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Sixers vs. Pistons: Embiid continues to excel, the Sixers not so much

76ers lose to Pistons 97-76, but Embiid is still awesome.

NBA: Preseason-Detroit Pistons at Philadelphia 76ers John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

The hype train continues to roll, and between you and me, I’m probably the one dancing on top of it. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a player that can display so much dominance on both ends of the floor. Of course, it isn’t always pretty, but Joel Embiid is showing signs of being the player we dreamed and drooled about in 2014 when he was drafted.

To put into scope how big Embiid is, he made Andre Drummond looks small. It was the first thing I noticed just from the tipoff and it’s what I noticed as Joel made quick posts moves to get by, over and around Drummond. Furthermore, he made the giant that is Boban Marjanovic look mortal.

Am I crying? Oh no... there’s just something something in my eye.

Embiid is the absolute embodiment of the “The Process” and his self awareness about it all is just the “cherry-on-the-cake”. Mind you, he still has a long way to go. The turnovers are an issue (7 tonight) and he seems to be trying to make up for 2 years anytime he gets the ball. Also, much like tonight after he came down awkwardly after a block attempt, the potential for injury will be a haunting presence for the rest of his career. I’d suggest fans take up yoga and meditation... and invest in some heart medication.

Speaking of medication, does anyone have the panacea for the Sixers offensive woes? The caveats of injuries, roster flux and backcourt talent scarcity withstanding, I can’t say I’m that confident in Brett Brown being here for the long haul.

Outside of Embiid, there wasn’t much else to be excited or happy about with the team last night. The PG battle is anything but that as neither Sergio Rodriguez nor TJ McConnell has ran away with the starting position when given the opportunity. Both seem ideal for a backup role as both struggle creating or defending against starters. I’m not sure what the answer is, whether on this team (Wherefore art thou, Cat Barber?) or elsewhere (Mario Chalmers?!?).

Maybe that is the biggest culprit of the Sixers offensive woes more than anything. The offensive scheme may be a problem, but it’s exacerbated by the lack of offensive creators and poor execution by the ones that are already there. With the Sixers best talent accumulated in the front court, it’s no surprise that their most success comes from post-ups. Regardless, I’m not sure any coach would have success with the amount of turnovers, live-ball specifically. Hurry back soon Ben.

Odds & Ends:

  • In the second chapter of “Embiid Defends Point Guards”, Embiid took on former 76er Ish Smith to close out the first half. Much like the first time, Embiid forced Smith into a missed awkward jumper. I can’t wait to see chapter 3!
  • Two guys who have looked like they definitely improved are Jerami Grant and Richaun Holmes. Who knows what the future holds, whether on this team or another, but they belong in the NBA.
  • Pour one out for Nik Stauskas. The guy can’t seem to catch a break as he missed what seemed like 100 point blank layups. The PG experiment looked like a dud too. Good luck to him but I can’t see him being here heading into the season.
  • Brandon Paul and/or James Webb III may make the team by default. This is less about them and more about the woeful other options.
  • Robert Covington is streaky. He also is taking shots from feet behind the 3 point line because “reasons”. He’ll probably get on a hot streak in a week or 2 and we’ll be calling him an All-Star because we’re homers.
  • Michael Carter-Williams got traded last night to the Bulls for Tony Snell. I thought the Sixers situation was a head-scratcher... and then the Bulls try to corner the market for poor-shooting guards. Go Figure.
  • The Sixers play the Heat on Oct. 21. Embiid vs Whiteside is another fun match up. I think the Era of the Big Man is coming back. Do you?

Final Box Score

View from the other side