Sixers news: Joel Embiid anticipating more 'assertive' mentality in playoffs
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Sixers star Joel Embiid anticipating more ‘assertive’ mentality in the playoffs

Sixers, Joel Embiid

Philadelphia 76ers star center Joel Embiid plans on “demanding the ball” more in the playoffs as the NBA’s 2019-20 season resumes later this July in Orlando, Florida.

“With the playoffs coming, I’ve just gotta be more assertive and just be that guy,” the Sixers center told members of the press on Tuesday afternoon, via NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Serena Winters. “Just demand the ball and do what I do.”

Joel Embiid’s renewed focus on becoming an offensive pillar for the Sixers comes at a time when Philadelphia is seeking to make inroads in the Eastern Conference playoffs. The fourth-year big man has seen Philly lose in the second round of the postseason in two consecutive years, including their 2019 heartbreaker against the Toronto Raptors.

The Cameroonian All-Star and the Sixers reached the playoffs in 2018 after a six-year postseason drought. This 2019-20 campaign, JoJo averaged 23.4 points and 11.8 rebounds per game in 44 appearances, though he missed 21 games including a stretch of five matches right before playing in Philly’s final contest before the NBA suspension.

In his playoff career, Embiid has averaged 20.7 points and 11.4 rebounds a game in 19 appearances, shooting 43.1 percent from the floor. The Sixers are currently situated as the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference — two games behind the fourth seed.