Joel Embiid has been on absolute fire recently, as he’s averaging 31.8 points, 10.2 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 1.3 blocks and 1.0 steals per game over his last 10 games.
On the season, he’s averaging 4.3 assists per game, which is indicative of how much better he’s getting at reading defenses, particularly double-teams.
“Double teams, when I first got here it’s all I heard, ‘Joel and double teams’ and we’ve had no issues with it, but you’re gonna have a game here and there where it’s gonna affect you and you go back to the lab,” Rivers said. “It’s just part of it. He’s a willing worker, he cooperates, so for me, it’s been great.”
Embiid’s overall skillset has former players reaching out to Rivers, including one legend known as “The Big Ticket.”
“He’s really good,” Rivers said. “No, really, and I say that half-jokingly, but it’s amazing how many calls I get from Kevin Garnett, ex-players, and we’re talking and I just say ‘He’s good, man. He’s talented in every area.’ He shoots the 3 like a guard, handles the ball like a guard, has size like a big, great post game, great feel, and the thing he’s done the most is he’s worked on the things he has struggled with.”
Rivers notices that Embiid is getting better at keeping defenders on their toes, which opens up more possibilities for him.
“Finally this year, he is baiting people,” Rivers said. ‘”It’s just been great to see. I think what he is finding and our sell to him is that you will be more efficient because people, they will hesitate before they come to get you.”
With Embiid heating up and the Sixers winning nine of their last 10 games, they’re sitting in a good spot to make some noise down the stretch of the season.