Sixers’ Joel Embiid admits losing JJ Redick’s shooting is huge but excited for fit with Josh Richardson
Joel Embiid is keenly aware of the losses his Philadelphia 76ers sustained during the summer. Besides Jimmy Butler deciding to sign with the Miami Heat, the Sixers also lost out on some elite sharpshooting from JJ Redick, who gave the team back-to-back career-highs in scoring before departing to join the New Orleans Pelicans. While the loss of Redick will sting, he’s noticed that the shooting guard the Sixers have in place now — Josh Richardson — will bring a new set of tools to the table.
“It’s different. But Josh brings something different than JJ,” said Embiid after the Sixers’ practice on Tuesday. “Obviously JJ with the crazy shots and off-balance threes and all that stuff—but you got Josh, who is more athletic than JJ, especially when it comes to like, back-cutting and me throwing lobs, or just like him turning the corner and attacking the defender. I think, in that sense, he can do that better than JJ.”
Redick is an elite-level marksman, as he’s shown during his 13-year career in the league. Richardson, still a very capable 3-point shooter, would be hard-pressed to match Redick’s accuracy, though his athleticism and defensive awareness bring a very different acumen to the Sixers.
“But obviously we lose a lot of the shooting, especially me,” said Embiid of the loss of Redick. “The connection we had with me screening, him screening for me. But I’m gonna get Josh on pace. I’m gonna teach him how we should play, especially with the action I’ve been running since JJ got here, so Josh is gonna be doing that a lot. He’s so athletic and he’s intelligent. We gonna figure it out.”
The Sixers might not be as deadly when it comes to shooting from the outside, but they have gained a unique perimeter defender and one that can provide a scoring punch in other ways than letting it fly from distance.