PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia 76ers once again rode a great Joel Embiid game to victory. He recorded 53 points and 12 rebounds in a 131-113 win against the Charlotte Hornets. Embiid didn’t carry all the weight for the Sixers but was unquestionably the leading factor in their win.
Embiid shot efficiently from everywhere on the floor, doing a lot of his damage in the mid-range. He shot 5-9 on two-pointers outside the paint and hit two other shots from just inside the elbow. The Sixers fed him over and over and he ate, especially in the second quarter when he scored 20 points. It was just another day for one of the leading MVP candidates.
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) December 12, 2022
After the game, Embiid broke down his approach from the mid-range. The Sixers superstar explained that the middie is a crucial element of his game.
“For me, it goes back to the mechanics…When I miss a shot, I kinda think about the physics: Did I hold my follow-through? Did I leave it too short? How did the ball come off my hand? I’m just trying to make those types of adjustments,” Embiid said following the Sixers’ win. “I think that’s my shot, and that’s a shot I can get to every time. I know everybody wants me to be in the paint but most of the time the paint is crowded anyways and that’s why we needed to add something different to my game and I’m glad that’s the one thing. That helped me a lot.”
Embiid’s mid-range shooting is what separates him from other basketball giants. That feathery touch has allowed him to punish defenses, especially next to a playmaker like Harden. He is averaging a career-best 32.2 points per game while shooting a career-best 52.6 percent from the field. That percentage is powered by making 48.3 percent of his shots from three-to-10 feet away from the hoop.
“I expect to make that shot every single time so when I miss it, it’s very disappointing,” Embiid said. “You know, it’s hard to be 100 percent, especially when you got a bunch of guys contesting the shot everywhere, but that’s a shot I feel like I can get any time. I put in a lot of work and I’m gonna continue to put in a lot of work to make sure that it’s just automatic.”
The Sixers’ record now sits at 14-12. As they welcome the Sacramento Kings, one of the best offensive teams in the league, to town on Tuesday, Joel Embiid will have to stay ready to score in bunches.