Joel Embiid Frustrated With Role Since Butler Trade
The Sixers gave their All-Star center a game off on Friday night in Detroit and managed to get a big win against the Pistons. Joel Embiid went into Friday's game ranked fourth in the NBA in minutes played and usage percentage. He's looked a bit gassed over the past few games and struggled mightily against Toronto, tallying just 10 points and 12 boards on 5-for-17 shooting, so it made sense to give him a game off with the team not playing again until Monday.
Prior to Friday night's game though, Embiid told Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer that he isn't tired... he's frustrated.
“I haven’t been myself lately,” said Embiid, who was held out of Friday’s game against the Pistons by coach Brett Brown. “I think it’s mainly because of the way I’ve been used, which is I’m being used as a spacer, I guess, a stretch five, which I’m only shooting  percent" from three-point range."
Embiid went on to say that it isn't him deciding to hang out on the perimeter, but rather Brett Brown having him start out there, which doesn't seem to be to the liking of Joel.
“But it seems like the past couple games, like with the way I play, our setup, [Brown] always has me starting on the perimeter … and it just really frustrates me. My body feels great, and it’s just I haven’t been playing well.”
The 7-foot-2 native of Cameroon is still adjusting to playing with Jimmy Butler. He said that not as many plays are going to him in the post, so going on the perimeter is sometimes a necessity to space things out on the floor. The Sixers are 9-3 since the addition of Butler, and Embiid continues to adjust to playing with the four-time All-Star.
“Since the trade, it’s been really down,” he said of his success ratio. “I tend to get triple-teamed a lot. I was in the flow of the offense. I feel like I’m not any more. There’s not a lot of possessions on the block. I don’t know. We got to figure it out.”
Embiid will be back on the court Monday night in Philadelphia when the Sixers close out their season series with the Pistons. We'll see if there's any adjustment to Brett Brown's game plan after Joel's comments, but it's likely that the Sixers center will have to roll with the punches as the team continues to integrate Jimmy Butler.