Where would the Philadelphia 76ers be without Joel Embiid? Probably in an ugly place.
On Wednesday night, there was nothing ugly about the dominant performance of Embiid. The do-it-all Sixers behemoth tied his career-high with 50 points on 17-of-23 shooting from the field in their 123-110 win over the Orlando Magic. For good measure, he also had 12 rebounds and three blocks.
But what's more impressive about Embiid's scoring barrage is he did it in only 27 minutes. Like nonchalantly watching an episode of The Office. Sixers coach Doc Rivers couldn't help but gush about his prized star's performance. He was tempted to compare Embiid to his former teammate but made a stark disclaimer (via ESPN).
“I played with Dominique (Wilkins), and I don't know if I've seen that. I've seen Dominique score more, but it took the whole game. That was easy, quick, efficient, and determined.”
Wilkins, a member of the NBA's 75 Anniversary Team, was the recipient of Rivers' many passes during their time with the Atlanta Hawks. Embiid, for his part, acknowledged the value of his teammates' unselfishness. He has been nothing but impressive in the past few weeks, scoring at least 30 points in 11 of the Sixers' last 12 games.
“It's all about playing the right way. The ball is always going to find me. These guys have a hell of a lot of trust in me, and they're always looking for me. And it doesn't matter when. In any time of the game, the ball is going to find me.”
Pretty soon, Embiid will find himself as a finalist for this season's MVP trophy.