Joel Embiid doesn’t like shooting three’s
Though he has the ability to knock down shots from long range, Sixers center Joel Embiid isn’t interested in being the posterchild for floor-spacing big men.
“I don’t like shooting three’s,” Embiid said after the Sixers 126-101 victory over the Toronto Raptors in Philadelphia on Saturday night. “I only do it because of the spacing that we have and sometimes I have to take them, I have to be on the perimeter getting guys open because of all of the attention that presents to me. But I don’t like shooting three’s, I only do it because I gotta make it work.”
Embiid is averaging a career high with four three-point attempts per game on the season, while also shooting a career low from deep at 27%. Realizing that such a combination isn’t exactly ideal, he has made a concerted effort over the past few games to pass up on three-point looks in favor of other offensive opportunities that he is more comfortable with. He has gone two straight games without even attempting a three.
“The last couple games my mindset has been… if I’m on the perimeter it doesn’t mean that I have to shoot three’s, even if I’m wide open,” Embiid said. “I think I had a couple of opportunities tonight and last game against the Knicks where I could have shot it, but I took one dribble and took a midrange shot. That’s what I’m comfortable with, and it’s working. I feel like my efficiency is getting back to where it should be. Part of the problem I see with myself, I should never shoot under 50 percent, and I do it a lot, so it’s all about getting my efficiency back, and I feel like shooting three’s had a lot to do with me shooting under 50 percent.”
Ultimately, Embiid knows that the three-pointer can’t be removed from his repertoire entirely, as the spacing it creates for players like Ben Simmons and Jimmy Butler is important for the flow of the offense, so it’s about striking a comfortable balance.
“When you look at yourself and you see how dominant you can be inside, you ask yourself the question why even attempt a three,” Embiid said. “It’s also about just feeling comfortable. Right now, I’m not feeling comfortable being in that situation. I’m sure I’m going to take some… so we’re going to see.”
Follow Michael Kaskey-Blomain on Twitter @therealmikekb.