In his 45-game career, Joel Embiid has 102 blocks. That’s about 2.3 per game and 3.1 per-36. To put that into perspective, since the NBA started tracking the stat in 1983-84, Embiid is 14th in total blocks in his first 44 games (Manute Bol, for what it’s worth, has more than double the amount of blocks in 100 fewer minutes). He owes his rim protecting ability to not only his sheer size — somewhere between 7-foot and 7-foot-3 with a wingspan of 7-foot-5+ — but also to his volleyball skills. And because he grew up playing the sport before he picked up a basketball, JoJo also has a flair for the emphatic, spike-swat. We saw that last night.
So here are Joel Embiid’s 21 best posterization blocks, in the absolute, correct, and undeniable order:
21. LeBron James
Controversial ranking, I know. But here’s the thing: It was a huge moment very early in Embiid’s career on the greatest player of all time, but it was goaltending. I hate to be a highlight truther, and it wasn’t called, but that’s a goaltend. It loses major points.
20. Kyle Lowry
It may have locked down the game, but it’s still the 2nd best block in this highlight.
19. Russell Westbrook
Makes the list for the crowd pop alone, and the fact that it was Embiid’s first career block.
18. Victor Oladipo
Same game, much more criminal.
17. Jabari Parker
A no doubter, at the rim, against the dude drafted one spot ahead of him.
16. Cody Zeller
Sadly for Cody Zeller, this is not his only appearance on this list.
15. Little Kid
The swat that started it all.
14. Anthony Davis
It’s not as flashy as some on this list, but JoJo made it look easy and made A.D. look small.
13. John Wall
Again low on the flash factor, but Embiid barely jumped.
12. Allen Crabbe
This would be much higher were it not in a preseason game.
11. Matthew Dellavedova
This would be much higher were it not on Delly.
10. Dwight Howard
Bonus points for a Hollis Thompson sighting.
9. Jaylen Brown
If this was at home in the regular season instead of at UMass in the preseason, this is a top-3 pick easily.
8. Klay Thompson
The bad taste may still be in our mouths from the two losses against Golden State in as many weeks, but this block is everything the LeBron one wants to be.
7. James Harden
Super bonus points for somehow blocking James Harden’s shot and not getting a foul called on you.
6. Kelly Oubre Jr.
This may be a little high for some of you, but this is just a textbook block. When you close your eyes at night with your head resting on your pilllow in the soft orange glow of your basketball nightlight, this is the block you picture.
5. Shabazz Muhammad
Perhaps the most impressive footwork on this whole list.
4. Jarell Martin
This landing still makes me nervous and it’s from last year.
3. Devin Booker
Maybe the distance champ. I’m pretty sure this ball still hasn’t come down.
2. Cody Zeller, Part 2
Hi again Cody. How are you? Oh, you’ve been better? I’m sure.
1. Donovan Mitchell
The STUFF.— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) November 21, 2017
Joel Embiid, ladies and gentlemen. pic.twitter.com/qkI6PbS3Bo
Congratulations to Donovan Mitchell, a good young player who I like that will need a couple of weeks to shake this one off.