Joel Embiid on being a defensive juggernaut in the victory over the Memphis Grizzlies

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  • byJatin
  • 2023-02-25T19:43:00

Joel Embiid played against the Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday night despite dealing with a bothersome foot issue and a non-contagious sickness. He had a sluggish start to the evening but was able to deliver in a huge way to help the Philadelphia 76ers win.

With a final stat line of 27 points, 19 rebounds, six assists, one steal, and an incredible six blocks, Joel Embiid did it all for the Sixers on Thursday night. This heroic effort allowed Philadelphia to win 110-105 on national television.

Embiid spoke about his performance in the grueling victory after the game. He also continued by equating himself with a renowned large man. Embiid was forced to assist his team in other ways as they built a comeback against the Grizzlies because his shots weren’t falling.

According to Joel Embiid, “For me, like I always say, defense is more important for me than offense. Even tonight, I could not make any shots, especially the ones I usually make. But defensively, I thought I had to be Bill Russell tonight to be able to kind of balance it out.”

Since early November, he blocked seven shots in a victory against the Utah Jazz. Joel Embiid hasn’t had as many in a single game as he did on Friday. The game’s greatest play came late on when he stopped teammate All-Star Ja Morant at the basket.

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This season, Joel Embiid has strengthened his name for the MVP

Joel Embiid on being a defensive juggernaut in the victory over the Memphis Grizzlies
Joel Embiid on being a defensive juggernaut in the victory over the Memphis Grizzlies

Joel Embiid has been one of the NBA’s most powerful players for the past three seasons. The MVP prize, on the other hand, is still elusive. In each of the previous two campaigns, the star of the Philadelphia 76ers came in second place to Nikola Jokic.

Those performances serve as a reminder of how important Embiid is to his team. Even though he only made 7 of 25 field goal attempts that evening. He made up for it in other ways by having a significant influence. The Grizzlies’ momentum was destroyed by that late-game block, which guaranteed a comeback victory for the Sixers.

And while both centers are outstanding athletes, it’s evenings like this that give Joel Embiid a little advantage in the discussion. Jokic is a center who is doing things the game has never seen done before. But he is not a two-way player.

Because of his superior rim protection, Joel Embiid can rule on both ends of the court. It’s likely to be another tight fight for MVP this year. But Embiid certainly strengthened his case with his display against Memphis.

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