Sixers’ Joel Embiid, Brett Brown speak up in defense of big men taking jump shots
There is a raging discussion between current NBA players and the game’s elder statesmen as to whether the game’s big men have abandoned the post to the detriment of their games due to analytics. Philadelphia 76ers’ All-Star Joel Embiid and Sixers coach Brett Brown decided to pitch their own thoughts into the issue and defend the current trend of big men taking more jump shots instead of spending time in the post.
The two believe that it’s not a bad thing that the league is now seeing more big men stretch the floor and take more three-point shots.
“We need to be able to do everything on the basketball court,” Embiid says. “That’s what I’ve been trying to do, to kind of change the narrative around big men.”
Brown insists he hasn’t abandoned using Embiid in the post and claims his goal is for him to have at least 15 touches a game from there. That’s a fine strategy for the Sixers, but the 29 other teams do not have a Joel Embiid at their disposal.
“The numbers don’t support their skill set,” one NBA general manager says about big men who live primarily in the post. “They’re DOA — dead on arrival.”
Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal — the torchbearers of the traditional big men — are calling out players like Embiid and Kristaps Porzingis for not using the post more. They believe that they would easily be 25-10 machines if they actually used their stature to dominate the post. However, the pace-and-space nature of the game and its inclination towards analytics is actually discouraging it.
With the way the league has been playing, the old-school big is all but dead. However, it may only be a matter of time before the role would make a resounding comeback. It just needs the proper situation in order to reintroduce itself.