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Offseason shooting video, Joel Embiid edition

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Joel Embiid Arrives In Beijing Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images

The NBA’s Basketball Without Borders event in Senegal, Africa took place over the weekend with the Sixers’ own Joel Embiid in attendance. Basketball Without Borders is really awesome, producing players like Embiid and Pascal Siakam by giving exposure to African youth who otherwise may not even consider playing basketball beyond high school. But as great as Basketball Without Borders is, that’s not exactly what we’re here at this particular blog post for.

The fine folks from the BWB’s media operations put together some b-roll from the weekend and in it, they captured Joel working out on an empty court. And not just working out but shooting unguarded threes! What more could Sixers fans want?

  • Grainy-ness: 1/10 — Really disappointed with how clear this footage is.
  • Trainer: 3/10 — Joel is working with a trainer who is a) white and b) small, but Joel’s not c) busting his ass. Oh and the trainer is Drew Hanlen. That’s a dilemma, because while Drew has helped Jo improve, he’s also the snake oil salesman that did the media rounds last summer proclaiming Markelle Fultz an upcoming All-Star. Hanlen also either isn’t wearing socks or has some seriously low socks on, which is a weird clothing choice for basketball activities. It all makes me very uncomfortable.
  • Performance: 8/10 — Joel made 4 of 5 attempts, and they were all from deep. 38% from 3PT in 2019-20, book it.

The little rock backward Joel does before shooting is what makes this video interesting. In the past, our Dave Early has pointed out that Joel seems unbalanced at times when shooting. Joel is taking a pretty set shot in each of the attempts from the video above, which could be a strategy to mitigate Jo’s lack of balance. But we know that when it comes game time, a player cannot expect the perfect environment for a shot. So what that rock backward could be is an attempt to simulate getting balanced before taking a set shot.