After averaging 18.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game in 22.8 minutes of action during the first 12 games of the year, Joel Embiid has been named November’s Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month.
Embiid is the first 76ers player to be named Rookie of the Month since Michael Carter-Williams in March 2014, which feels several lifetimes ago at this point in the Sixers’ rebuilding process.
It’s amazing that Embiid could capture this award given how often (or, rather, infrequently) he’s been on the court for the Sixers so far this season. He’s played in just 12 out of the team’s 18 games due to scheduled rest and the resistance to playing him on back-to-backs, all the while logging just under 23 minutes per contest. He’s simply just been that fantastic, a transformative force for the team when he steps on the floor.
Embiid, previously sitting at a minutes restriction of 24 per night, was scheduled to up his minutes restriction to 28 per game yesterday, but what will likely go down in Sixers lore as “Mopgate” prevented that. With even just four more minutes of Embiid on the court, it’s tantalizing to imagine what sort of eye-popping stats he could put up when it comes to deciding the Rookie of the Month for December .