Joel Embiid talks like without Ben Simmons

Joel Embiid talks like without Ben Simmons

It has not been an easy season for the Philadelphia 76ers, who had to deal with a plethora of issues already, including a COVID outbreak. However, they are picking up momentum as the regular season progresses and remain a contender in the Eastern Conference – even without the services of point guard Ben Simmons.

The 25-year-old has played a total of just 32 minutes this season for the 76ers as he waits to be traded away from the franchise. While it remains to be seen whether Philadelphia will be able to ship him off prior to the NBA’s trade deadline, the issue hasn’t really affected his teammates too much.

“First of all, it was great that we got the win especially bouncing back from blowing that lead the other night against the Clippers,” superstar Joel Embiid said following his team’s victory over the New Orleans Pelicans which saw him put up 42 points, 14 rebounds, and four assists, via USA Today. “I’ve always believed that especially with the progress that I’ve made offensively the last two or three years, being a complete player, I believe that I could be one of the greatest scorers in the league right now.”

Embiid has had an incredible season this year and has put himself in the conversation to be the NBA MVP at the conclusion of the campaign. What’s even more impressive is he has managed to put up ridiculous numbers without the help of Simmons. He has been able to control the game and keep the ball in his hands much more often, proving he can also be a great passer when required.

“It’s always been there, but this year, there’s more freedom to be able to whether it’s bringing the ball up and pushing up in transition,” Embiid explained to members of the media. “I got more freedom to do that this year. In the previous year, we had someone that was so good in transition that you had to get the ball to him so he can make plays attack or making plays and he was so good at it. His absence obviously puts a hole in that category. That’s why I decided to kind of take my game to another level when it comes to that.”

Simmons was selected with the first overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft by the 76ers, while Embiid was taken with the third overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. While the two were supposed to be cornerstone pieces for the franchise for years to come, it’s looking increasingly likely that Embiid will be the one leading this team forward and he is ready for the responsibility.

“I still got a long way to go,” Embiid continued. “There’s so much that I can add to my game whether it’s playing off pick-and-rolls and a bunch of other stuff that I can add to my game, but yeah, I think it’s always been there.”

It’ll be interesting to see how the Simmons saga concludes, but 76ers fans don’t seem as worried about it these days as they did coming into the campaign.