goal percentage, turnover percentage, offensive and defensive rebounding percentage, and free throws per field goal attempt.
Effective field goal percentage measures the percentage of shots made from the field while factoring in the extra point of those shots taken from beyond the arc. This way, two teams with identical field goal percentages will differ in their effective field goal percentages if one scores more three-pointers than the other. Turnover percentage is a simple metric estimate of the amount of turnovers that the team records per every 100 possessions.
Rebound percentage is split up into offensive and defensive statistics, both of which reflect the percentage of possible boards a team grabs on each side of the court. Finally, the free throws per field goal attempt illustrates how often a team gets to the line and the percentage made.
Embiid’s presence on the court bumps the 76ers’ effective field goal percentage jump up from 50.1 to 50.8 percent while rebounding and free throws take a one-percent leap upwards. The team clearly fares better with the center in play, but will he be able to stay in the game long enough to make an impact? That will be an important question for the team to answer down the stretch.